Jane Fonda and Alain Delon in Les félins (1964)


(director/writer: Rene Clement; screenwriters: Pascal Jardin/Charles Williams/based on the novel by Day Keene; cinematographer: Henri Decaë ; editor: Fedora Zincone; music: Lalo Schifrin; cast: Jane Fonda (Melinda), Alain Delon (Marc), Lola Albright (Barbara), Carl Studer (Leftus), Sorrel Booke (Harry), Andre Oumansky (Vincent), Arthur Howard (Rev. Nielson); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jacques Bar; MGM; 1964)

“Full of hooey.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A steamy drama written and directed by the esteemed French filmmaker Rene Clement(“The Damned”/”Purple Noon”/”Forbidden Games”), that’s full of hooey. It’s based on the novel by Day Keene. Co-writers are Pascal Jardin and Charles Williams. If nothing else, it at least cleverly blends together French and American styles.

Small-town con artist and lover boy, Marc (Alain Delon), is on the run in the French Rivera from an American gangster. He escapes a hit in Monte Carlo and then while in a flophouse soup line the derelict manages to get a chauffeur gig for the mansion living American widowed Barbara (Lola Albright) and her sexy American cousin Melinda (Jane Fonda). We soon learn that Barbara’s hubby was bumped off by her lover Vincent (Andre Oumansky), who hides in the attic. The scheming widow is hoping the authorities will think Marc is her lover and therefore arrest him instead of her real boyfriend. Complications arise when the blackmailing Melinda falls for Marc.

If ever a title was wrongly named, this is the one.