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Thomas the Impostor (1965)
"Thomas l'imposteur" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  5 May 1965 (France)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 155 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 5 critic

In the First World War, when Paris is expected to fall to the Germans, the attractive widow, Princesse de Bormes, organises a convoy of cars to evacuate the wounded from the front, and ... See full summary »

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(from the novel by), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Title: Thomas the Impostor (1965)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean Servais ...
Fabrice Rouleau ...
Sophie Darès ...
Henriette
Rosy Varte ...
Mme. Valiche
Bernard Lavalette ...
Dr. Gentil
Jean-Roger Caussimon ...
L'èvêque
Hélène Dieudonné ...
Tante de Thomas
Jean Ozenne ...
Le comte d'Orange
Serge Rousseau
Jean Henry
André Méliès ...
Le vieil homme du bal
Raymond Jourdan ...
Le médecin militaire
Jean Magis ...
Pagot
Claudine Dalmas ...
(as Claude Dalmas)
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Storyline

In the First World War, when Paris is expected to fall to the Germans, the attractive widow, Princesse de Bormes, organises a convoy of cars to evacuate the wounded from the front, and bring them back to her villa in Paris to recuperate. The authorities will not give them passes until an innocent 16-year-old boy, Guillaume Thomas de Fontenoy, joins them and is mistaken as the nephew of the popular General de Fontenoy. The Princess is enraptured by Thomas and her daughter, Henriette, falls in love with him. However Thomas feels impelled to see more of the action of the war. Written by Will Gilbert

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5 May 1965 (France)  »

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Thomas the Impostor  »

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User Reviews

 
Franju and Cocteau
11 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

It was the last interesting movie by Georges Franju whose "les Yeux Sans Visages" is known world-wide .It was also the second time he had used Emmanuelle Riva ,one of the best actresses of the French cinema.I've got the strange feeling that Riva was so gifted a thespian French directors were afraid of her.Riva had been a perfect "Thérèse Desqueyroux" two years before.

She portrays a princess,who ,during WW1,like rich idle women ,(see also in Martin Du Gard's "les Thibault" the character of Madame De Fontanin )transformed her town house into a hospital for the persons who were wounded in the war.Young officer Thomas helps her: actually ,the boy could not enlist,he is not really a soldier, for he is only sixteen (hence the title of the movie:"the impostor").

George Franju used to say:"Thomas is not a hero(..)He is an adventurous dreamer who is living in a world which is the opposite of the world of his dream.And war is realistic and unfortunately dirty."

Franju's flair for strange atmosphere and his sense of mystery are still intact ,"Thomas " is his last great movie and his directing is often dazzling:

-a galloping horse with its mane on fire in a deserted village..

-the flat beaches of the North Sea where land and water are as one...

-the ambulances going through the night with a short shot of Edith Scob's face ....

Humor is also present: a warmonger chanting "La Marseillaise " and a soldier saying "what's that?I dunno.

And last but not least ,this scene Luis Bunuel might have loved : a priest opening the lips of a dead soldier with a knife to slip a host into his mouth!

Today "Thomas " ,which was made two years after Cocteau's death is an overlooked movie ;and that Franju thought the Nouvelle Vague guys were b....... didn't help matters!

Let's mention once againthe outstanding talent of Mrs Riva ,who ,after "Therese Desqueyroux" gives a superlative performance ;she's always been one of my favorite French actresses and even when the movie is mediocre (recently "Le Grand Alibi" ) ,she manages to make the best of it.Her young co-star ,Fabrice Rouleau(Raymond Rouleau's son ,he died in 2001) has fallen into oblivion but he was the young man with the child in his eyes ,a child who refuses to grow up and a forerunner of the young hero of "Die Blechtrommel" ("the tin drum").


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