Mississippi Mermaid (1969)

Mississippi Mermaid (1969), directed by François Truffaut.

An arranged bride, known to her future husband only through letters, arrives on Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. His surprise for her: he's not an employee of the tobacco plantation and cigarette factory: he owns it all and is quite wealthy.

She has surprises, too. Although quite beautiful, she doesn't look anything like her photo. The ring made for her doesn't fit, and she is afraid of the dark and has night terrors. As clues of something very wrong accumulate, the music cues us that all is not as it appears.

One day he finds his bank accounts have been cleaned out and she is gone. For revenge he burns her underwear and buys a gun. They will meet again, but their story is far from over even then.

A tale of of obsessive love. Truffaut is the director who loved women, and he understands. He also loved Hitchcock and has an homage delirium scene. He uses his favorite name -- "Julie" -- but her real name is Marion, like Marion Crane in Psycho (1960).

As the commentary track points out, Catherine Deneuve may not be a great actress, but her beauty makes her a great movie star, and we enjoy her on that level. She's a nasty piece of work here: murder makes her horny.

Misc notes:

Available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time with a commentary by the usual crew. Unusually, the English subtitles are burned into the image.