Too Late to Love [Pourquoi viens-tu si tard...]
Paris: Ulysse Production / Cinedis, 1959. Collection of 370 original black-and-white keybook still photographs from the 1959 French film, consisting of two unique and complimentary pieces, one being a studio film still keybook with 97 contact prints of small format transparencies, most with 12 images per print, amounting to over 1,000 images captured, nearly all images with series number etched in the original film negative before development, and credits at the top for photo laboratory (Tele-Photo), film studio (Ulysse), film title, and photographer Apoteker, housed in an oblong 2-ring paper binder with printed French titles on the front. Laid in is a small piece of graph paper addressed "Cher Christian", presumably filmmaker Christian-Jaque, with brief slightly illegible note in French in holograph ink. The remaining 273 photographs are single photos with similar etched series numbers, mounted with cello tape on thick stock in two quarto "Lavis aquarelle" brand spiral bound notebooks with maroon faux leather front wrapper, printed French titles affixed on the front wrapper of one. Small "x" annotations in holograph ink on several pages.
All three keybooks capture the film and photographer Apoteker's sense of desperation in composed and candid moments. Michele Morgan and Gil Vidal dominate the imagery, hamming for the camera and in action scenes, with Vidal emerging from a car crash and rarely without a glass in-hand, and stunning images of Morgan hula-hooping off-set and in several placid studio portraits.
Catherine (Morgan) is an alcoholic lawyer who enlists the help of reporter Walter (Vidal) to spy on a nefarious wine supplier who may have contributed to the killing of a young man's father. Morgan dominated French cinema for decades and even won the Best Actress Award at the first Cannes festival (1946).
Photographer Apoteker's debut film, followed by successful crime noirs, notably "Classe Tous Risques" (1960), and later worked on "Love and Death" (1975) and the futuristic "cinema du look" film, "Le prix du danger" (1983). Fourth film of noted costume designer Autré, whose other credits include "Love on a Pillow" (1962), "Contempt" (1963), "Lost Command" (1966), and "The Game is Over" (1966).
Notebook photos 3.75 x 5 inches, most pages with four mounted photos, keybook photos to 8.25 x 10.5 inches. Very Good plus overall, with light foxing, and curling and rubbing to the studio keybook, a few photos with small edge tears.