Les Hommes Veulent Vivre (1961)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |  
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Russian-born director Leonide Moguy who has worked both in the U.S. and in Europe, has almost single-handedly put together this routine anti-nuclear drama about atomic research getting out of hand. The story begins and ends with the same scene -- a man is calling the police -- and is told in flashbacks. The man is a French scientist who has come to the U.S. to do nuclear research. He is completely devoted to his job, even at the expense of his family, and will not leave his work for any of the most compelling personal reasons. His son dies, his wife leaves him, and a colleague quits because his conscience is bothering him. Then one day, the Frenchman discovers the key to making a "death ray" and gets caught in circumstances beyond his control -- his discovery is stolen.