Dames Get Along (1954) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
3 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
Third outing for the brawny FBI agent later to be immortalised by Godard.
the red duchess19 July 2001
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.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Good Lemmy Caution entry is too knowing to fully enjoy
dbborroughs27 April 2008
Eddie Constantine is Lemmy Caution in his second or third go round at the character. Here caution is on the trail of a women who may or may not be mixed up in a blackmail scheme. Its a semi-complicated affair that Lemmy solves more with his fists then his brains. Its an okay Euro Noir that is a bit too knowing for my tastes-Eddie and some of the other cast members pretty much look in the camera and wink. Constantine is a great actor and I could never understand why he never why he was never big here in the US. He was a fine tough guy that looked like he could do pretty much anything. To be certain he made films up to his death, but at the same time he should have been huge here in the US. Worth a look if you're in the mood-its perfect late night fare.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
The English title invites easy puns....
gridoon202126 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
....like "Dames Don't Care" - and neither do I! Honestly, it took me three sittings, in three different days, to finish this movie; it's not really all THAT bad, but it's not that compelling either, as it lurches from one endlessly talky scene to another, the only thing interrupting the talk being a few pointless (and sometimes sped-up) fight scenes. Lemmy Caution is played well by Eddie Constantine, although the character is a bit of a cocky prick. Dominique Wilms is a voluptuous French siren who's quite out of his league, but at least the film recognizes that and has Lemmy realizing that she's only trying to play him for a sucker. Don't go out of your way to find this film, it's not worth the trouble. *1/2 out of 4.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed