Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cet homme est dangereux (This Man Is Dangerous) (1953) French Riviera Noir

ddie Constantine's second outing as Lemmy Caution. 

Directed by Jean Sacha. Written by Jacques Berland the adaptation, with additional dialog by Marcel Duhamel and based on Peter Cheyney's novel. Cinematography was by Marcel Weiss. Music by 
Jean Marion. 

This second Caution flick was directed by Jean Sacha who also shows some style but this one is lighter in atmosphere and in this film the back and forth dialogue between Eddie the various women and the gangsters is a bit snappier and more humorous. 

The film stars Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution, Colette Deréal  as Constance, Grégoire Aslan as Siégella, Claude Borelli as Miranda van Zelten, Luc Andrieux as Maurice, Michel Nastorg as Goyas.

The Story

Lemmy Caution escapes a Kansas Penitentiary. All points bulletin. All ports and airports. Use caution, this man is dangerous! 

We pick up the tale as Eddie is tooling down a French Riviera two lane. He's listening to another news bulletin this one in French. It describes Lemmy Caution as in France and driving a stolen 1950 Simca 8 Sport Cabriolet. Lemmy laughs. 

1950 Simca 8 Sport Cabriole

Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution

That evening at an apparently predetermined spot Lemmy pulls over and hoofs it down to a small cove with a small Chris-Craft riding on a shore secured line. 

On the beach in the bright moonlight he confronts his contact. Lemmy asks him if the American heiress Miranda van Zelten is on board. He's belligerent. Lemmy slaps him around, and takes the boat. He's heading out to a gambling yacht owned by a gangster named Goyas who works for head Riviera mobster Siegella. 

At the yacht, Lemmy sneaks aboard unseen. 

Lemmy questions "hostess"

A hostess (prostitute) comes up on deck. She's sick. Lemmy questions her. He tells her that she's never seen him and he sends her back into the ship. Lemmy follows soon after. In one of the staterooms he finds a dead man Kelly that he apparently knew. 

With his automatic now out he enters the main gambling room. He calls out Goyas. He tells the rest of the gamblers to stay put and takes Goyas up on deck. Lemmy puts two bullets into him tells Goyas one is from his dead friend Kelly, the other is from him. Goyas falls over the side. 

 Lemmy with Goyas (Michel Nastorg)  

Back in the gambling room Lemmy tells Miranda to gather her things. He also grabs the table stakes for what he tells the gamblers is expense money. Lemmy and Miranda speed away from the yacht and head back to the cove. Miranda seems un-phased and is genuinely excited by all the attention.

At the cove Lemmy checks on the boat owner contact that he has hogtied and them he drags Miranda up to his parked car. He drives her back to her hotel and escorts her to her room. Miranda wants him to stay but Lemmy begs off telling her he's tired.

Claude Borelli as Miranda van Zelten

Outside his own hotel Lemmy is greeted in the driveway by a woman named Constance he knows from Paris. She is driving a 1952 De Soto Diplomat convertible. She asks him to join her for a nightcap at her house, Lemmy invites her to the hotel bar telling her its closer. 

Colette Deréal  as Constance

Constance counters that they water down their whiskey going right for Lemmy's softness for good booze. Lemmy reluctantly hops in.  

At Constance's, Lemmy walks into a roomful of French gangsters lead by kingpin Siégella. Siegella's  M.O. is to always wears gloves so that he never leaves a trace. 

Grégoire Aslan as Siégella

Siegella wants to kill Eddie, kidnap Miranda, and demand a half million in ransom money, but Eddie tells him his plan was to woo Miranda, tell Miranda's father that he plans to marry her and then take a payoff to bow out seeing as how they wouldn't want a gangster in the family. 

Eddie explains that instead of carrying out his plan he would keep Miranda unsuspecting and on ice until Siegella makes his kidnapping move. Eddie tells Siegella that he'll do it for $200,000.  Siegella admires Lemmy's balls and agrees.

It all goes Noirsville when the next morning both Eddie and Siegella discover that Miranda flew to Paris on the morning flight, and Goya's girlfriend and remaining gang members want revenge  for his whack. 


I wasn't expecting much so was again pleasantly surprised. Poison Ivy the first Caution flick was directed by Bernard Borderie he showed a flair for on location shooting and the first film had a lot of atmosphere. This second Caution flick directed by Jean Sacha also shows some style but this one is lighter in atmosphere and in this film the back and forth dialogue between Eddie the various women and the gangsters is a bit snappier and more humorous. 

There is a good copy available on DVD from Video Dimensions with English Subs, 7/10 

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