IMDb > Experiment in Evil (1959) (TV)

Experiment in Evil (1959) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Le testament du Docteur Cordelier (original title)


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Release Date:
30 June 1961 (Portugal) See more »
Mr. Joly, doctor Cordelier's lawyer, is amazed to discover that his client and friend leaves his possessions to a stranger, Opale, a sadistic criminal. He needs this man to prove that people's behavior can be adjusted at will... | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Cordelier and Regle See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean-Louis Barrault ... Dr. Cordelier / Opale
Teddy Bilis ... Maître Joly
Sylviane Margollé ... Jeune fille
Jean Bertho ... Premier passant
Jacques Ciron ... Deuxième passant
Annick Allières ... Voisine
Dominique Dangon ... Mère de la jeune fille
Jean Topart ... Désiré
Michel Vitold ... Docteur Séverin
Micheline Gary ... Marguerite
Jacques Danoville ... Commissaire Lardaut (as Jacques Dannoville)
André Certes ... Inspecteur Salbris
Jean-Pierre Granval ... Le patron de l'hôtel
Céline Sales ... La première fille
Jacqueline Morane ... Alberte
Ghislaine Dumont ... Suzy
Madeleine Marion ... Juliette
Didier d'Yd ... Georges
Primerose Perret ... Mary
Raymond Jourdan ... L'infirme
Jaque Catelain ... L'Ambassadeur
Régine Blaess ... Femme de l'Ambassadeur
Gaston Modot ... Blaise
Jacqueline Frot ... Camille
Monique Theffo ... Annie
Claude Bourlon ... Lise (as Claudie Bourlon)
Raymone ... Mme des Essarts
Françoise Boyer ... Françoise
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Catherine Rouvel ... (scenes deleted)
Bernard Fresson ... Extra (uncredited)

Jean Renoir ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Renoir 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Renoir 
Robert Louis Stevenson  novel "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (uncredited)

Original Music by
Joseph Kosma 
Cinematography by
Georges Leclerc 
Film Editing by
Renée Lichtig 
Set Decoration by
Marcel-Louis Dieulot 
Costume Design by
Monique Dunan  (as Monique Dunand)
Production Management
Albert Hollebeke .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Maurice Beuchey .... first assistant director
Monique Dunan .... assistant director (as Monique Dunand)
Art Department
Yves-André Hubert .... technician
Jean Serge .... art assistant
Sound Department
Joseph Richard .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Bernard Girod .... framing camera operator
Jean Graglia .... framing camera operator
Pierre Guéguen .... framing camera operator (as Pierre Guegen)
Pierre Lebon .... framing camera operator
Gilbert Perrot-Minnot .... framing camera operator
Arthur Raimondo .... framing camera operator (as Arthur Raymondo)
Gilbert Sandoz .... framing camera operator
Other crew
Andrée Gauthey .... script
Marinette Pasquet .... script
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Lax (special effects)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le testament du Docteur Cordelier" - France (original title)
"The Doctor's Horrible Experiment" - USA
See more »
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This TV program later had a theatrical release.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2003) (TV)See more »


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Cordelier and Regle, 11 March 2013
Author: TypoMonq from United States

There is a quasi-prologue to introduce Cordelier, which goes a long way to connecting this TV-based production with other self-reflexive films Renoir made late in his career. Space is not explored or constructed in the same was as films like M. Lange or Regle while a lack of mobile framing maintains psychological identification with the characters. There is deep space, but not deep staging as the camera frames long corridors and archways but not groups of characters within the settings. There are situations where groups of townspeople move around together but it is a group held together tenuously and usually motivated by reactions to an event. The women in the building knew of Opale but found no reason to report his odd behavior underscoring that the milieu is very different from that of Lange, Illusion, Fonds or Regle. Some of the performances suffer from affectation which tends to diminish the impact of the Barrault roles. Dr. Cordelier has a moment while reading the newspaper where the audience is privy to an internal monologue - heightening the psychological dimensions of the narrative. There is some splattering of the famous Renoir stylistics when the doctor's party is thrown and later when the collective of workers attempt to stop Opale. Yet, soon after a flashback sequence puts things right back into the realm of the psychological (theatrical) as opposed to the social (realist). The themes of sexual perversion are somewhat muted (or perhaps they require a more 'European eye' to appreciate). The freedom that Cordelier experiences through subscribing to chaos has interesting political implications. In some manner, I feel that Cordelier is one of Renoir's more clearly political films. The narrative frame returns Renoir to the screen and the storyworld diegetic. The compulsion of the nature of humanity (quest of soul will be punished but will be freedom) echoes the true significance of a film like Regle - these films are connected philosophically, if not also thematically. Cordelier is well worth watching for the dynamic combination of Renoir and Barrault using the multiple camera shooting system. There is an even flow to the storytelling that renders the text engaging.

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