Lucien, a good looking, colonial Calvary officer, spends most of his time fraternizing with as many woman as possible. When he grows tired of them, he leaves them and moves on to the next woman who catches his eye. When he meets Madelene, a beautiful woman who lives a life of luxury, things are different. Lucien falls head over heels with Madelaine but after their brief encounter in Cannes, she leaves him and returns to Paris. In love for the first time, Lucien heads to Paris to find her only to find heartache once again. Jean Gremillion's Lady Killer is a deeply tragic tale of love that captures the unequivocal power of being in love, along with the positives and negatives, in a way that most films seem to marginalize. Before Lucien meets Madeleine, the film spends time showing how smooth of an individual Lucien, seeing his smooth talk and womanizing in full force. By capturing how Lucien smooth talks his way through life with little worry, the film achieves an even stronger emotional response when Lucien falls madly in love with Madeleine. In Gremillion's film, Love is not treated as some definable entity, but a force that consumes our souls for better or worse. It explores the ties between love and death, a connection which is solidified in the final act of Lady Killer where Lucien finds himself embittered and alone, owning a small rundown cafe. Without going into details, which are better left to discover oneself, the final meeting between Lucien and Madeleine perfectly captures these ties, while showcasing just how hard it truly is to let go of something one loves. In most movies Lucien would have simply shoved Madeleine aside during the climax, but Gremillion reminds the viewer that love is not nearly as logical as many seem to make it. I'm beginning to understand why some consider Jean Gabin one of the best actors of all time, and between his performance as Lucien and a few of his other memorable roles, I certainly wouldn't fight the notion. Jean Gremillion's Lady Killer is a profound exploration of love, capturing the
Love of all things cinema brought me here.