Elena and Her Men
(Elena et les hommes)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jean Renoir.
With Ingrid Bergman, Jean Marais, Mel Ferrer.
France/Italy, 1956, 35mm, color, 98 min.
In English.
Print source: Janus Films

Forming the final work in Renoir’s loose late-period trilogy (with French Cancan and The Golden Coach) of technicolor and artifice, Elena and Her Men stars Ingrid Bergman, finally working with Renoir after a decade of trying, playing the title character, a Polish princess from a family of dwindling fortune, caught between three suitors: the older, wealthy man she has promised to marry (Pierre Bertin), the Count de Chevincourt (Mel Ferrer) and General Rollan (Jean Marais). The love quadrangle is further complicated by the General’s political advisors trying to get him to seize power in a coup d’etat.  Despite the messy, complicated nature of the intersecting lives and loves, Renoir brings it all together for a very satisfying ending that led Godard to comment “that Renoir is the most intelligent of filmmakers...and Elena is the most intelligent film in the world.” 

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