"Cette nuit là..." (1958) is a very good film noir, well worth seeing. At present, it's relatively unknown, unavailable and unheralded but this situation will probably change. The film combines story, story-telling and visuals in classic noir ways, creating a satisfying whole. Beyond these virtues, the story has a great deal of psychological depth in the characters. This creates room for rather unexpected plot developments and twists, and it creates interesting changes in the characters and their relationships as the story moves along. Although the story briefly loses some momentum at the halfway mark, it quickly picks up speed in new involvements thereafter that carry right through to the end. They follow logically and naturally from the characters in realistic fashion.
Maurice Ronet leads a group that produces a fashion magazine, the owner and publisher being Jean Servais. Ronet's wife, Mylène Demongeot, models for the magazine. Servais is the boss of Ronet. Rather openly, Servais covets Demongeot. To say much more is unnecessary. It is this premise that is developed fully.
At 31 years of age, Maurice Ronet looks quite young in this 1958 production. A mere five years later, in the fine "The Fire Within", he'd look much more mature, partly befitting the role and partly due to aging. He's extremely capable in handling a character with internal conflicts who has trouble keeping his emotions in check. Demongeot is a knockout in looks, but do not be deceived. Her part allows her to project a lot more depth and she shows she has the acting chops to handle it. Servais is reliably an actor who projects seriousness, as if he is battling demons within and without, or harboring unfulfilled intentions.
The more I reflect on this movie, the more I like it.