Dominique, a law student at the Sorbonne, is engaged to a fellow classmate. Unfortunately, she's more attracted to his philandering Uncle Luc, who's married to the charming Francoise. Dominique and Luc begin a tawdry affair.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Incidents of a marriage are recalled in flashback.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Rosemary DeCamp, Harry Morgan
Lydia (1941)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lydia MacMillan, a wealthy old woman who has never married, is invited by an old beau, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, for a reunion with the men who have been in her life to reminisce about the ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Merle Oberon, Joseph Cotten, Edna May Oliver
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A former WW2 naval pilot employed by a Miami civilian company reminisces about his past and present sins while flying a plane into an incoming hurricane.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Veronica Lake
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American businessman who is mistaken by everybody for a super-secret British agent on the trail of smuggled diamonds. When supposedly his liaison at the British Embassy meets him at the ... See full summary »

Directors: Ronald Neame, Cliff Owen
Stars: James Garner, Melina Mercouri, Sandra Dee
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An actress becomes an alcoholic after being jilted. She is aided by an Alcoholics Anonymous member with whom she has an affair; however, he is married.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ray Milland, Teresa Wright
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Susan is about to be married, but the wedding may get called off after her fiancee summons three former beaus. Each reveals a different portrait of Susan: one describes her as a naive ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Joan Fontaine, George Brent, Dennis O'Keefe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Psychiatrist and his life with a patient he helped to recover.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Jason Robards, Joan Fontaine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An industrialist (Joseph Cotton) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Joseph Cotten, Françoise Rosay
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

At the Tangier airport, a group of people await the arrival of a mysterious plane from behind the Iron Curtain. The reception committee includes Susan, an American; Gil Walker, a ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Jack Palance, Corinne Calvet
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

An international team embarks on an expedition to the moon in an uncommonly spacious rocketship. There they encounter a faceless alien intelligence who conclude that the human race is too ... See full summary »

Director: David Bradley
Stars: Ken Clark, Michi Kobi, Tom Conway
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Indecisive heiress Dee Dee Dillwood is pushed into marrying her sixth fiancée, but unable to face the wedding night, she flees into the adjacent hotel room of commercial pilot Marvin Payne,... See full summary »

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Joan Fontaine, James Stewart, Eddie Albert
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Although she comes from an aristocratic family, beautiful Prudence Cathaway defies convention by joining the WAAFs and becoming romantically involved with an AWOL soldier.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Thomas Mitchell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Luc Ferrand
...
Françoise Ferrand
...
Bertrand Griot
Christine Carère ...
Dominique Vallon (as Christine Carere)
...
M. Vallon
Katherine Locke ...
Mme. Vallon
Kathryn Givney ...
Mme. Griot
Steven Geray ...
Denis
...
Himself
Trude Wyler ...
Mme. Denis
Sandy Livingston ...
Catherine
Renate Hoy ...
Mlle. Minot
Muzaffer Tema ...
Pierre
Edit

Storyline

Dominique, a law student at the Sorbonne, is engaged to a fellow classmate. Unfortunately, she's more attracted to his philandering Uncle Luc, who's married to the charming Francoise. Dominique and Luc begin a tawdry affair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1958 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Una cierta sonrisa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first feature film of Bradford Dillman. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.33 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

A Certain Smile
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Sung by Johnny Mathis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Uncertain Expression
1 July 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Attractive looking romance fails to engage, despite glorious landscapes, Parisian backdrops and an A-list cast including a faithful performance by an enchanting Joan Fontaine. Her apparently fading allure is causing her husband Luc (Brazzi) to philander, his attentions straying to the nubile Parisian college student Dominique (Carere). To add to the interlude, Brazzi is Bertrand's (Dillman) uncle; Bertrand in turn is enamoured by Dominique, chasing her tail all over Paris in spite of her rather aloof and distant behaviour.

At the intermission, Johnny Mathis steps up to croon the title tune, and thus introduces Luc's affections to Dominique. Bertrand, aware of her distraction, but not suspecting of his own uncle seems oblivious to Fontaine's subtle hints, her wisdom laboured over years of Luc's infidelity. The scenes in which Fontaine emasculates Brazzi for his adultery, and the one in which she coolly chides Carere's naivety are among the film's rare highlights. In essence, Fontaine steals this picture with her mature, dignified portrayal of a woman scorned.

Carere is lukewarm, the nuances of her character aren't conveyed in her stilted performance; Brazzi, at the opposite extreme lays it on too thick, like some hormonal Latin lover crying rivers of guilt and remorse as he laments the mutual attraction as some kind of perverse affliction. Dillman, in his debut picture, offers some resistance, but ends up a tragic cuckold. The remainder of the supporting cast (Franz, Locke and Livingston) are reliable if largely uninvolved.

Next to Fontaine, the French Riviera is the most attractive feature of this rather sterile soap opera - the sets, costumes, colour and sound are all assets, but the dramatic tone just doesn't hit the right pitch. Tepid, overlong and in the final analysis, disappointing. If, however (like myself) you still revere Fontaine, or, pine for the Paris lifestyle, this glossy magazine cover will be worth the time.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Certain Smile -- I am looking for a copy b_remick
A CERTAIN SMILE FILM - HELP DESPERATELY NEEDED! MCOLBOURNE
Better Than I Expected marhefka
Discuss A Certain Smile (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?