|Simone Signoret plays Marie the "hooker with a heart of gold" in Casque d'or (1952) directed by Jacques Becker|
Casque d’or (1952)
d. Jacques Becker
Criterion Collection #270
Initially a failure upon release, Casque d'or, a period piece set in and amongst the Apache Dandy-Criminals of the Parisian Belle Epoque at the turn of the 20th century, was revived by the critics of the French New Wave, who saw something endearing in the low life characters and setting. Casque d'or isn't exactly "gritty" or "raw" in the way we think of noir realism after the revolution in appreciation for film noir. It is, after all, a period piece, which stand opposed to everything that the French New Wave stood FOR. Becker worked as a cinematographer with Jean Renoir, and his style reflects the cool, professionalism internationalism of the major cinema markets prior to the earthquake of post-war European film innovation.
Because of that influence, Casque d'Or is almost a "Hollywood" film in terms of the simple moral fairy tale of the plot and the physical attractiveness of the actors. It is not a part of the French New Wave, and viewers looking for experimental camera and plot techniques are advised to stick to Godard.