CREST THEATRE: 1013 K Street, Downtown Sacramento
SINGLE TICKET: $12
Tickets are sold at the door & at the SFFF online store (on Square): Click HERE to order your Tickets.
Five unemployed Parisian workers, Jean (Jean Gabin), Charles (Charles Vanel), Raymond, nicknamed Tintin (Raymond Aimos), Jacques (Charles Dorat) and Mario (Raphaël Médina), a foreigner threatened with deportation, win the jackpot of the national lottery with a ticket purchased together. After much discussion, Jean convinces his friends to pool the money and invest it together.
Rowing up the river Marne, they discover an abandoned washhouse that they decide to convert into a “guinguette” (a riverside restaurant and dance hall), a place where workers like them can enjoy a relaxing Sunday. They happily live on site and work all day to achieve their dream. But the group's solidarity is fragile and luck is no longer on their side. Soon, there are only two of “la belle equipe” left, and they are both in love with the same woman, the sultry Gina (Viviane Romance)...
A LITLE BACKGROUND:
In May 1936 a left-wing coalition, le Front Populaire (Popular Front) formed a government that implemented a series of popular social reforms, including paid vacation.
Julien Duvivier's original pessimistic ending of They Were Five was deemed too negative by the film producers who asked Duvivier to reshoot a happy ending more in tune with the ideals of the time. They Were Five was presented in its happy version for more than 70 years, until the original ending was restored and became the definite version, in accordance with the director's will.
Despite the controversy over its ending, They Were Five is one of France's most beloved classics, and has become an emblematic film of its era, even though Duvivier always argued that he just wanted to tell the story of a group of friends.
Either way, it is a beautiful and poetic film, full of nostalgia, with a strong and engrossing story. The film is led by Jean Gabin, "the world's coolest movie star" - to quote the title of the anthology written by our guest Chuck Zigman, who will lead a Q&A after the screening.