5.8/10
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3 user 1 critic

Dames Get Along (1954)

Les femmes s'en balancent (original title)
Lemmy Caution is back! He hooks up with a fellow agent at a night club to exchange info about a beautiful babe the FBI has under observation. Later, Eddie finds his fellow agent murdered ... See full summary »

Director:

Bernard Borderie

Writers:

Peter Cheyney (novel), Bernard Borderie (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Constantine ... Selby Frayme / Lemmy Caution
Nadia Gray ... Henrietta Aymes
Dominique Wilms ... Paulette Burdell
Robert Berri Robert Berri ... Fernandez / Jean Termiglio
Darío Moreno ... Perera, the Head Waiter
Nicolas Vogel Nicolas Vogel ... Jim Maloney
François Perrot ... Langdon Burdell
Paul Azaïs ... Guard at the Pier
Guy Henry ... Daredo, Paulette's Friend
Emilio Carrer Emilio Carrer ... Dr. Madrales
Gil Delamare ... Sagers
Dominique Bukar Dominique Bukar ... Bénito Burdell
Georgette Anys Georgette Anys ... Mrs. Martinguez
Martine Alexis Martine Alexis ... Cynthia
Anne-Marie Mersen Anne-Marie Mersen ... Rita, Casa Branca's Telephone Operator
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Storyline

Lemmy Caution is back! He hooks up with a fellow agent at a night club to exchange info about a beautiful babe the FBI has under observation. Later, Eddie finds his fellow agent murdered and stuffed into a refrigerator! Who is the mysterious woman? Is she or her friends responsible for the murder? One of the better Caution series entries. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Ça n'arrive qu'à moi (1985) See more »

User Reviews

 
Third outing for the brawny FBI agent later to be immortalised by Godard.
19 July 2001 | by the red duchessSee all my reviews

Or, as the more appropriately hard-boiled English title has it, 'Dames Don't Care!' This is the third Lemmy Caution adventure, the real thing before Godard spliced him in a post-modern blender for 'Alphaville' in the 1960s. Lemmy is a hard-drinking, lascivious, violent FBI special agent who operates in France solving relatively mundane crimes. He has the build of John Wayne, and his films are full of extended, masochistic brawls, the fist-fighting equivalent of swashbuckling. What saves Lemmy from the neanderthal fascismo of Mickey Spillane is his charming gaucheness as an American in France.

The opening sequence is emblematic of the pleasures on offer in a Lemmy Caution film. After credits of an almost atonal jazz scree drowning more familiar Latin rhythms, a sports car blunders through an eerie, desert-like space up to a nightclub, the Casa Antica, emitting a loud, tottering drunk, who insults the usher, lunges into the club, demanding the best table, the best whiskey, the best chair. The nightclub is a gloriously kitsch affair, recreating ancient Greek ruins, with broken columns, and discreetly Nazi-like statues.

Our American alco spots a man he doesn't like, dancing with a beautiful lady. He coarsely heckles him, and goads him into fighting. So begins, in these archly theatrical surroundings, the first of many ritualistic pummellings. The lush, though powerful, eventually concedes defeat, and offers his rival a drink as peace offering. It turns out this enemy is actually a contact, and the inebriate is Lemmy Caution, stiffly sober although we've seen him drinking most of a whiskey bottle.

The contact in involved in a case involving the apparent suicide of a banker, and compromising letters to his wife, who was recently found with a large amount of counterfeit banknotes. Lemmy searches her house, and on returning surreptitiously to the closed night-club, finds the murdered contact stuffed in a fridge. Continuing his investigations with the help of the French police, Lemmy discovers the suicide's adultery, his ex-chauffeur's rise in power with designs on the wife, and decides all the clues point to the lubricious Henrietta. Not before bedding her, of course.

'Les Femmes s'en balancent' is a strange hybrid of a film. The murder-mystery plot is straight out of Agatha Christie, complete with red herrings, suspects and a final gathering where the great detective reveals the solution. The milieu of night-clubs, jazz, fraud, sexual intrigue, class tension and brutal violence is more familiar from hard-boiled detective fiction and film noir. The irrepressible Lemmy, easily foiling all resistance, and irresistable to women, is more of a comic book proto-James Bond figure than a sour private eye - Godard wanted to call his Lemmy Caution adventure 'Tarzan versus IBM', which sounds about right.

Aesthetically, the film's style is as flat and functional as a modest American B-movie (the low-budget extends to trips to Rome, but not very convincing sets): few stylistic flourishes; set-ups and situations propelling the narrative. The strikingly aggressive use of jazz, however, looks forward to 'Touch of Evil' (Welles was in Europe at the time); the exterior scenes have a mysterious, almost surreal feel; and the acting is so knowing (Lemmy and Henrietta frequently wink to the audience) as to make the potentially offensive cheerfully camp. Sociologists will probably see something in the FBI agent usurping power from the local police, but Lemmy is more brawns than brains.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

5 May 1954 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dames Don't Care See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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