DIRECTOR: FRANçOIS TRUFFAUT
CAST: CATHERINE DENEUVE, JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO
Adapted, like The Bride Wore Black, from a crime novel by “William Irish” (a pseudonym of Cornell Woolrich), Mississippi Mermaid’s location-hopping tale of catastrophic amour fou begins on the Island of Réunion, where Jean-Paul Belmondo awaits the arrival of a mail order bride who might not be what she seems—though he doesn’t ask too many questions, since she’s Catherine Deneuve. A rueful and romantic journey in splendid widescreen from tropical heat to Mediterranean bliss to remote, snow-blown Alpine passes, featuring two of the most charismatic of French screen actors at peak power. Often thought of as Hitchcockian for its mystery of identities, it leans more toward the sexual impulses of later works, most notably Marnie.