2348. MANON (1949-France) With SERGE REGGIANI, MICHEL AUCLAIR, CECILE AUBRY. Directed and co-scripted by HENRI GEORGES CLOUZOT. Here is a gritty and profoundly moving drama of the manner in which obsessive love can taint the soul. At the same time it is a story of the ravages of war and the toll conflict and bloodshed take on the human spirit. The scenario opens just after the end of World War II. Manon Lescaut and Robert Desgrieux are lovers who have stowed away on a ship headed for Palestine with a load of Jewish displaced persons. They are discovered, and it is quickly learned that Robert is wanted by the police for murder! During the war he was a member of the French underground. He met Manon, who was being accused of collaborating with the Nazis. Manon seemed to him at once sultry and defenseless, and he immediately fell in love with her. Robert essentially is a nice guy who wishes only to settle down with Manon and live a simple life. However, Manon is an amoral young woman with a taste for money and a decadent Parisian lifestyle. The film works so well because Manon is more than just a one-dimensional temptress. She is as vulnerable as she is deeply flawed, and one can understand her appeal to Robert. There extremely intimate scenes of deep passion and tenderness between these star-crossed lovers, and the finale is at once ironic and heart-rending. Cecile AubryÕs ripe performance as Manon made her an overnight sensation in the French cinema, and Michel Auclair is equally impressive as Robert. In French with English subtitles. 87 minutes. Drama