TamTam Books News

Thursday, October 20, 2005:

Wow! A review of the French version of 'J'IRAI CRACHER SUR VOS TOMBES' (I Spit on Your Graves). Published in 1963!

Screen: False Impression:French 'I Spit on Your Grave' at the Rialto The Cast

Published: June 29, 1963

"I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE," the French melodrama that went on view yesterday at the Rialto, provides a revealing illustration of some foreign misconceptions of America.

This curious film, which caused a minor scandal for its anti-American bias when it opened in Paris some years ago, has been equipped with an inaudible dubbed soundtrack and lurid advertising for its appearance on local screens. It seems unlikely to satisfy 42d Street audiences, since, viewed simply as sex melodrama, it is conventional and mild.

On other levels, however, the film is inadvertently absorbing. For Michael Gast, the director, has placed his setting in the American South — in a region populated by elderly aristocrats attended by parasol-carrying Negro footmen in sculptured gardens, while leather-jacketed motorcycle hoodlums play games with homemade electric chairs in an ice-cream parlor next door.

The wild locale is no more improbable than the peculiar plot, which requires Christian Marquand, as a handsome and mysterious bookstore clerk, to wreak havoc among an assortment of class-conscious local belles.

Before Mr. Marquand is machine-gunned by policemen when attempting to cross the Mason-Dixon line, he is revealed to be a Negro seeking revenge for the lynching of his brother, who had dared to love an upper-class Southern girl.

As social propaganda, the film is so absurd as to appear laughable to Americans — though the thought of a foreign audience's reaction is sobering.

The Cast
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, screenplay by Boris Vians and Jacques Dopagne, from a story by Mr. Vians; directed by Michael Gast; distributed by Audubon Films. At the Rialto Theater, Broadway and 42d Street. Running time: 100 minutes.
Joe Grant . . . . . Christian Marquand
Lizabeth Shannon . . . . . Antonella Lualdi
Stan Walker . . . . . Paul Guers
Chandley . . . . . Fernand Ledoux
Elmer . . . . . Jean Sorel
Don . . . . . Daniel Couchy
Sylvia Shannon . . . . . Renate Ewert

Tosh // 4:44 PM

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