Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Released in the US as The Chips are Down, Jean Delannoy's Les Jeux sont Faits represented the first work written directly for the screen by Jean-Paul Sartre. Not surprisingly, the film is drenched with existentialist philosophy, but overall it works best as a romantic tragedy. The story takes place in an unnamed dictatorship, resistance fighter Pierre (Marcello Pagliero) is killed in a street confrontation. Almost simultaneously, Eve (Micheline Presle), the wife of the dictator, dies of poison administered by her unfaithful husband. Pierre and Eve rematerialize on a dismal little street outside of Heaven's waiting room, where the businesslike admissions clerk (Marguerite Moreno) informs them that they might have become lovers had they met while still alive--and that it is possible to briefly return them to Earth to find out if their romance could have been consummated. Desperately, Eve and Pierre agree to be restored to life, hoping not only to fall in love but also to alter the events leading up to their deaths. Alas, and inevitably, nothing works out as planned. Though Sartre's traditional defeatism is prevalent throughout Les Jeux sont Faits, what lingers longest in the memory is the brilliant performance by Micheline Presle and the (literally) haunting musical score by Georges Auric.
politics, afterlife, argument, Communism, consummation, death, Fascism, life, love, lover, official, poison, politician, reanimation, return, revolution, ruler, second-chance, time, uprising, wife