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Head Against the Wall (1959)
"La tête contre les murs" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  20 March 1959 (France)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 353 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 15 critic

In order to get rid of his troublesome son François, Maître Gérane manages to have him committed to a mental hospital owned by Dr. Varmont, a supporter of traditional treatments, in ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: Head Against the Wall (1959)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Meurisse ...
Dr. Emery
Jean-Pierre Mocky ...
François Gérane
...
Stéphanie
Jean Galland ...
Maître Gérane
Jean Ozenne ...
Comte Elzéar de Chambrelle
Thomy Bourdelle ...
Colonel Donnadieu
Rudy Lenoir ...
Le planqué
Roger Legris ...
Decauville
Henri San Juan ...
Patron du billard
...
La folle qui chante
René Alié
Luc Andrieux ...
Un infirmier
Doudou Babet ...
Le Noir
Claude Badolle
Edit

Storyline

In order to get rid of his troublesome son François, Maître Gérane manages to have him committed to a mental hospital owned by Dr. Varmont, a supporter of traditional treatments, in constant conflict with Dr. Emery, whose therapy takes the psychology of patients into account. François soon makes friends with Heurtevent, a sweet epileptic, and both decide to escape from the place. Their attempt is a failure and Heurtevent, unable to get over what he considers a return to hell, commits suicide. But rebellious François tries again and this time around he is successful. He finds shelter at his friend Stephanie's home... Written by Guy Bellinger

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20 March 1959 (France)  »

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Head Against the Wall  »

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Thomy Bourdelle's 77th and final film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, But Not a Masterpiece
18 March 2009 | by (Out There in the Dark) – See all my reviews

If a film is hard to find and directed by an interesting director, this does not automatically make it a masterpiece. "La Tête Contre les Murs" is mostly heavy going, talky, and often tedious. The film is nicely shot in black & white, but Maurice Jarre's score adds little to the experience. A sluggishly paced film with few memorable moments.

Mocky, Brasseur and Meurisse are certainly assets to this project. Fans of Charles Aznavour can see him shortly before his great breakthrough in "Shoot the Piano Player". He is quite good here as well. Anouk Aimée is fine too, soon to make an impression in "La Dolce Vita".

"La Tête" is on DVD finally, so the curious can see for themselves. Just OK, not some great lost masterwork.


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