Jean Renoir | 1936 | 80 min. | French with English subtitles
Little known stateside but long esteemed in Europe, The Crime of Monsieur Lange is simply one of the very greatest films directed by Jean Renoir. René Lefèvre (Le Million) takes the title role of a nebbish who clerks for a penny-press publisher by day, and by night writes feverish potboilers about a Western hero named "Arizona Jim." Lange's encyclopedically venal boss (Jules Berry) discovers his secret and immediately starts exploiting it, as he exploits everybody and everything within range. Life sublimely imitates pulp fiction and vice versa in the brilliant screenplay by Jacques Prévert.