"The ninth night of the ninth month of a war too uneventful to be taken seriously and too far away to worry about."
- openning legend of REUNION IN FRANCE.
"But there's so many of those guys. Shake one and another pops up. It's been days and nights."--Pat (John Wayne) to Michele (Joan Crawford). "But surely if you were wanted they'd have arrested you by now'"--Michele to Pat. "There not sure I'm me"--Pat to Michele. "Who are you'"--Michele to Pat. "You don't wanna know."
- Pat to Michele."
"I'll be glad when you're dead you rascal you. I'll be glad when you're dead and Adolph too. When you're dead and in your grave. There'll be nothing you will crave. I'll be glad when you're dead you rascal you."
- Lyrics sung by black singer in a French night club that is occupied by the Germans
"Paris. May 9, 1940. The ninth night of the ninth month of a war too uneventful to be taken seriously and too far away to worry about," says the opening legend of Jules Dassin's REUNION IN FRANCE. While the indolent French upper class enjoy its nightly entertainment, Michele de la Becque (Joan Crawford) prepares for her vacation in the South of France. However, she is annoyed that her fiancé, government official Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn), won't accompany her: He has defense duties. She goes alone, but her complacency is short-lived. The Germans invade, bypassing the Maginot Line. Michele is caught up in people fleeing their homes. She returns to Paris a changed woman. But Robert has also changed: He's become a Nazi collaborator. So when Michele meets escaping prisoner of war Pat Talbot (John Wayne), it's no surprise that she decides to help him.
Twelve months after the U.S. entered WWII, REUNION IN FRANCE was released. It is an intriguing account of occupied France filmed by director Jules Dassin and director of photography Robert Planck in crisp, clear prenoir images. Wayne gives a good-humored performance, Dorn is secretive and intense, and Crawford goes from haughty complacency to anxious concern.
A spoiled rich woman in Paris believes her fiancee is producing weapons for the Nazis, and so takes up with an American flyer.
REUNION IN FRANCE was released in December, 1942.
In a long drawn out story conference that occurred before REUNION IN FRANCE was filmed, director Jules Dassin was frustrated that the main concern of the studio MGM was how to justify keeping Joan Crawford clothed in elegant gowns after her house was taken over and most of her things were confiscated by the Nazis. The eventual solution was to have her become one of the sales staff at the haute couture salon that she had previously patronized.
The film is based on an original story by Ladislas Bus-Fekete.
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