Long unseen and worth revisiting . . . a historical reconstruction with a modernist tone, evoking both Kafka and Borges.J. Hoberman, New York Review of Books
Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Suzanne Flon, Michel Lonsdale,
You know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Klein? Played with manicured indifference by Alain Delon, Klein is a dispassionate art dealer profiting from the desperation of Jews fleeing occupied France in the early forties. When he learns that the Nazi authorities suspect him of being a Jew, he seeks out the identity of a shadowy double, another Mr. Klein, living somewhere in Paris. Peril seems to mount as Klein pursues his alter ego through a metropolis infested with ominous coincidence. Under the guise of a chilling political thriller, Joseph Losey’s first French production moves forward with great moral intent. The mystery of Klein’s identity, whether he be Jew or Christian, is of little consequence beside the weightier question of his apathy in the face of war’s horrors. Complacency was not a trait Losey could bear. As the victims of the regime accumulate in Mr. Klein, we, the viewers, must assess our own role as citizens kept in the dark.