PORTRAIT D'UN ASSASSIN (1949)
aka Portrait of an Assassin (1949)
aka Pasión Prohibida
(Drama, 1 hr 30 min, Black & White)
S.E.L.F. - FRANCE
Maria Montez (As: Christina de Rinck), Erich Von Stroheim (As: Eric), Arletty (As: Martha), Pierre Brasseur (Fabius), Jules Berry (Pfeiffer), Marcel Dalio (Fred)
Christina (Montez) is the sadistic manager of a circus show, who uses her attractiveness to seduce men. But she only gives-up to them in exchange of promises of performing a dangerous acrobatic act in motorcycle which it could cause them the death or make them handicaps for ever, as it happened to several of her lovers. One of them, the unfortunate Eric (Von Streheim), who became handicap.
An evening, Fabius (Brasseur) met this diabolic woman and soon he abandons his wife because of Lucienne.
Then Martha (Arletty), Fabius' wife, with the intention of saving him, she shows up to the circus and performs the lethal acrobatic act, which it causes her death.
Due to the sacrifice of his beloved wife, Fabius understands at last that he has been manipulated by the evil Christina and he takes the decision of killing her.
After committing the murder and completely convinced that he is going to die, he rides the motorcycle for performing the dangerous acrobatic act, but miraculously, he survives and goes to the police to confess his crime.
This one was the second and last French movie of Maria and she was more successful and seductive than ever before.
In this occasion, and by the first time, the critics said her performance was adequate and she demonstrates she has some worthy elements.
Even the French critic, André Bazin, famous by his merciless comments, he admitted that Montez was not so bad in this movie. Other critics were more specific by saying she was the appropriate actress for this role.
This movie was projected in the U.S. only in the art theaters.
In French with English Subtitles
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