Young Mexican, Roberto Ramírez is in luck the day he illegally crosses the border into the States to find a job. Escaping the fate of his fellow illegals who are rounded up by the Border Patrol, it doesn't take him long to find work and learn how to act like a gringo to keep the police off his track and avoid being sent back to his country. He even begins to make friends; but just when things are starting to go right for him he is deported back over the border. Refusing to give up, he takes another stab at his fortune and heads for Colorado, where he runs into a man who turns out to be his father.
Coming home after several days of hard editing on his latest film, José Sirgado discovers that things aren't quite the same as they were when he left. First, his lover's moved back in; and second, ther's a parcel waiting for him containing a recorded message and a strange film in Super 8.
This documentary was shot in the city of Calcutta, which had 8 million inhabitants at the moment of filming. Malle, who also wrote the script for the commentary which he himself narrates, deliberately transmits a feeling of awkwardness, chaos and confusion.
Penniless and kind-hearted, Peter's greatest dream is to marry his beloved Lisbeth. One day, he meets a little glass man in the woods who grants him his wish to become rich and bu the village factory. Naively taken in by the wicked Höllander-Michel, poor Peter's herat turns to stone, making him hard and uncaring. Only another visit to the woods will help him to recover his good heart.
Shy, immature and a virgin to boot, Mike works at the dank, cheerless public baths of a London suburb. Falling for one of his workmates, who spends her free time dashing from boyfriend to lover in a crazy bid to make something of herself, Mike starts tailing the girl, never letting up on his vigilance as he anxiously waits for his first sexual experience.
A detachment of German soldiers sent to the Baltic to curb the Communist during the 1919 uprisings set up quarters in the stately home of a rich family reuined by the war. Obsessed with keeping his troops in line, not even offspring Sophie's love can sidetrack Commander Erich from his mission. Rejected by her idol, the girl throws herself herart and soul into the Bolshevik struggle.
Small-town caciques in north-east Brazil keep Manuel, a poor cowboy, and his wife Rosa on the run in a country assailed by drought, famine and repression. rural banditry is breathing its last as the runaways cross paths with oddballs like gunman Antonio das Mortes, or his bitter rival, Corisco the Blond Devil, or the devote Sebastião, who's mystic beliefs are absolutely no object to his preaching violence.
A shop assistant in Don Vila's hardware store since the age of fourteen, Fernández hopes he will inherit the business when the old man dies; but Don Vila proves highly sound of health and looks set to stay that way. When the old owner eventually passes away, Fernández marries the strange spiritualusm-dabbling Miss Plasini, realising his blunder too late as she orders him around and generally makes his life a misery. Seeing his dreams go up in smoke, and losing all hope of ever being anything but a shop assistant, Fernández takes a tragic decision.
Artic prospector Jack McCann becomes one of the world's wealthiest men when he literally falls into a mountain of gold. Twenty years later, luxurious life on his private Caribbean island brings him no peace of mind as he copes with Helen, his bored , alcoholic wife; Tracy, his daugther, and her dissolute, philandering social-climber of a husband; not to mention the Miami mobsters who are after his island to build a casino.
A small-town firemen's ball turns to disaster as the contenders in the beauty contest refuse to come out of the changing rooms, the prizes for the raffle disapear, someone has a heart-attack and a building goes on fire.
A group of late-19th century workers are fighting to shorten their 14-hour working day. Led by a socialist with a price on his head who urges them to go on an indefinite strike, the workers are taken aback at the violence to the conflict. The bosses take on a group of heavies and a leader of the struggle is killed by a train in a melee beside the station, while one of the workers is fatally wounded during abrutal assault by the police on the factory sit-in. Although they've got no choice but to go back to work, the labourers have realised the extent of the trouble they can cause if they just set their minds to it.
All alone while her husband does his rounds of the local barracks and POW camps of post-World War I, pretty Lisa spends most of her time tending her beautiful garden in the Bulgarian city of Turnovo. The sudden arrival of a Serbian prisoner cum peach thief in the shape of Ivo soon takes the edge off her boredom.
Shot at the height of the Civil War, Sierra de Teruel was the Spanish Republican Goverment's biggest film production ever. The entrance of Francoist troops to Barcelona Brought the filming to an abrupt halt. A French producer financed the editing and the sound, but not the shooting of the missing sequences. Improvising on the editing table, Malrauz knocked up the images with daring of a neophyte, putting together a then totally unconventional film. It was never released and the negative and copies were destroyed by the Gestapo after the invasion of France by German troops. One copy -the one being screened at the Festival- did however make it out of France in 1942 and was stored at the Library of Congress in Washington.
The French Communista Party commisioned Jean Renoir to direct a propagandist film. Censored for years, the result was quite a hit at private screenings in working class film theatres, although it wasn't in fact commercially released until 1969, and even then probably thanks to the events of May '68. The film is based on three sketches set in specific sorroundings (the factory, the countryside and the school) and testifies to the role of the French Communist Party during the years immediately prior to the war. Fiction merges with real speeches by the important political characters of the moment.
Every year without fall, a flashy American woman arrives with her secretary, ex-lover and partner to one of the poorest parts of Rome where she gives the same couple the chance to win a huge sum of money at cards. Although Antonia is a fair hand, her husband Pepinno is less of a sure bet and the widow keeps on winning. One year, she even passes out when Antonia and Peppino are on the verge of victory, recovering just in time to turn the game around in her own favour. Desperate to see her lose, the neighbours make Pepinno change places with the cardsharp Righetto, but to no avail.
Ariane Chavasse, daugther of a French detective, loves to read her father's private dossiers. She becomes fascinated with the file of american playboy Frank Flannagan and a certain Madame X. She soons learns that Monsieur X has sworn to kill the American, and goes to his hotel suite to warn him. The visit leads to many an afternoon rendezvous, although the girls hides her identity. Onde day, in a steam bath, Flannagan meets Monsieur X, who advises him to consult detective Chavasse for more information about the youngster. Chavasse reports that the girls is his own, innocent daugther and that Flannagan must leave paris to save her.
Madly in love with the actress Yvonne Orlac, famous Doctor Gogol is fraught with jealousy at the thought of her happy marriage to a pianist. Desperate when her husband loses his hands in a train accident, the young wife turns to the doctor for help. Obsessed with the girl, the doctor accepts, but fiendishly gives him the hands of a dead criminal. A great success, the operation has terrible after effects.
This is a remake of a silent film shot in 1924.
A shy, cowardly theatre professor in Rome, Giacobbe invents his own double so that he can shake off his inhibitions and do all the things he'd love to do himself but doesn't dare. Giacobbe's looalike runs after women, seduces and kills the girl he loves and stages a metaphor of the revolution. This is an extremely liberal adaptation of Dostoievsky's book, The Double.
After roaming the streets, young Chris "Aloysious" Parker enters a flat where he meets a young girl. He then visits his mother in a psychiatric hospital, but she doesn't seem to recognise him. Running into a whole assortment of down-and-outs, he passes a cinema announcing The Savage Innocents (Nicholas Ray, 1959), listens to a saxo player, sleeps in the street and robs a car to make some money. Going back to the falt, the girl has gone. He packs hisbags and heads for Europe.
Having shed the ties of wedlock on leaving his wife, caring middle-aged doctor Archie Bollen doesn't really kno what to do with himself. His problem is soon solved when he goes t a party and meets Petulia, the wife of a weak-willed millonaire fledgling who knocks her around. During their ensuing affair, archie is mystified when his attempts to make the girl see reason and leave her husband come to nothing.
Popularly acknowkedge as "the filthiest person alive", sleaze queen Divine lives in a trailer somewhere near Baltimore with her demented Mama Edie, her moronic son Crackers and the pretty Cotton. Forced into action when competition appears in the shape of the Marbles, a villainous couple who start kidnapping young girls and selling their babies to lesbian couples to try and ster her title, it doesn't take long for Divine to confirm her claim to baing the most disgusing person in the world.
When clothes designer Isidore Ducasse defines himsel somewhat pretentiosuly as a "creator" to justify the metal outfits he makes for women, the fashion rags decide to play along and exaggerate the quality of his designs.
An obvious take-off of the fashion world and the media, William Klein seems to predict the over-the-top prima donna treatment now given to models and the disproportionate extremes of television.
Furious when his young son dies through lack of money to save him, Miro leads a group of fishermen onto the streets against the racketeer who pays them a pittance for their catch. The dealer hires an agent provocateur cum runner for deputy to break the men up. When the police arrive to stop the rumpus, the agent uses the cover of the ensuing commotion to shoot Miro; but the evildoers' plans turn againts them when the men close ranks, setting sail in a funeral procession with a great show of collective strenght.
Having caught syphilis from a patient on a Pacific island during the war, young surgeon Kyoji Fujisaki discovers that his subsequent demobilisation and return to civilian life brings nothing but pain.
Glen, a young country bumpkin who dreams of becoming a playwright, has sent his play, along with $1,500, to a skick Broadway producer named Miller. Arriving in New York to learn how his play is progressing, Glen finds Miller holed up in a Manhattan hotel because of a large, unpaid bill, rehearsing another script with a group of hungry actors. A man named Jenkins, representing a mysterious backer, appears with a cheque of $50,000 and a protégé, Miss Abbott, who falls for Glen; but the check is rubber, and Miller and his aids try to get their new musical on the boards before the cheque bounces back from the bank. Miller discovers the young man has a voice that makes women swoon and succeeds in persuading Glen to take over the leading roles in his musical.
Poet Charles Serking is unhappy with his life in a skid row suburb of Hollywood. His life is split between a latent desire to make good as a writer and his unbridled appetite for sex and alcohol. He spends night after night with women who, like himself, are the dregs of a society that wants nothing to do with them.
Having assumed the identitu of a fellow prisoner who didin't survive the German concrentration camp, a Polish girl named Victoria heads for the former's wealthy relatives in San Fraancisco at the end of the war. She discovers her namesake had a son who is heir to a fortune and ends up falling for and marrying his guardian. Her fappiness is shortlived as she gradually realises that her partner intends to kill both herself and the child. A new lawyer friend comes to the same conclusion; but the husband eventually becomes the victim of one of his own devilish plans.
Passengers on a New York subway are striken with terror when two teenage delinquents get on in search of fun. Although the hooligans are outnumbered, they tum the traveller's passivity and lack of initiative to their own advantage. The plot evolves around the reactions of the diferent travellers to an increasingly dramatic situation.
Late-night Philadelphia radio talk jockey David Staebler is bowled over when he gets an urgent phone call from his rarely-seen brother Jason, who's looking for someone to bail him out of a police cell. Back on the street, Jason tries to sell David the far-fetched, get rich quick scheme of buying the rights to a Pacific island - but luck is against them and things don't go quite as planned.
Poor peasants Eufemio and Chabela are at their wit's end when their son Nicolás falls seriously ill and they've got no money for medicine. Chabela decides to ask old Tomás for help, but the old man's condition of going to bed with him is too much for her and she leaves empty-handed. Desperate, Eufemio steals a pearl from one of the statues in the church, but he drops it and it is swallowed by a pig. Accused of theft, he is thrown into jail while the locals oblige the grudging Tomás to pay up and help the boy to get better. Eufemio is released on lack of evidence, but the pearl miracously reappears.
Two sisters with very different personalities, Ester and Anna, and the latter's 10-year-old son Johan, make their way back to Sweden by train through a country where everyone speaks a strange language. Stopping to rest, they take lodgings in a hotel of a city that looks as if it's in the middle of a war. Ester falls seriously ill and Johan explores the mysterious world of the hotel, running into a troupe of dwarfs, while Anna has an affair with a waiter. Everyone finally accepts the tragic inevitability of being unable to communicate, a situation which is further complicated by Ester's physical attraction for her sister.
The problems of post-war life in the shape of a woman's love for the man she met on the South Asian front. Taking just about anything from him, she calmly accepts the fact that he refuses to leave his wife or stop seeing other women. Not put off in the slightest when he is transferred to a remote island, she dies before getting the chance to make her dream of living together come true.
Unable to take her eyes of a tramp who has become a recent regular, Parisian suburb bar owner Thérèse Langlois is increasingly convinced that the man is the husband she had given up for missing after deportation by the Nazis during the war. The fact that he has lost his memory only strengthens her conviction. Deciding to find out more, she invites the vagabond home to stay with her, calling him by her husband's nade on the day he walks out the door forever. Seeing she's gone too far, and realising she should have been more patient, Thérèse can only hope that he'll eventually be ready to come home.
When Detective Inspector Harris busts Jack Barret for having done his bosses out of a tidy sum of money, he is surprised to discover that he seems to be broke. After unseccessfully trying to contact eminent Queen's Cousel Melville Farr, Barret commits suicide. Too later, Far realises that the boy was being blackmailed to hush up their earlier homosexual relationship, having chosen to pay up and sacrifice his life rather than blacken the name of the man he loved. Farr risks his reputation, his future and his marriage to unmask the blackmailer.