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: Eddie Constantine  ( 1664 )
cigar joe
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« : July 28, 2020, 09:08:59 AM »

So here's the story. I'd seen him before a long time ago in Alphaville then a few years ago in an Italian gangster flick that titoli sent as a avi file, don't remember its name. So with those two films as a sampler I wasn't impressed.....

Then I was checking in a similar fashion the films of Diana Dors. Again like with Eddie Id seen her long ago in The Long Haul with Victor Mature then caught her again in The Unholy Wife. The first film wasn't much of a showcase but the second was better, however the film wasn't as good as it could have been. So my next sample was Tread Softly Stranger where Dors is a real sexpot who looks like she is going to constantly spill her boobs out of her various tops. It had some amusing in your face visual sexual innuendos like a giant rod poking into a hot furnace at an iron works rather than a fade to black when Dors and George Baker have sex.

So next up for Dors was Room 43 aka Passport to Shame more of an ensemble cast about the sex trade in London. The film also starred Herbert Lom as the pimp, Odile Versois, Brenda de Banzie, Robert Brown and Eddie Constantine in the lead playing a Canadian cab driver and speaking American English. That film was a 7-8/10 and Eddie was great it was an eye opener.

Eddie Constantine looks and sounds like he could be Michael Shannon's father.


Eddie Constantine


Michael Shannon

So I then fortunately found La m?me vert de aka Poison Ivy (1953) in an English language release, its cut slightly (there is a new Blu where you can see what got cut mostly a strip show act at the Shipwreck Bar) but its impressive for the second film by the director and first starring role for Constantine as character Lemule "Lemmie" Caution. Plus its shot all in Casablanca (no Rick's place though lol) and environs it was a decent 7/10. The English cut is on Amazon Prime the Blu is streaming on OK

Another eye opener is the Lemmie Caution US FBI character, who is a combination of James Bond 007 without the gadgets and Matt Helm's womanizer, always with a cigarette and drink in his hand and a bit of Daren McGavin's toned down version of Mike Hammer.

The Lemmie Caution character caught on in France and Europe like Lex Baker with Old Shatterhand in Germany and like Eastwood's The Man With No Name phenom caught on in Italy and eventually with the world.

Now trying to find more Caution flicks especially the second flick This Man Is Dangerous (1953) which is only available for streaming on Alocine and even though I joined, not available to stream.  :'(

Missing from any (known to me) sources are Dames Get Along aka Les femmes s'en balancent (1954) and Diamond Machine aka Vous pigez? (1955)

I have found Women Are Like That aka Comment qu'elle est? (1960) which was another 6-7/10 on Amazon Prime and the Italian titled Passoporto Falso which is ?a va ?tre ta f?te (1960) and is very well made I'm about 18 minutes into it on Youtube

I haven't searched for Ladies' Man aka Lemmy pour les dames (1962) Your Turn, Darling aka ? toi de faire... mignonne (1963)

After the above came Alphaville(1965)
 



« : July 28, 2020, 12:29:34 PM cigar joe »

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« #1 : July 28, 2020, 07:00:47 PM »

Thanks, CJ. I have the Pathe blu of the restored Poison Ivy which came out in 2018. I wasn't wowed by it, but I'll give it another try. This Man is Dangerous seems like the one to see, especially as that is the Caution film highlighted by Tavernier in his survey filmMy Journey Through French Cinema. Like you I haven't come across a copy yet. Let me know if you hear anything.



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« #2 : July 30, 2020, 03:41:57 AM »

I'm surprised titoli hasn't replied, he's probably seen them all.

« : September 17, 2020, 05:29:30 PM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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« #3 : August 25, 2020, 03:24:02 AM »



Cet homme est dangereux (This Man Is Dangerous) (1953) Eddie Constantine's second outing as Lemmy Caution. Lemmy Caution escapes a Kansas Penitentiary and heads to France to thwart a planned kidnapping of a young American Heiress who is hanging out on the riviera gambling on a private yacht. The owner of the yacht is working with local mobster Siegella Gr?goire Aslan whose M.O. is to always wears gloves so that he never leaves a trace.

Again, 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 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 Siegella gang hangs out (like El Indios gang) in a deserted monastery. Eddie fakes being drunk like Eastwood in Fistfull, There is a good copy available on DVD from Video Dimensions with English Subs, 7/10


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« #4 : August 25, 2020, 01:42:41 PM »

Thanks for mentioning Video Dimensions, CJ. I hadn't heard about them but I found them on amazon. They have several Gilles Grangier films, including a Maigret with Jean Gabin I haven't seen. I'll be ordering a few things.



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« #5 : September 01, 2020, 05:05:41 AM »

There's an Eddie Constantine French release from 1963 I've got a bit of a hankering after. 'Les femmes d'aboard.' He plays an agent but not Lemmy Caution this time.

I'll try BFI when I'm next looking through their stuff. And for any other Eddie Constantine I may come across.

I always wonder where Peter Cheyney got the name of Lemmy Caution from. An how a British author invents an American character who finds fame in France. I've got a feeling Cheyney's writing was involved in an obscure French TV series in 1974 with German actors. It would be hell trying to track that one down I'm thinking.

I actually enjoyed 'Alphaville.' A haggard-looking Constantine wearing his Bogart trenchie. Anybody out there who liked 'Alphaville' may want to try Patrick McGoohan's 'The Prisoner.' Some think McGoohan got the idea from 'Alphaville.' The Prisoner is the same type of rebellious tough guy pitched against psychological operations.


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« #6 : September 17, 2020, 06:28:02 PM »

An interesting observation, Eddie Constantine was a sort of precursor to the Eastwood phenomena. An American actor goes to Europe and becomes a big star, only with Eddie it never crossed the Atlantic and caught on here. Like Eastwood, Eddie made three films in rapid succession (Ill stick with the English titles), Poison Ivy, This Man Is Dangerous, and Dames Get Along 1953-54. The next one was called Diamond Machine (1955) but I can't find it anywhere. The fifth film wasn't till five years later Women Are Like That (1960) (streaming Amazon Prime) and this film is starting to get a bit more comedic, i.e. Lemmys fistfights which were always a bit over the top are more burlesqued example, He hits a heavy who goes careening down a hall like a pinball bouncing from side to side and finally crashing through a door.   

This reminds me of how Spaghetti Westerns went from serious Western to the political Zapata Westerns to comedy Westerns. Its possible these international spy flicks did the same thing in the fifties and they seemed to repeat in the sixties with James Bond, Matt Helm, and Derek Flint.
 
There are 10 Caution novels by Peter Cheyney. There are 10 Caution films in all, nine of which star Constantine, and of those, six are based on the novels.





"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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