Widely regarded as one of Alan Resnais' (Last Year In Marienbad) finest films Staviskyattempts to shed some light on the eponymous enigmatic and yet comparatively unknown Russian migr who scandalised France. Stavisky (brilliantly portrayed by Belmondo) built an empire through a combination of subterfuge fraud and false identity becoming as the more respectably titled Serge Alexandre one of the most influential and powerful men in France in the period between the wars. As the investigations of Inspector Bonny (Claude Rich) reveal Stavisky's life was the perfect sham... which took in businessmen financiers and politicians of all persuasions. Eschewing a straight historical biopic Resnair and writer Jorge Semprn (Z) restrict the scope of the film to the last few months of Stavisky's eventful life covering his spectacular fall from grace. A work of rare technical brilliance in which the period detail is impeccable Stavisky's score is courtesy of Stephen Sondheim. [show more]
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Jean-Paul Belmondo stars in this depression-era corruption drama from director Alain Resnais. Based on the life of 1930s financier-cum-swindler Alexandre Stavisky (Belmondo), the story follows his lavish lifestyle as he wines and bribes his way through the French political establishment of the day. Eventually arrested and imprisoned, Stavisky's ability to continue his dubious business transactions in jail, quickly leads to claims that he is being protected by those in high places. With public pressure growing daily, the resulting national scandal soon threatens civil unrest and has far-reaching implications for both the government, and Stavinsky.
This film by French director Alain Resnais is loosely based on a true story from the 1930s about financier, con-man and swindler Stavisky who was arrested in 1934 for selling phony stock but was never brought to trial. While in jail, he continued to engage in doubtful monetary transactions. As the rumors that he was being protected by high-ranking members of the government of the French Third Republic were undoubtedly true, the scandal had a profoundly unsettling effect on the French nation, already suffering from poor government handling of the Depression, and this incident nearly brought down both the government and the Republic. Stavisky's death in prison (an apparent suicide) triggered widespread unrest and rioting. In the movie, when Stavisky (Jean-Paul Belmondo) goes to jail as a young con-man, his embarrassed father commits suicide. Ruining countless lives in his stellar career as a big-money swindler, including that of his nobleman friend Raoul (Charles Boyer), Stavisky is shown to be a pawn in a still bigger swindle, one which will destroy the Left and open the way to fascism.