Mississippi Mermaid Poster

Mississippi Mermaid (1969)

Crime | Romance 
Rayting:   7.1/10 6K votes
Country: France | Italy
Language: French
Release date: 5 February 1970

A wealthy plantation owner is captivated by a mysterious woman with a shady past.

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gabridl 10 May 2009

I'm trying to find something of value here. The best I can muster is that Truffaut wanted to make a movie as tedious, painful, puerile, annoying, illogical, and brainless as the experience of being in love. If that was his goal, then he succeeded, but the solution to his exercise is really a drag to watch.

There is one scene that screams for a spoof: Belmondo compares the features of Deneuve's face to the features in a landscape . All I could think the whole time was "glacier," "ice floe," "two lonely fishermen wearing Army surplus on a frozen lake in Minnesota."

The only other point of interest was the resurrection of Buffoon's theory of climatic determinism. The tropics are presented as paradise, and things get progressively worse as they get colder, hell being Calvinist French Switzerland. That was kind of funny.

bobsgrock 7 July 2011

Fmovies: On the surface, Francois Truffaut's Mississippi Mermaid is a taut, well- made Hitchcockian thriller that features good looking actors (including the alluring, icy blonde), exciting chases and bizarre circumstances. However, Truffaut gives the story his own twist by focusing on the characteristic of obsession and how it claws at the protagonist and affects his judgment.

Jean-Paul Belmondo puts aside his typical suave and cool demeanor to play a wealthy but lonely and somewhat naive tobacco plantation owner who puts in a request for a mail-order bride, only to discover that she looks like Catherine Deneuve. Naturally, he is taken under her spell and soon discovers she is much more duplicitous than he expected. Many film lovers may know this story better as it was remade in 2001 with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie as Original Sin. Despite having not seen that film, I am confident it cannot be better than this version for two reasons. First of all, Truffaut is a much better director, able to seemingly tie all these various strings together into a coherent and plausible story. Second, there is no way Banderas and Jolie could match the sizzling chemistry between Belmondo and Deneuve. They are capable of being remarkably sexy and sultry without resorting to complete nakedness. This is a sign of true thespian abilities.

While not one of Truffaut's stronger works such as his Antoine Doinel series or Jules and Jim, it is still an entertaining romantic thriller that manages to be both romantic and thrilling. Given the status of many of these types of films recently, there is plenty of reason to revisit this New Wave example.

ma-cortes 27 January 2009

This agreeable French movie deals about a millionaire owner of a tobacco factory on an African island nearly to Madagascar named Louis(Jean Paul Belmondo). He's a single man looking wife, then he advertises a bride and gets a gorgeous woman named Julia(Catherine Deneuve). When she spontaneously appears turns out to be much more attractive than expected. He marries to Julia but she suddenly disappears.A French eye private(Michael Bouquet) is hired by Julia's sister and soon he's on the trail of his previous spouse. Later Louis encounters her in a dancing-hall under another name. In spite of the romantic delusion and everything, Louis goes on enamored with his enigmatic wife.

This film is a splendid drama plenty of betrayal,deception, killing, theft and Hitchcockian suspense. Good performances by Jean Paul Belmondo as young proprietary of a cigarette company who seems determined to fall under the spell of a femme fatale and a wonderful Catherine Deneuve as suspect heroine. The film gets several references to the American cinema, but Truffaut(400 blows) was a fervent moviegoer, such as : Johnny Guitar, Colorado Jim, Bogart, and Hitchcock.The USA version was cut numerous minutes and deserves an urgent restoring and remastering. Loosely based on the novel titled'Waltz into darkness' by Cornell Woolrich (Rear window and screenwriter of Alfred Hitchcock hour) who also was adapted in 'Truffaut's The bride wore black'.Colorful cinematography by Denys Clerval(Stolen kisses) and atmospheric musical score by Antoine Duhamel, Truffaut's usual musician.This is one of the best of his suspense movies along with ¨Farenheit 451 and Shoot the piano player¨. Remade by an inferior version by Michael Christofer(2001) with Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie and Jack Thompson, full of erotic and lust scenes.

mooning_out_the_window 23 December 2006

Mississippi Mermaid fmovies. The film is a joy to watch, not just for the plot, which is gripping, but also for the superb performances of the actors, Deneuve and Belmondo. Though considered a 'flop' on its first release it has become a critical success, and it is clear to see why. Deneuve's acting style suited the film brilliantly. she constantly gives the impression that she is holding back or hiding something, and her character in this film is. I will not spoil it with saying what, though it is divulged fairly early on. Belmondo is lovable as the fairly naiive but in love tobacconist. I would recommend this film to all Truffaut or Deneuve fans. It is a brilliant Hitchcockian style thriller with exciting twists and interesting relationships and characters that develop as the film does. The film is approx 2 hrs, so you feel that you have not been sold short. Deneuve steals the show in this film, and it is clear that at the time of making the film Truffaut was very much smitten with her. A definite must see for any cineaste or moviefan. 10/10

jayraskin1 13 July 2010

I am surprised that nobody has yet pointed out that the ending in the snow is an homage to Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion." The film is dedicated at the beginning to Renoir.

Jean Renoir was the great humanist director. For him, all that matters is how we treat human beings. The same here for Truffaut. The film tells us that it does not matter if you're rich or poor, male or female, upholding the law or fighting it, the only thing that matters is love. This is a romantic film that has occasional touches of a good mystery/detective/noir film. The Hitchcock film that it most reminded me of was "Marnie". There, like here, it is hard to know if crime or patient love will win out in the end.

I did not care much for the New Wave style editing, which seemed out of sync with the dramatic story at times. The many shots of Belmondo driving kept reminding me of the beginning of "Breathless." The color seemed a bit dull and washed out.

The locations are lovely, but Truffaut seems to have only one thing on his mind, the relationship between the lead characters, Louis and Juli/Marion. The characters and the audience think they know each other, but the film keeps fooling them and us. We are constantly getting new information that makes us re-evaluate who they are and they are constantly surprising each other. For example, Louis has been telling Juli/Marion how much he loves her and how beautiful she is and then suddenly he gets upset and tells her how there are many of her kind - she is not really a woman or a girl, but a "chick". The term "chick" is far more demeaning here then the term "bitch" or "slut" could ever have been. He tells her that her cold attitude actually makes her ugly. Watching the scene, one thinks about how easily and naturally men can degrade women, even women they love.

The film is a bit long and occasionally meanders, but it is emotionally intense at many points along the way. It seems that nothing is happening and then suddenly there's a surprise that makes you think, "Oh my goodness, I didn't expect that." It may not be one of Truffaut's best films, but second-rate Truffaut is still better than 90% of other directors' best stuff.

snoozer1 19 October 2004

I've slowly been collecting the films available on DVD of both Catherine Deneuve and Francois Truffaut. Both actress and director have done some stinkers in their time - fortunately Mississipi Mermaid is not one of them.

Next to "The Soft Skin", coincidentally staring Deneuve's sister (the late Francoise Dorleac), this would have to be my favourite Truffaut film.

As well as directing, Truffaut also wrote the screenplay. Something that always strikes me about Truffaut is his almost childlike innocence when presenting a story -- one could almost call it naivety.

There's a scene towards the end of the film where Belmondo returns to the apartment in Lyon with the remains of the loot. He rings the doorbell and Deneuve answers wearing a negligee. In the time it takes Belmondo to reach their room from the street, Deneuve changes into her dress, puts on her best pair of stockings and shoes, then lies on the bed and pretends she is asleep. It's a scene that could almost come from the mind of a child - but that's Truffaut for you.

Watching Catherine Deneuve in her films of the late 60's is indeed a sensory pleasure. She is so extraordinarily beautiful it is almost painful for us to watch. Incidentally, for those fans, there are a couple of topless scenes of her in this film - indeed a sinful pleasure.

I disagree with previous posters. I see nothing 'Hitchcockian' about the film at all. As for the 'look' of it - i love the look of the older film stock used in the 60's. It certainly gives films of this period a unique look.

Highly recommended for both Deneuve and Truffaut fans......

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