Martin Roumagnac – Mad with Love

content / criticism

As a contractor, Martin Roumagnac (John Gabin) made a name, got money and reputation. But he would give it all up if he could only steal the heart of seed seller Blanche Ferrand (Marlene Dietrich) could conquer. To impress her, he wants to give her a villa as a present, proof of his great love. He realizes too late how much he overdoes himself with this story, financially it suddenly looks very bleak. In addition, the success leaves a lot to be desired. Blanche is already taken with her admirer and could imagine a life with him. But there is also the consul de Laubry (Marcel Herrand), who is wooing her and who she hopes will finally get her out of the provincial town…

The failure of a couple

John Gabin (Wiesenstrasse No. 10) and Marlene Dietrich (witness for the prosecution) were undoubtedly among the greats of European cinema in the 1940s. It is all the more strange that their joint appearance in Martin Roumagnac – Mad with Love but rather little is known, has largely been forgotten today. Especially since the trappings actually spoke for a greater success. Not only did the two icons return to French cinema after the horrors of war. The two were also a couple at the time. The drama about two people who develop feelings for each other and face a lot of obstacles in the process was the only film the two stars made together during their long careers.

Martin Roumagnac is included, as is the German subtitle crazy with love already reveals, a rather grim example of romance. Describes director and co-author in more detail Georges Lacombe in his adaptation of Pierre-Rene Wolfs The novel of the same name is a very tragic story. The title character is caught in his unwavering love for the beautiful widow, willing to sacrifice everything he has for her. The audience quickly suspects that this is a wasted effort. Blanche’s man stories are always about money. Even the love for her deceased husband was, at least that’s the impression one may have, of a purely financial nature. The consul is also on her shopping list because of the opportunities associated with him, less because of his winning nature.

Well acted but not very interesting

Whereby in the film practically nobody comes off that really well. Blanche herself is the typical femme fatale who turns everyone’s head and thus causes disaster. Martin, on the other hand, is a simple and down-to-earth person who is completely unable to get his feelings under control. Above all, the late attempt to make a tragic figure out of him is rather disconcerting for today’s audience. All around these two are people with whom one would also like to have little to do. Where love stories usually come up with a dream couple, where the viewers want to keep their fingers crossed, there is allowed Martin Roumagnac – Mad with Loveto design a horror scenario in which somehow everyone can only lose.

As a story, this is rather uninteresting. Scenes when Blanche releases lots of birds as a symbol of her own desire for freedom are a bit clumsy. The two screen legends Gabin and Dietrich, who are known for their character portrayals, also deserved more in the character drawing. Martin Roumagnac – Mad with Love is ultimately not really more than a run-of-the-mill melodrama. But one that is ennobled to such an extent by the presence of the two stars that the film is ultimately worth seeing. The feeling of coming disaster is palpable, one watches helplessly as two people throw themselves into the abyss completely unnecessarily and with seeing eyes.


OT: „Martin Roumagnac“
Land: France
Year: 1946
Director: Georges Lacombe
Script: Pierre Very, Georges Lacombe
Template: Pierre-Rene Wolf
Music: Giovanni Fusco, Marcel Mirouze
Camera: Roger Hubert
Occupation: Jean Gabin, Marlene Dietrich, Margo Lion, Jean d’Yd, Daniel Gélin, Jean Darcante

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