Scene of the Day: “Quai des Orfèvres” (1947)
Inspector Antoine (the incomparable Louis Jouvet) is investigating the murder of a lecherous old man and is closer than he may realize as he talks with Dora (Simone Renant), a photographer, who is covering up something for the woman she loves. The conversation is effortless, deep, and sounds better in the original French. Written and directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Antoine: Say. A 2.8
Dora: You a connoisseur?
Antoine: I do some Sunday photography. Nothing exciting. I shoot houses, old shops, small streets. Barnivel got me hooked.
Antoine: Don’t remember him? A terrific old guy. (Blows nose) But he had a thing about poison. He wiped out his whole family. Wife, two daughters, brother-in-law. He photographed them on their deathbed. A real artist. I missed him after he was booked. We’d become friends.
Dora: That happen often?
Antoine: Befriending the clientele? Sure. We keep company. It’s good for our education. We don’t have much schooling. We move in all kinds of circles, meet all sorts of people. I learned engraving from a counterfeiter, accounting from a swindler. A taxi dancer tried to teach me the tango. But nothing doing. It wasn’t up my alley.
Antoine: (Offers his hand.) Shake my left, it’s nearer the heart. A pleasure.
Oui. Un plaisir.