French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jacques Becker|
|Produced by||Raymond Hakim
|Written by||Jacques Becker
|Music by||Georges Van Parys|
|Cinematography||Robert Le Febvre|
|Distributed by||Criterion Collection (DVD)|
Casque d'Or ("Golden Helmet") is a 1952 French film directed by Jacques Becker. It is a Belle Époque tragedy, the story of an ill-fated love affair between characters played by Simone Signoret and Serge Reggiani. The story was loosely based on an infamous love triangle between the prostitute Amélie Élie and the Apache gang leaders Manda and Leca, which was the subject of much sensational newspaper reporting during 1902.
Marie (Simone Signoret), a woman of considerable beauty, is distressed at her treatment by Roland, a criminal who is a part of a local syndicate. When Marie is introduced to the handsome stranger Georges, a humble carpenter, she falls in love with him instantly, much to the chagrin of Roland. When Roland's jealousy builds after a number of meetings between Marie and Georges, Roland decides to confront Georges behind a club where a number members of his syndicate watch. After Georges gains control of a knife that had been thrown between them to initiate the fight, George manages to stab Roland in the back after a brief scuffle, killing him almost instantly. When the police arrive at the scene everyone flees, including Marie, who seeks refuge away from the syndicate at a nearby village.
Georges decides it is best to flee town. He is lured to a rendezvous with Marie by a note she sends. The two live an idyllic life in the nearby village, until Georges is brought word that a friend, Raymond, had been arrested for the murder of Roland. Félix, the leader of the syndicate, has placed blame on Raymond in an attempt to bring Georges out of hiding and win control of Marie. Not realising this plan, Georges confesses to the police that he is the real killer. While being transported between jails, he breaks free with the help of a diversion by Marie. Georges immediately seeks out Félix to seek his revenge. When he finds him in the presence of the police, he kills him anyway, condemning himself in the process. With the two murders on his hands, Georges is sentenced to die by the guillotine while a broken Marie watches in horror as he is executed.
- Simone Signoret as Marie 'Casque d'Or'
- Serge Reggiani as Georges Manda
- Claude Dauphin as Félix Leca
- Raymond Bussières as Raymond
- Odette Barencey as La mère d'Eugène
- Loleh Bellon as Léonie Danard
- William Sabatier as Roland
- "Casque d'or". unifrance.org. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Teamwork On The Seine By A.H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 Jan 1965: X9.
- Casque d'Or at the Internet Movie Database
- Casque d'Or at AllMovie
- Criterion Collection essay by Philip Kemp