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Circonstances atténuantes (1939)

A retired criminal-court judge on vacation finds himself stranded in a nest of thieves, who show him a friendlier side of crime.



(novel), (scenario) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzanne Dantès ...
Dorville ...
Jules Le Bouic
Marie Qu'a-d'ça
François Simon ...
La poupée (as Michel François)
Môme de Dieu (Kid of God)
Robert Arnoux ...
Gabriel, the chauffeur
Jeanine Roger ...
Gabriel's Girlfriend
Robert Ozanne ...
Cinq de Canne
Coup de Châsse (King of the Chase)
Liliane Lesaffre ...
Lontine Le Bouic
Mila Parély ...
La Panthère
Émile Saint-Ober ...
Henri de Livry ...
(as De Livry)
Robert Sidonac


Harsh Parisian judge Gaetan (known as Monsieur Maximum), chafing in the idleness of retirement, leaves for a seaside holiday. But Gabriel the chauffeur has his mind on his girl, not the car; Gaetan and wife Nathalie are stranded in the country, where they find shelter in a low class bistro patronized by cheerful jail birds. Once the ice is broken, they have a wonderful time, but as the judge tries to trick his new friends into reforming, inevitable exposure approaches... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »




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Release Date:

23 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Extenuating Circumstances  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shooting took only 15 days See more »


Written by Georges Van Parys
Lyrics by Jean Boyer
Sung and whistled by most cast members
See more »

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User Reviews

Lots of fun with Michel Simon and Arletty!
7 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

THis is as far-fetched as can be,the story is so unbelievable that you cannot search any realism in this little -and a bit crazy- comedy. A judge M.Le Sentencier(sic)-it almost means "sentencious"-,played by Simon,and his authoritian missus arrive in an inn where you take your life in your hands when you enter.Actually,it's a den of weirdoes and hoodlums .Among them,a cheeky Marie-qu'a-d'çà (=smart Mary)played by Arletty.The judge wants the gang's redemption and the ways he will use are not very orthodox.A risqué move for 1939:a gay character (but who ends up married in the end!).A song that was to become famous:"comme de bien entendu"(=as expected)Outside the movie,this ditty became immortal for another-less funny - reason.When the soldiers went to war a few months later,they sang it ironically.

Michel Simon and Arletty were wonderful comedians and if you like this one,I would also recommend "fric frac'(=break in)which they made the same year.

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