Le Pays Sans Etoiles (1945)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Having been forced to put his directorial career on hold during WWII, Georges Lacombe returned to the screen with Le Pays Sans Etoilles (Land Without Stars). Based on a novel by Pierre Vary, the film utilizes the old gimmick of featuring the same cast of characters in two different parallel-development stories. The protagonists weather a crisis in contemporary times, then undergo much the same experiences as different characters a hundred years earlier. The flashback-within-flashback structure would seem to be inspired by such American films as Citizen Kane and Passage to Marseilles, though neither film was in general distribution in France during the war years. Le Pays Sans Etoilles was released at the same time as Etoile Sans Lumiere (Star without Light), leading some critics to confuse the two films.