6.3/10
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One Step to Eternity (1954)

Bonnes à tuer (original title)
Francois Roques, a power-and-money-mad editor of a Paris newspaper (who justifies his actions by calling attention to his poverty-stricken childhood), invites four women to a housewarming ... See full summary »

Director:

Henri Decoin

Writers:

Patricia McGerr (novel) (as Miss Pat Mac Gerr), Henri Decoin (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danielle Darrieux ... Constance Andrieux
Michel Auclair ... François Roques dit Larry
Corinne Calvet ... Véra Volpone
Gérard Buhr ... William Jordan, l'américain
Lyla Rocco Lyla Rocco ... Cécile Germain-Thomas
Roberto Risso ... Mario Mirador, l'amant de Véra
Gil Delamare ... Forestier, un ami de François
Miriam Di San Servolo Miriam Di San Servolo ... Maggy Lang (as Myriam Petacci)
Ky Duyen Ky Duyen ... Bao, le serviteur
Émile Genevois Émile Genevois ... Le postier
Jean Berton Jean Berton ... Un inspecteur
Jean Sylvère Jean Sylvère ... L'aveugle
Anne-Marie Mersen Anne-Marie Mersen
Jean Duval Jean Duval
Louis Viret Louis Viret
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Storyline

Francois Roques, a power-and-money-mad editor of a Paris newspaper (who justifies his actions by calling attention to his poverty-stricken childhood), invites four women to a housewarming at his penthouse apartment. He plans on one of them to meet death by means of a loose railing on the balcony. The invitees are: Constance, Francois' first wife, whose love and integrity also stood in the way of his schemes; Vera Volpone, his second wife, from whom he is seeking a divorce, and who, with the aid of her lover, is blackmailing Ffancois; Maggy, his mistress who aids him in his illegal transactions; and Cecile, his fiancée, who is pregnant by another man. The women arrive, tension overwhelms them and the host, three of the women depart...and Francois is alone with his intended victim. Despite a misleading Review/Comment on this site-page, the keyword is "intended." Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Wanted One of Four Women...And He Wanted Her Dead! (original USA poster) See more »


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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 December 1954 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

One Step to Eternity See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original American novel "Follow as the night" by Patricia McGerr won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in France in 1952, when it was translated into French under the title "Bonnes à tuer". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Did she jump or was she pushed?
16 September 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

She was there one minute Lying in a pool of herself

And then she was gone the next

With a twisted neck.

O she fell from the roof to the ground....

A crowd gathers around the building as the cops shout " move along!" .Someone fell from the terrace of "Larry" 's luxury flat. Larry (Michel Auclair)had gathered for a formal occasion his ex-wife (Darrieux),his wife (Corinne Calvet),his fiancée and his mistress.An ominous stormy evening in a chic apartment with champagne served by a Chinese butler.There was a bad moon on the rise;it seemed that someone was going to get killed tonight.But which of the four women?

The ex-wife?

She crossed a lot of people

Some she called friends

She thought she'd live forever

But forever always ends.

Darrieux portrays a painter who remained loyal and true to her friends,which her ex-husband did not.

The fiancée?

She used to live the life she used

To live life with a vengeance

And the chosen would dance

The chosen would dance in attendance

The fiancée is a spoiled child,she thinks that her dad's money can buy her anything .She's pregnant by a student who disappeared but she won't care if Larry passes for the father in her folk's eyes.

The wife?

She used to have style

She used to have style and to use it

And they say it turned bad

When the truth came around and she refused it

She married Larry just because thanks to him,an unscrupulous journalist,her false suicide made the headlines.(It's thoroughly credible:a French actress did that in 1947) Like Larry, would do anything to get fortune and fame.

The mistress?

They did not find no killer

and they did not find no note.

Maggy is a shady lady,who seems to blackmail Larry ;he' d like to recover a receipt she owns.

This is a fine film noir by Henri Decoin,which does not equal his best in the field ("non Coupable" "La Vérité sur Bébé Donge" ),but where the suspense is sustained till the very end and its unexpected twist.The flashbacks are introduced in an unusual aggressive way.They begin with bells: they herald a wedding but they sound like a toll.

Darrieux and Auclair would team up again in Périer's "Meurtres en 45 tours" (1960)

Many lines of this comment were taken from the lyrics of Richard Thompson's extraordinarily gloomy song "Did she jump " on his "Shoot out the lights' majestic album (1982).


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