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      Tyvian Jones (Stanley Baker), a Welshman in Venetian exile, has become a howling drunk in residence at Harry's Bar, and, in flashback, we see the story of his descent.

     Once a celebrated literary figure, toasted because of an autobiographical novel about his coal-miner earlier life, Tyvian reigns at the Venice Film Festival; and he's engaged to Francesca (Virna Lisi), the glamorous editorial asistant of his Italian publisher. But one night, he meets Eve (Jean Moreau), a high-priced courtesan who has broken into his apartment, and it's all over. She's the ultimate femme fatale, and he bites deep into Eve's apple. Though she kicks him out of bed, or makes him pay for sex, he can't resist her, and he goes down, down, down. Eve is a semi-victory of style over content. Michel Legrand's jazzy score, Gianni di Venanzo and Henri Decae's free-flowing, Nouvelle Vague cinematography, Jeanne Moreau's many moods before the camera are all plusses, but the main characters are both so off-putting and narcissistic that there tryst becomes extremely tiresome. A rediscovered film directed by Joseph Losey (Accident, The Servant) is certainly welcome, but this one, from a potboiler novel by James Hadley Chase, proves a minor work.

(July, 2000)

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