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The Lovers (1958)
"Les amants" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  26 October 1959 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,487 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 32 critic

Bored with her husband, bored with her polo-playing lover, will the middle-aged heroine go away with the young man who gave her a lift that day when her car broke down on the way back to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Lovers (1958)

The Lovers (1958) on IMDb 7.3/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jeanne Tournier
Jean-Marc Bory ...
Bernard Dubois-Lambert
Judith Magre ...
Maggy Thiebaut-Leroy
José Luis de Vilallonga ...
Raoul Flores (as José Villalonga)
Gaston Modot ...
Coudray
Pierre Frag
Michèle Girardon ...
La secrétaire
Gib Grossac
Lucienne Hamon ...
Chantal
Georgette Lobre ...
Marthe
Claude Mansard ...
Marcelot (as Claude Mansart)
Alain Cuny ...
Henri Tournier
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Storyline

Bored with her husband, bored with her polo-playing lover, will the middle-aged heroine go away with the young man who gave her a lift that day when her car broke down on the way back to her country estate from a weekend with her lover in Paris? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lovers | weekend | dijon | polo | burgundy | See more »

Taglines:

The most talked-about and fought-about film! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lovers  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Québec)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After screening this film, Nico Jacobellis, manager of the Heights Art Theater in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was charged with and convicted of possessing and exhibiting an obscene film. He appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court, which overturned the convictions, ruling that the film was not obscene. In a concurring opinion, Justice Potter Stewart made his famous pronouncement concerning what was pornography: "I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197 (1964) (Stewart, J., concurring). See more »

Connections

Featured in Geburtstagskinder der Nouvelle Vague (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Streichsextett No. 1
(uncredited)
Op.18: Movement II--Andante ma moderato
Music by Johannes Brahms
Conducted by Serge Baudo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Biting Romantic Drama Which Has Yet to Garner an Expiration Date
2 February 2009 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

In this, director Louis Malle's second film, which for awhile seems like it will be another high society soap opera, a seemingly arbitrary plot detour occurs that places the beautiful Jeanne Moreau in a situation all the less convenient and all the more frustrating because of how accustomed she has become to her privilege. Consequently, Moreau is less like a Sex and the City character and more of a realization that a social ladder does not leave problems below it. They follow you from decision to decision to decision. And the further up it she climbs, the less considerate her decisions seem to be of the world outside of herself.

As a 25-year-old French director at the dawn of the New Wave, he was not alone in satirizing and criticizing the bourgeoisie. Ironically, being younger than fellow Nouveau filmmakers Godard and Truffaut, as well as having been born into a wealthy industrialist family, had no hand in blinding him by way of his privileged ego. Watching this biting romantic drama about adultery and the reality and illusion of rediscovering love, I see that Malle understood the upper-class freedom of never having to worry about tomorrow, and not only does he characterize it with an almost humorously frustrating edge, he wisely satirizes love at first sight.

The movie was made in 1958, but Malle's style has yet to garner an expiration date. There are no outdated lap dissolves or screen wipes or quick fade-outs. The controversy at the time surrounding this film's alleged obscenity had a rebounding effect on the flimsy subjectivity of society's accusations. He was simply being honest, which he is in the aforementioned portrayals beyond the simple night of passionate love Moreau has with her lover. Instead of a coy imitation of a spectator blushing and looking away, as many other films did and still do when the camera moves to the window or the ceiling, Malle fixates on her ecstasy. Even now, rarely do we see a close shot of a woman's sexual pleasure.

A bit like Woody Allen would come to do in a few decades, Malle tends to saturate his soundtracks with a single composer. Here, it is Johannes Brahms, whose music is a brilliantly and acutely intuitive choice for the film since, much like the characters, he has a classical sense of form and order yet he's bold in his exploration of harmony and rhythm.


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