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Directed by Jacques Becker

France 1952 94 mins. In French

In this tragic adult fairytale, set in the criminal underworld of Belle Époque Paris, Georges (Serge Reggiani), a humble woodworker, falls in love with Marie (Simone Signoret), the girlfriend of small-time crook Roland (Raymond Bussières). Marie is nicknamed Casque d’Or—helmet of gold—due to her distinctive hair. Their clandestine affair triggers a rivalry that compels gangster boss Félix (Claude Dauphin) to order Georges and Roland to fight a duel to the death over the girl, as prescribed by the “code of the apache.” “Violent death follows inexorably, replacing the aroma of coffee-and-just-made-love with the smell of blood in one of the most bittersweet climaxes in French cinema.”—Film Comment.