Though less well-known than Jacques Becker’s defining masterpieces
Casque d’or and Touchez pas au grisbi, Rendezvous in July
is an equally impressive example of the filmmaker’s ability to parlay
his insight into human nature into leisurely entertainments where
the focus is on characterization rather than plot yet the pace never
flags and the profundity sneaks up on you. This social comedy is an
irresistible portrait of the generation of Parisians that came of age in
the immediate postwar period, roaming dark Paris streets with a love
of jazz and theater, dreams of exploration, and hearts waiting to be
broken. Becker follows the differing fortunes of two couples of young
lovers—an ambitious ethnographer, a budding jazz trumpeter, and two
determined young actresses—but the film’s real spark is in the details
unique to that time and place: a group of friends cross the Seine in a
decommissioned amphibian vehicle fueled by gas traded for raw meat
on the black market, while others congregate in Left Bank jazz cellars
to hear American musicians let rip. And the streets of Paris display a
roughhewn charm that has long been lost to the tourist trade and the
creep of gentrification.

Jacques Becker

Jacques Becker
Maurice Griffe

Daniel Gélin
Brigitte Auber
Nicole Courcel

Comedy, Drama
99 min.
France, 1949
DCP, DVD, Blu-Ray

Rialto Pictures

$350 DVD/Blu-Ray
$450 DCP