MR KLEIN (StudioCanal) is an excellent Kafkaesque nightmare, a case of mistaken identity, set in Paris during World War II in 1942, during the Vichy regime when French policemen were rounding up Jews and bussing them to the Vélodrome d’Hiver cycle stadium and then deporting them in cattle trains to Auschwitz. Joseph Losey directs Alain Delon, who is cast as Mr Klein, a Catholic art dealer and womaniser, who discovers there is another Mr Klein, who is a Jew; but neither he nor the police, try as they may, can find him. Released in 1974, this tantalising film has lost none of its impact and should be much better known.
THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR (Second Run). 1965 Czech classic directed by Zbynek Brnyck. A Jewish doctor (Miroslav Machacek), who is responsible for keeping an inventory of confiscated Jewish property, saves a wounded resistance officer’s life and, at great risk to himself, hides him. The screenplay has its roots in the Nazi occupation during World War II but, strangely, there isn’t a Nazi in sight. The film, surreal, ambiguous, Kafkaesque, is remarkable for its photography and the striking compositions created by Jan Kalis.
FANNY BY GASLIGHT (YouTube). Anthony Asquith directs this typical Gainsborough Victorian melodrama, which was a huge box office success in the UK in 1944, thanks to a cast headed by James Mason, who was then every woman’s favourite sex symbol. Phyllis Calvert is Fanny who discovers she is the illegitimate daughter of a respected politician. Stewart Granger is the man who loves her and fights a duel in her honour. Margaretta Scott is very stylish.