Reunion in France


1h 44m 1942
Reunion in France

Brief Synopsis

A Frenchwoman tries to help a downed U.S. flyer escape the Nazis.

Photos & Videos

Reunion in France - Publicity Still

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Action
Adventure
War
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
release: Dec 1942--Feb 1943
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,339ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

In the summer of 1939, Parisian socialite Michele de la Becque tries to encourage her lover, automotive designer Robert Cortot, to come with her to the South of France, but Robert refuses because of the war. The self-centered Michele does not understand and frivolously goes to her favorite couturier, Mme. Montanot, for a new wardrobe. As Michele leaves for her holiday, Robert tries to tell her how important France is to him and to make her understand what the war means, but she dismisses his words. Soon German forces cross France's seemingly impenetrable Maginot Line and Paris is occupied by the Nazis. Returning to Paris, Michele finally begins to realize the horrors of war. Her house is now occupied by the Nazis, but when she goes to Robert's, she is puzzled to find that his life has barely been affected by the war. That night, while they dine at an elegant hotel, Michele is revulsed to discover that Robert is a favorite of highly placed Nazis. When the concierge, Martin, an old friend, tells her of Robert's blatant collaboration, she refuses to occupy the luxurious room that Robert has arranged for her. After she leaves, Martin is arrested by Ulrich Windler, head of the Paris Gestapo. Back at Michele's house, in the small, exterior servant's quarters she now occupies, Robert is waiting and tries to reason with her, but she refuses his help and is disgusted by his pro-Nazi attitude. The next day she goes to Montanot to ask for a job. On the way home, she is accosted by a man who is running from the Nazis, downed RAF Eagle Squadron flyer Patrick Talbot, from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Although suspicious, she lets him in her room because they are being followed by Gestapo agent Stregel and French gendarme Durand. The next morning, after the exhausted Pat has had a good night's sleep, he offers to leave, but she tells him to stay and decides to help him. Unknown to her, the suspicious Stregel is still watching her place, and is relieved by an apparent superior, Herr Schultz. That day, the patriotic Montanot and her assistant Juliette agree to help Pat with money and forged papers. When Robert comes to the shop, he angrily warns Michele that her attitude will soon get her into trouble with the Nazis and begs her to let him help her to leave France. That night, as Michele and Pat flirt with each other, the German officer occupying her house drunkenly storms into her room. He exchanges barbs with Pat, who, as an American is not yet an enemy of Germany, but who incurs his wrath. To avoid a dangerous confrontation, Michele pretends she is attracted to the officer and distracts him until Juliette's boyfriend takes Pat safely away. Michele then goes to Robert to ask his help to leave France and says that she wants a car and would like to use an American student who has lost his papers as her chauffeur. He agrees to help and she promises to pretend to be his fiancée. One week later, Pat, who now poses as Michele's chauffeur, thinks that the reason she quit her job and now socializes with the Nazis she hates, is that she loves him and is trying to save him. When Schultz sees them talking in a familiar way, he secretly tells Robert. At a Parisian nightclub, Michele tries to charm Windler and General Hugo Schroeder, the prefect of Paris, but Windler is suspicious of her. Meanwhile, in a small hotel, two men tell Schultz that a photo of Pat confirms that he is the missing RAF flier and say that they must work quickly. Soon Honore, Robert's butler, brings Michele her papers, saying that she must leave immediately. Robert then comes to her, and after tenderly saying that he loves her and France more than ever, sends her away with Schultz. She is certain that Robert has betrayed her when she is put into a car with two men in Nazi uniforms. When they then drive to pick up Pat, he is put into another car, and she assumes that he is now a prisoner. The two cars arrive at a checkpoint at the same time and Michele realizes that Schultz and the other two "Nazis" are really British agents. The two cars speed off after Schultz creates a diversion. As the Nazis from the checkpoint chase the car in which Michele and Schultz are riding, he is mortally wounded, just before killing the pursuing Nazi commandant. Before sending Michele off toward a secret airfield, Schultz, whose real name is Pinkum, reveals that Robert is really a leader in the French underground. At the airfield, Pat and the others are waiting for a plane to take them to England. When it lands, Michele thinks about what Pinkum had told her about Robert. The next morning, in Paris, Schroeder and Windler arrive at Robert's house with news of Pat's escape and are about to arrest him for arranging it when Michele arrives. This is evidence enough to convince Schroeder that Robert is blameless and he and Windler leave. Waiting in the doorway as Schroeder and Windler drive off, Michele and Robert are hurt when some small children angrily call them traitors, but take courage from the knowledge that their cause is just.

Cast

Joan Crawford

Michele de la Becque

John Wayne

Pat Talbot

Philip Dorn

Robert Cortot

Reginald Owen

Schultz [assumed name of Pinkum]

Albert Bassermann

General Hugo Schroeder

John Carradine

Ulrich Windler

Ann Ayars

Juliette

J. Edward Bromberg

Durand

Moroni Olsen

Paul Grebeau

Henry Daniell

Emile Fleuron

Howard Da Silva

Anton Stregel

Charles Arnt

Honore

Morris Ankrum

Martin

Edith Evanson

Genevieve

Ernest Dorian

Captain

Margaret Laurence

Clothilde

Odette Myrtil

Mme. Montanot

Peter Whitney

Soldier

Arthur Space

Henker

Ira "buck" Woods

Jazz singer in nightclub

Ann Codee

Rosalie

Oliver B. Prickett

Hypolite

Charles Arnt

Honore, Robert's butler

Natalie Schafer

Frau Schroeder

Michael Visaroff

Vigouroux

Felix Basch

Pawnbroker

Paul Weigel

Old man

John Considine

Little boy

Rodney Bieber

Little boy

Claudia Drake

Girl

Peter Leeds

Boy

Bobby Dillon

Boy

Barbara Bedford

Mme. Vigouroux

Basil Bookasta

Delivery boy

Henry Kolker

General Bartholomae

George Calliga

Mons. Clemens

Harry Adams

Mons. DeBrun

Larry Grenier

Mons. Clemens

Ed Rickard

Chauffeur

Philip Van Zandt

Customer

Louis Mercier

Conductor

Jean Del Val

Porter

Lester Sharpe

Warden

Hans Furberg

Soldier

Otto Reichow

Soldier

Frederick Brunn

Soldier

Paul Kruger

Soldier

David Clarke

Soldier

Carl Ekberg

Soldier

Adolph Milar

Gestapo agent

Ludwig Donath

Desk clerk in hotel

Ava Gardner

Marie, salesgirl

William Edmunds

Driver

Arno Frey

Guide

Joel Friedkin

Frenchman

Wilda Bieber

Little girl

Greta Keller

Baroness von Steinkamp

Walter O. Stahl

Baron von Steinkamp

Doris Borodin

Saleswoman

Jody Gilbert

Brunhilde

Edgar Licho

Hawker

Jacqueline White

Danielle

Bob Stevenson

Emile

Hans Von Morhart

Officer

Crane Whitley

Officer

James Craven

Officer

Gayne Whitman

Maitre d'hotel

Kay Deslys

Wife

Sheldon Jett

Tourist

Major Fred Farrell

Porter

Henry Rowland

Sentry

George Aldwin

Pilot

William Vaughn

Major

Ray De Ravenne

Bartender

Eddie Lee

Japanese man

Tommy Lee

Japanese man

Muriel Barr

Girl in café

Norma Thelan

Girl in café

Sandra Morgan

Mme. Berthil

John Meredith

RAF Navigator

Martha Bamattre

News stand woman

Joe Bernard

R.R. mechanic

Harry Semels

R.R. mechanic

Lotte Palfi

Customer in Montanot's

Lisl Valetti

Customer in Montanot's

Stuart Hall

RAF pilot

Alan Schute

RAF pilot

Guy D'ennery

Station master

Jack Zoller

Young man

Hermine Sterler

Trude Berliner

Louise Colombet

Greta Meyer

Photo Collections

Reunion in France - Publicity Still
Here is a publicity still of Joan Crawford, taken to publicize MGM's Reunion in France (1942). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Action
Adventure
War
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
release: Dec 1942--Feb 1943
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,339ft (10 reels)

Articles

Reunion in France


Joan Crawford was nearing the end of her long career at MGM when she starred in Reunion in France (1942), a curious wartime tale about the Nazi occupation of France. She plays Michele de la Becque, a well-heeled, apolitical career woman in the Parisian fashion industry in love with an industrial designer, Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn). Michele's luxurious life in the best social circles is relatively unimpeded at first by the presence of the Germans, but gradually a sense of patriotism and responsibility begins to dawn on her. She's crushed when she finds her lover is collaborating with the Nazis and turning out weapons for the German war machine. In the midst of this, she comes upon an Allied flyer (John Wayne) who has been downed behind enemy lines and is being hunted by the Gestapo. She gives him refuge and, on the rebound from her romantic heartbreak, finds herself falling for him. Michele arranges for his safe passage to the south of France, but as she prepares to leave the city with him, she makes an even more startling discovery about Cortot that changes the course of her life and reunites her with her lover.

After the critical and commercial success of A Woman's Face (1941), Crawford hoped that her career at MGM was on the upswing. Although an immensely popular star at Metro since the 1920s, she was never taken very seriously as an actress and had to content herself with high-gloss melodramas and mostly tepid romantic comedies while the best roles at the studio went to the other queens of the lot, Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer. But under George Cukor's sympathetic and exacting direction, she was finally gaining some respect in such films as The Women (1939), Susan and God (1940) and A Woman's Face, in which she allowed her glamorous image to be challenged by a role requiring her to be a hardened, disfigured criminal for much of the story.

Armed with new confidence in her abilities, she lobbied heavily to be cast in prestige projects like Random Harvest (1942) and Madame Curie (1943). But a new era was dawning at MGM; Garbo, Shearer and Crawford were on their way out, making room for Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Lana Turner and Greer Garson, Louis B. Mayer's new discovery, who ended up with the roles Crawford so desperately wanted.

"If you think I made poor films at MGM after A Woman's Face, you should have seen the ones I went on suspension not to make!" she later said. After Reunion in France, she made one more picture for the studio - another rather improbable wartime tale called Above Suspicion (1943) - then departed Metro for good after 18 years. She went to Warner Brothers, where she held out for two years until she got the kind of meaty role she'd been waiting for, her Oscar®-winning Mildred Pierce (1945).

Despite similarities (a love triangle set during the Nazi occupation and much ado about letters of transit), it has to be said this is no Casablanca (1942), although to be fair, it is a good example of the kind of propaganda film the studios were turning out in the early days of the war, with little worry about credibility. It does have some interesting and impressive credentials. As the pilot rescued by Crawford, budding star John Wayne made his second war film of the period (despite never seeing military service himself. for which he was later criticized). The producer was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who in a few years would begin a directorial career that earned him Academy Awards for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). One reason Crawford agreed to make Reunion in France was because she was promised John Wayne as her co-star, an actor she had wanted to meet for some time. According to biographers Lawrence J. Quirk and William Schoell in Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography (University Press of Kentucky), "...Joan was on the prowl for John Wayne...She made her move on him in the dressing room, and Wayne rebuffed her with as much charm as he could muster. He was married and in no mood for a dalliance. Joan didn't take no for an answer so easily, and she threw herself at him more than once...Wayne was more amused than angry by it all. Even in later years Joan would fume about the man who got away and the terrible picture she made because she'd been so hot for him. 'That lousy movie! Just because I wanted to get Wayne in the sack! And the only thing he could play was cowboys. We hit it off like filet mignon and ketchup!'"

Crawford's co-star in Reunion in France, Natalie Schafer, recalled Joan's mood on the set once filming began (in Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography): "I think Joan was about at the end of her rope. She wasn't brutal or offensive to me or to anyone else - just tightly wound. I think she knew her days were numbered at MGM, she was smarting over the assignments they had given her. Reunion in France was not right for her and she just did not want to be [on the set]. But she remained very professional in spite of all that. That was Joan. Whatever was going on in her mind, you might see glimmers of it in her expression, in her off-camera mood, but she was always about getting the work done, being a pro."

Reunion in France was the fourth feature directed by Jules Dassin, who later made several acclaimed films noir, among them Brute Force (1947), The Naked City (1948) and Night and the City (1950), and brought his wife, Melina Mercouri, to international attention in Never on Sunday (1960). One of the screenwriters was Marc Connelly, Pulitzer Prize-winner for his 1930 play The Green Pastures. The large cast boasts a number of noted character actors, including John Carradine, Crawford's later supporting player in Johnny Guitar (1954), as well as an early (uncredited) appearance by the young Ava Gardner. But this being a Crawford film, the real star of the picture was the costumes created by Irene. The star's many sumptuous gowns got the most attention in reviews, with the New York Herald Tribune noting: "Dressing like a refugee is certainly not in her contract."

During this low point in her life and career, Joan Crawford hastily entered into her third (or fourth, depending on the source) marriage with a young actor, Phillip Terry, who had played a very brief bit part in her movie Mannequin (1937). The marriage lasted less than four years. John Wayne recalled Crawford's arrival at the studio during production of Reunion in France the morning after they were wed: "I knew what kind of marriage it was going to be when I saw her walk on the set. First came Joan, then her secretary, then her makeup man, then her wardrobe woman, finally Phil Terry, carrying the dog." Crawford herself later admitted her fault in the failure of the relationship: "I married because I was unutterably lonely. ... I've owed him an apology from the first."

Director: Jules Dassin
Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Screenplay: Jan Lustig, Marvin Borowsky, Marc Connelly
Cinematography: Robert Planck
Editing: Elmo Veron
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Original Music: Franz Waxman
Cast: Joan Crawford (Michele de la Becque), John Wayne (Pat Talbot), Philip Dorn (Robert Cortot), Reginald Owen (Schultz), Moroni Olsen (Paul Grebeau), Henry Daniell (Emil Fleuron).
BW-99m. Closed captioning.

by Rob Nixon
Reunion In France

Reunion in France

Joan Crawford was nearing the end of her long career at MGM when she starred in Reunion in France (1942), a curious wartime tale about the Nazi occupation of France. She plays Michele de la Becque, a well-heeled, apolitical career woman in the Parisian fashion industry in love with an industrial designer, Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn). Michele's luxurious life in the best social circles is relatively unimpeded at first by the presence of the Germans, but gradually a sense of patriotism and responsibility begins to dawn on her. She's crushed when she finds her lover is collaborating with the Nazis and turning out weapons for the German war machine. In the midst of this, she comes upon an Allied flyer (John Wayne) who has been downed behind enemy lines and is being hunted by the Gestapo. She gives him refuge and, on the rebound from her romantic heartbreak, finds herself falling for him. Michele arranges for his safe passage to the south of France, but as she prepares to leave the city with him, she makes an even more startling discovery about Cortot that changes the course of her life and reunites her with her lover. After the critical and commercial success of A Woman's Face (1941), Crawford hoped that her career at MGM was on the upswing. Although an immensely popular star at Metro since the 1920s, she was never taken very seriously as an actress and had to content herself with high-gloss melodramas and mostly tepid romantic comedies while the best roles at the studio went to the other queens of the lot, Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer. But under George Cukor's sympathetic and exacting direction, she was finally gaining some respect in such films as The Women (1939), Susan and God (1940) and A Woman's Face, in which she allowed her glamorous image to be challenged by a role requiring her to be a hardened, disfigured criminal for much of the story. Armed with new confidence in her abilities, she lobbied heavily to be cast in prestige projects like Random Harvest (1942) and Madame Curie (1943). But a new era was dawning at MGM; Garbo, Shearer and Crawford were on their way out, making room for Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Lana Turner and Greer Garson, Louis B. Mayer's new discovery, who ended up with the roles Crawford so desperately wanted. "If you think I made poor films at MGM after A Woman's Face, you should have seen the ones I went on suspension not to make!" she later said. After Reunion in France, she made one more picture for the studio - another rather improbable wartime tale called Above Suspicion (1943) - then departed Metro for good after 18 years. She went to Warner Brothers, where she held out for two years until she got the kind of meaty role she'd been waiting for, her Oscar®-winning Mildred Pierce (1945). Despite similarities (a love triangle set during the Nazi occupation and much ado about letters of transit), it has to be said this is no Casablanca (1942), although to be fair, it is a good example of the kind of propaganda film the studios were turning out in the early days of the war, with little worry about credibility. It does have some interesting and impressive credentials. As the pilot rescued by Crawford, budding star John Wayne made his second war film of the period (despite never seeing military service himself. for which he was later criticized). The producer was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who in a few years would begin a directorial career that earned him Academy Awards for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). One reason Crawford agreed to make Reunion in France was because she was promised John Wayne as her co-star, an actor she had wanted to meet for some time. According to biographers Lawrence J. Quirk and William Schoell in Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography (University Press of Kentucky), "...Joan was on the prowl for John Wayne...She made her move on him in the dressing room, and Wayne rebuffed her with as much charm as he could muster. He was married and in no mood for a dalliance. Joan didn't take no for an answer so easily, and she threw herself at him more than once...Wayne was more amused than angry by it all. Even in later years Joan would fume about the man who got away and the terrible picture she made because she'd been so hot for him. 'That lousy movie! Just because I wanted to get Wayne in the sack! And the only thing he could play was cowboys. We hit it off like filet mignon and ketchup!'" Crawford's co-star in Reunion in France, Natalie Schafer, recalled Joan's mood on the set once filming began (in Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography): "I think Joan was about at the end of her rope. She wasn't brutal or offensive to me or to anyone else - just tightly wound. I think she knew her days were numbered at MGM, she was smarting over the assignments they had given her. Reunion in France was not right for her and she just did not want to be [on the set]. But she remained very professional in spite of all that. That was Joan. Whatever was going on in her mind, you might see glimmers of it in her expression, in her off-camera mood, but she was always about getting the work done, being a pro." Reunion in France was the fourth feature directed by Jules Dassin, who later made several acclaimed films noir, among them Brute Force (1947), The Naked City (1948) and Night and the City (1950), and brought his wife, Melina Mercouri, to international attention in Never on Sunday (1960). One of the screenwriters was Marc Connelly, Pulitzer Prize-winner for his 1930 play The Green Pastures. The large cast boasts a number of noted character actors, including John Carradine, Crawford's later supporting player in Johnny Guitar (1954), as well as an early (uncredited) appearance by the young Ava Gardner. But this being a Crawford film, the real star of the picture was the costumes created by Irene. The star's many sumptuous gowns got the most attention in reviews, with the New York Herald Tribune noting: "Dressing like a refugee is certainly not in her contract." During this low point in her life and career, Joan Crawford hastily entered into her third (or fourth, depending on the source) marriage with a young actor, Phillip Terry, who had played a very brief bit part in her movie Mannequin (1937). The marriage lasted less than four years. John Wayne recalled Crawford's arrival at the studio during production of Reunion in France the morning after they were wed: "I knew what kind of marriage it was going to be when I saw her walk on the set. First came Joan, then her secretary, then her makeup man, then her wardrobe woman, finally Phil Terry, carrying the dog." Crawford herself later admitted her fault in the failure of the relationship: "I married because I was unutterably lonely. ... I've owed him an apology from the first." Director: Jules Dassin Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz Screenplay: Jan Lustig, Marvin Borowsky, Marc Connelly Cinematography: Robert Planck Editing: Elmo Veron Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons Original Music: Franz Waxman Cast: Joan Crawford (Michele de la Becque), John Wayne (Pat Talbot), Philip Dorn (Robert Cortot), Reginald Owen (Schultz), Moroni Olsen (Paul Grebeau), Henry Daniell (Emil Fleuron). BW-99m. Closed captioning. by Rob Nixon

Jules Dassin (1911-2008) - TCM Schedule Change for Director Jules Dassin Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 20th


In Tribute to director Jules Dassin, who died Monday, March 31st, at age 96, TCM is changing its evening programming on Sunday, April 20th to honor the actor with a double-feature salute.

Sunday, April 20th
8:00 PM Naked City
9:45 PM Topkapi


TCM REMEMBERS JULES DASSIN (1911-2008)

Jules Dassin gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947), "The Naked City" (1948), "Thieves' Highway" (1949) and "Night and the City" (1950), starring Richard Widmark who died this past Monday, March 24th.

After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--such as "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive. Dassin, however, maintained that among his own films, his personal preference was "He Who Must Die" (1958), starring his wife Melina Mercouri. It is one of his least known films and is rarely screened today but here is a description of it: "Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. The leading citizens of the town, under the auspices of the Patriarch, choose those that will play the parts in the Passion. A stuttering shepherd is chosen to play Jesus. The town butcher (who wanted to be Jesus) is chosen as Judas. The town prostitute is chosen as Mary Magdalene. The rest of the disciples are also chosen. As the movie unfolds, the Passion Play becomes a reality. A group of villagers, uprooted by the war and impoverished, arrive at the village led by their priest. The wealthier citizens of the town want nothing with these people and manipulate a massacre. In the context of the 1920's each of the characters plays out their biblical role in actuality."

Family

DAUGHTER: Julie Dassin. Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
SON: Joey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.
SON: Rickey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer.

Companion
WIFE: Beatrice Launer. Former concert violinist. Married in 1933; divorced in 1962.
WIFE: Melina Mercouri. Actor, politician. Born c. 1923; Greek; together from 1959; married from 1966 until her death on March 6, 1994.

Milestone

1936: First role on New York stage (Yiddish Theater)

1940: First film as assistant director Directed first stage play, "The Medicine Show 1941: Directed first short film, "The Tell-Tale Heart"

1942: Feature directing debut, "Nazi Agent/Salute to Courage"

Jules Dassin (1911-2008) - TCM Schedule Change for Director Jules Dassin Memorial Tribute on Friday, April 20th

In Tribute to director Jules Dassin, who died Monday, March 31st, at age 96, TCM is changing its evening programming on Sunday, April 20th to honor the actor with a double-feature salute. Sunday, April 20th 8:00 PM Naked City 9:45 PM Topkapi TCM REMEMBERS JULES DASSIN (1911-2008) Jules Dassin gained experience in theater and radio in New York before going to work in Hollywood in 1940, first with RKO (as assistant director) and then with MGM. Dassin hit his stride in the late 1940s with such dynamic (and still well-regarded) film noir melodramas as "Brute Force" (1947), "The Naked City" (1948), "Thieves' Highway" (1949) and "Night and the City" (1950), starring Richard Widmark who died this past Monday, March 24th. After being blacklisted he moved to Europe, where he scored his greatest international successes with the French-produced "Rififi" (1955) and the then-scandalous "Never on Sunday" (1959), starring his second wife Melina Mercouri. For the most part, his later films--such as "Up Tight" (1968), an ill-conceived black remake of John Ford's 1935 classic "The Informer"--have been disappointing and inconclusive. Dassin, however, maintained that among his own films, his personal preference was "He Who Must Die" (1958), starring his wife Melina Mercouri. It is one of his least known films and is rarely screened today but here is a description of it: "Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. The leading citizens of the town, under the auspices of the Patriarch, choose those that will play the parts in the Passion. A stuttering shepherd is chosen to play Jesus. The town butcher (who wanted to be Jesus) is chosen as Judas. The town prostitute is chosen as Mary Magdalene. The rest of the disciples are also chosen. As the movie unfolds, the Passion Play becomes a reality. A group of villagers, uprooted by the war and impoverished, arrive at the village led by their priest. The wealthier citizens of the town want nothing with these people and manipulate a massacre. In the context of the 1920's each of the characters plays out their biblical role in actuality." Family DAUGHTER: Julie Dassin. Actor. Mother, Beatrice Launer. SON: Joey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer. SON: Rickey Dassin. Mother, Beatrice Launer. Companion WIFE: Beatrice Launer. Former concert violinist. Married in 1933; divorced in 1962. WIFE: Melina Mercouri. Actor, politician. Born c. 1923; Greek; together from 1959; married from 1966 until her death on March 6, 1994. Milestone 1936: First role on New York stage (Yiddish Theater) 1940: First film as assistant director Directed first stage play, "The Medicine Show 1941: Directed first short film, "The Tell-Tale Heart" 1942: Feature directing debut, "Nazi Agent/Salute to Courage"

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was Reunion, the title under which it was copyrighted and under which trade publications reviewed it. According to a December 14, 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item, the title was changed to Reunion in France and the release date was moved up to Christmas 1942 to capitalize on an increased "national interest" in recent events in France. Pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter noted that Paramount star Alan Ladd was originally sought for the film's "romantic" lead, presumably for the role taken over by John Wayne, and that Agnes Moorehead was being sought for an unspecified role. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Keenan Wynn in the cast, but he was not in the released film. Hans Conried was mentioned in a July 13, 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item as being cast in the film, but he was not in the released film. Other actors mentioned in various news items whose appearance in the film has not been confirmed include Christine Seward and Bert Hicks. The film marked the motion picture debut of Broadway actress Margaret Laurence and the first M-G-M assignment of costume designer Irene.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1942

Released in United States 1942