It’s a pity that the Music Box’s Francois Truffaut retrospective omits the best and most revealing of his late films, the deeply disturbing The Green Room (1978). But the most neglected and underrated of his early features–which are still his best overall–is his fourth, La peau douce (1964). It charts with tender and quirky precision the fleeting and desperate adulterous affair between a very successful middle-aged literary critic who’s married (Jean Desailly) and an airline stewardess who isn’t (Francoise Dorleac, in what may be her greatest performance). As Dave Kehr has noted, this is “the first of Truffaut’s features in which his preoccupation with Hitchcock becomes fully apparent,” and the editing of certain stretches even suggests a thriller; it also has one of the most startling and melodramatic endings of any Truffaut film. As with the remainder of this retrospective, a new 35-millimeter print will be shown. Music Box, Monday, August 16. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.