The Damned (1947 film)

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Les Maudits (English: The Damned)
Directed by René Clément
Produced by André Paulvé
Written by Victor Alexandrov
René Clément
Jacques Companéez
Henri Jeanson
Jacques Rémy
Starring Henri Vidal
Cinematography Henri Alekan
Edited by Roger Dwyre
Distributed by Gaumont
Release dates
  • 19 September 1947 (1947-09-19)
Running time
105 minutes
Country France
Language French

The Damned (French: Les Maudits) is a 1947 French drama film directed by René Clément.[1] It was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.[2] The film is notable for its depiction of the interior of a wartime submarine and for its tracking shots through the length of the U-boat.

Plot[edit]

As Germany is in the throes of losing World War II, a number of wealthy Nazis and some French sympathizers head for South America in a German submarine leaving from Oslo. The film's narrator is a French doctor (Henri Vidal) who has been kidnapped to tend a sick woman, Hilde Garosi (Florence Marly), the wife of one man and the lover of another, both aboard. The doctor realizes he will be murdered at any point once the woman has recovered so he tries various stratagems to escape. All fail.

The mission slowly disintegrates as the war ends and its reasons for being dissipate, with some passengers either trying to escape or committing suicide. Forster (Jo Dest well-cast as a True Believer in Nazism) tries to continue the mission even after Berlin has fallen and orders have gone out for all U-boats to surrender at the nearest port. Part of the crew finally mutinies against the insane ones still fighting the war. The doctor ends up alone on the Nazi sub for days writing his memoirs until an American ship rescues him and finally sinks his infamous abode at sea.

In addition to Dest, Michel Auclair impresses favorably as Willy Morus, a young man happily following any orders amorally until the inanity of his position overcomes him and he kills Forster. Marcel Dalio also has a small but important role as Larga, a South American importer, who supports whatever faction is best for his business. Lastly, the film is interesting for its seeming accuracy of life aboard a wartime submarine right down to the food served the passengers as it was written and filmed shortly after the war ended.

Cast[edit]

Restoration[edit]

In 2013, the Cohen Film Collection released The Damned on Blu-ray and DVD in the US,[3] using a restoration carried out by the French distributor, Gaumont.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maçek III, J.C. (26 August 2013). "The Young Baron of 'The Damned' Was Seen Coming Out of One of Those Clubs". PopMatters. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Damned". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ "The Damned". Cohenmedia.net. 

External links[edit]