The Eternal Return (1943)

THE ETERNAL RETURN (1943)
(a.k.a. L’ETERNEL RETOUR)
Article #663 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-7-2003
Posting Date: 6-6-2003

A man finds a wife for his uncle, but ends up falling in love with her himself when he drinks a love potion.

Though it’s directed by Jean Delannoy, the script was written by Jean Cocteau, the man responsible for LA BELLE ET LA BETE, and though it lacks the visual splendor of that classic, it still does well enough. It also features Jean Marais from that movie as one of the lovers. It is based on the story of Tristan and Isolde, but I have to confess to not being familiar with that story, so I can’t make any comparisons at all. It’s a beautiful, moving and sad love story, and the only fantastic element is the love potion (the bottle is marked “Poison”) that figures into the plot, so its fantastic element is rather slight. The most memorable character, though, is the unpredictable dwarf son of the relatives, played by Pieral, who also appeared in the 1956 version of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

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