IMDb > Muriel, or The Time of Return (1963)
Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour
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Muriel, or The Time of Return (1963) More at IMDbPro »Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour (original title)

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Jean Cayrol (scenario and dialogue)
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Release Date:
13 March 2007 (USA) See more »
In the seacoast town of Boulogne, Hélène sells antique furniture, living with her step-son, Bernard... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Space of memory, past and future fears See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Delphine Seyrig ... Hélène Aughain
Jean-Pierre Kérien ... Alphonse Noyard
Nita Klein ... Françoise
Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée ... Bernard Aughain (as Jean-Baptiste Thierrée)
Claude Sainval ... Roland de Smoke
Laurence Badie ... Claudie
Jean Champion ... Ernest
Jean Dasté ... L'homme à la chèvre / The Goat Man
Martine Vatel ... Marie-Dominique, aka Marie-Do
Julien Verdier ... Le loueur de chevaux / The Stableman
Philippe Laudenbach ... Robert
Nelly Borgeaud ... La femme du couple d'acheteurs
Catherine de Seynes ... Angèle
Gaston Joly ... Antoine, le tailleur / Antoine the Tailor
Gérard Lorin ... Marc
Françoise Bertin ... Simone
Wanda Kerien ... La cliente (as Wanda Kérien)
Jean-Jacques Lagarde ... L'employé du casino
Paul Chevallier
Laure Paillette ... La cliente dans la rue
Robert Bordenave ... Le croupier / The Croupier
Éliane Chevet
Yves Peneau
Yves Vincent ... L'homme du couple d'acheteurs

Directed by
Alain Resnais 
Writing credits
Jean Cayrol (scenario and dialogue)

Produced by
Pierre Braunberger .... co-producer
Anatole Dauman .... producer
Original Music by
Hans Werner Henze 
Cinematography by
Sacha Vierny 
Film Editing by
Kenout Peltier 
Eric Pluet 
Production Design by
Jacques Saulnier 
Costume Design by
Lucilla Mussini 
Makeup Department
Alexandre Marcus .... makeup artist
Éliane Marcus .... makeup artist
Janou Pottier .... hair stylist
Production Management
Michel Choquet .... unit manager
Philippe Dussart .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pierre Grunstein .... assistant director
Jean Léon .... assistant director
Florence Malraux .... second assistant director
Art Department
Charles Chieusse .... assistant art director
Georges Glon .... assistant art director
Charles Merangel .... set dresser
Michel Suné .... props
Sound Department
Antoine Bonfanti .... sound
Jean Gaudelet .... boom operator
Jean Nény .... sound mixer
Jean Philippe .... boom operator
Camera and Electrical Department
Philippe Brun .... camera operator
Jean Chiabaut .... assistant camera
Liliane de Kermadec .... still photographer
Elie Fontanille .... key electrician
Jean Harnois .... assistant camera
Richard Vasseur .... key grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Christiane Fageol .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Claudine Merlin .... assistant editor
Svetla Pingova .... assistant editor
Music Department
Paul Colline .... lyricist: "Déja"
Georges Delerue .... additional music: "Sujuk Day"
Hans Werner Henze .... conductor
Paul Maye .... music: "Déja"
Rita Streich .... singer
Other crew
Sylvette Baudrot .... script girl
Suzanne Bujot .... assistant script
Jan Lenica .... titles
Jeanne Marie Olivier .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour" - France (original title)
See more »
USA:115 min | USA:116 min | Brazil:112 min | France:117 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Sujux DaySee more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Space of memory, past and future fears, 12 May 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

Resnais is one of the seven sages of cinema, perhaps even one of the most important ones. Within him we find others, like Godard and Marker, who inherited the problems he first posited with clarity of vision and eloquence of mood. Problems of memory, firstly how the past forms manifest in consciousness and synthesize an illusionary space which we then inhabit (in itself a poignant inspection of the mechanisms of cinema), more importantly what these past forms are, which we understand as the self and identity, and how they trap us in meaningless dilemmas.

His astounding contribution to this field, is in how he brilliantly envisions this space by means of a visual vocabulary and how he articulates within it. The museum in Hiroshima (which reappears here again, as homage), the hotel in Marienbad.

We find the wandering of memory again in Muriel, in a form a tad less inspired this time than those films.

Passions past and present, which defined the participants as persons and left indelible marks on their souls, we see how they appear again after time. We see these people use memory as the only means of reliving time, of painfully trying to claim again the ethical vindication that escaped them the first time. How this past, projected in their minds, appears again around them to trap them anew. And we see how, their lives stifled as a result of those past anxieties, the memory of these things points at no way out.

The characters in this are fittingly restless, always rushing particularly nowhere, actually running from things they won't admit. Running perhaps against all hope that they will face them again. Moments of reflection are burdened with half-remembered sadness, while life outside continues indifferently.

Entire scenes of this play out as they would in ordinary melodrama, then the narrative seems to break down for a time. Virtually recalling fragments of images and conversations which mean nothing, we become privy to the destructive powers of memory. We actually experience the disorientation as part of the movie.

But Muriel lacks something in comparison to those other films. Perhaps it's the political angle (re the Algiers conflict and how it resonates in a complacent French bourgeois society), which in previous Resnais films is quietly buried underneath, dormant and supine, yet here greets us upfront, often violently demanding our discourse. Perhaps it's the pastel color palette, that may had been intented to invoke the contours of melodrama whose tropes the movie rearranges, but renders the film now a relic of the times.

Nonetheless Resnais here gives us an important realization. How we spend the present moment reliving past sufferings or anticipating the future with fear or hope, allowing these chimeras of the mind, born of desire, to cloud our soul, to disrupt our contact with the world. He gives us this not as a grave speech, something Bergman would do who was impotent in the face of suffering, but in the form of a merry jingle, which one character playfully recites after a dinner gathering, as a way of reminding us how trivial and unimportant these past or future fears are.

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