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What has impressed me about Jean Gabin is his ability to carry off difficult intention and make it seem natural, easy. "Touchez Pas Au Grisbi" wouldn't have been half the film without him it it.
Writers and critics often laud an actor's charisma, perhaps satisfied with the lesser, watered-down species of intensity/sex appeal possessed by so many.
Gabin has something rare: an assurance of space, movement and poise; a solidity and manifest presence that make him magnetic and somehow instantly believable in whatever role. In "Grisbi," he can walk into a room and cow everyone in it with a look. And you know that nobody said, "Okay, now when he looks at you like that, the rest of you look intimidated." You believe it because you know that, were you there in the room with him, you'd be meek like a small baby lamb infant.
You don't see it much.
Mere "sex appeal" looks drab in comparison.

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