alr

It Happened at the Inn
(Goupi Mains Rouges)

Screening on Film
Directed by Jacques Becker.
With Fernand Ledoux, Blanchette Brunoy, Geroges Rollin .
France, 1943, 35mm, black & white, 100 min.
French with English subtitles.
Print source: Institut Français

Whether the comical nicknames of the rural Goupi clan signify cartoon archetypes or are a clue to the film’s hidden-in-plain-sight politics or both, Becker’s second feature successfully skirted censorship during Occupied France with its ambiguous depiction of a “return to the land.” When the prodigal “Monsieur” arrives from the city, he is welcomed by a cruel practical joke, an arranged marriage, a double murder mystery and a legend of buried treasure. Perhaps Becker’s tactics are as secretive and comically puzzling as the rustic Goupi family, whose tight bonds are laced with greed, violence, madness and treachery. Evading any easy reading, the film switches from expressionistic horror to romantic pastoral interludes to rambunctious comedy while maintaining a compelling suspense throughout. Perhaps it is this complicated, satirical ambidexterity that gave birth to such a captivatingly eccentric entry in his oeuvre and in the history of French cinema. 

Part of film series

Read more

Rediscovering Jacques Becker

Other film series with this film

Read more

Les Années Noires: French Film During the Occupation, Part 2

Current and upcoming film series

Read more

Música de Câmara. The Cinema of Rita Azevedo Gomes

Read more

From the Harvard Film Archive Collection …

Read more

Chile Año Cero / Chile Year Zero

Read more

People and their Virtue. Two Films by Wang Bing

Read more

Trenque Lauquen by Laura Citarella

Read more

I Heard It Through the Grapevine with James Baldwin

Read more

Filmmaker, Guest Worker: Zelimir Zilnik’s Expatriates

Read more

Adachi Masao’s Revolution+1

Read more

Out of the Ashes – The US-ROK Security Alliance & the Emergence of South Korean Cinema