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A Matter of Resistance (1966)

La vie de château (original title)
In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1945, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his ... See full summary »

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(scenario), (collaboration) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Jérôme
Henri Garcin ...
Julien
Mary Marquet ...
Charlotte
Carlos Thompson ...
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Storyline

In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1945, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his wife to Paris, where she longs to live, shop, and party. A German outfit is bivouacked at Jérôme and Marie's crumbling château because its commanding officer is pursuing Marie. She's also eyed by a French spy working with the Allies as they plan D-Day. He woos her (posing to the Germans as her brother) and, in his passion, forgets his mission. Heroics come from an unexpected direction, and Marie makes her choice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

25 January 1966 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Matter of Resistance  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
La vie de château
9 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"La vie de château" is little known in the US, but it was popular in France and won the Prix Louis-Delluc. It's built around Catherine Deneuve as a farm girl who has married Jérome, the winded scion of a grand seigneurial family (Philippe Noiret), and is discontented as a result. Pent up in their crumbling château in Normandy, she longs for the high life of Paris. Her husband, though, seems pleased to slowly rot away, as long as the ancestral orchards keep producing the finest fruit in the world; he bears himself as the final fruit of a noble line. His widowed mother (Mary Marquet) lives with them, playing the piano with a lofty air while ceiling plaster falls into the wires. She dotes on her son, but can't help reminding him that he's not the man his father was. His father-in-law, a growling old peasant with a keen grasp of the situation (Henri Garcin), reminds him of the same thing. The château is mortgaged to the hilt, and the former tenant is in a position to buy it cheaply, and become the new seigneur. Into this set-up parachutes Pierre Brasseur as a member of the Resistance, sent to spy out the German troop placements in the neighboring countryside. For our Normandy farce is set in the spring of 1944. The ineffectual husband is indifferent to the German invaders, and unaware of the activities of the Resistance: we may have a small fable unfolding here. Both the German colonel and the French patriot want to dress Deneuve in finery and take her to the Paris of her dreams – but the sticking point is that her husband really does love her, and an unpredictable gallant lover awakens under his placid surface.

Deneuve has none of the usual technique needed for playing farce, but the serene quality of her beauty keeps her from straining at it. When the young wife's frustrations make her fly into anger over trifles, the flights are truly jarring and spiky; the comedy is in Noiret's limitless capacity for absorbing these darts – or is it limitless?

The fine score is by Michel Legrand.


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