The Red and the Black (1954)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama  |   Run Time - 145 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Stendhal's brilliant but difficult novel Le Rouge et le Noir all but defies transfer to film, but adaptor/director Claude Autant-Lara comes within shouting distance of full success. Stripped to essentials, the plot concerns Julien Sorel (Gerard Philipe), a carpenter's son who becomes a tutor. While his duties do not include the seduction of his employer's wife (Danielle Darrieux), Sorel offers this service free of charge. After this episode, Sorel becomes a priest...and the story isn't over yet. Though the director is too doggedly literal in his adaptation at times, and despite the fact that Gerard Philipe was about ten years too old for the part of Jean Sorel, Le Rouge et le Noir manages to hold the audience in its thrall for 2 hours and 50 minutes (most American prints, retitled The Red and the Black, run only 140 minutes).



priest, seduction, tutor