Two Men in Manhattan Screen 4 articles

Two Men in Manhattan

1959

Two Men in Manhattan Poster
  • My Journey Through French Cinema: Bertrand Tavernier
    May 16, 2016 |

    The charm and beauty of a few nighttime shots, a couple of them filmed by François Reichenbach, the tracking shot highlighting Christian Chevalier's lovely song, shot on the main sound stage of Jenner Studios, were disserved by a mediocre script with a string of red herrings. Narrative freedom was confused with the lack of a script. The performance by Melville, a dubious actor made the film even more amateurish.

  • There's something quaint, modest, maybe even a little naïve about Two Men in Manhattan, lending it a unique feel among Melville's later, probably greater, and certainly graver achievements. Two Men in Manhattan may have unknowingly brought the first phase of Melville's career to a close, but it doesn't represent reconciliation on the director's part so much as transition, gilding his rough and tumble aesthetic with a social consciousness that would carry well through the coming decade.

  • Melville’s cool, taut black-and-white images exalt, with an outsider’s passion, the city’s lights, the architecture, the bustling streetscapes, and the romantic desolation, but, as the plot turns sordid, he balances the atmospheric sleaze with an ultra-French infusion of national honor... [Melville] turns a story of back-alley pleasures and lowball jackpots into a glorious myth about the making of a nation’s glorious myths.

  • "American women are very direct!" Maté’s D.O.A. governs the filming, a captivating mix of grainy snapshots of subways and diners plus fastidious French interiors, the mental topography of Melville’s owlish deadpan. The mystery segues into a dilemma, the dead politician sprawled in his lover’s apartment was once a Resistance hero and is now paparazzi catnip.