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Les Biches (1968)

Les biches (original title)
Architect Paul Thomas insinuates himself into the relationship of two bisexual women living in a St. Tropez villa with tragic consequences.

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Writers:

(scenario and dialogue), (scenario and dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Why
...
Nane Germon ...
Violetta
Serge Bento ...
Bookseller
Henri Frances
Henri Attal ...
Robègue
Dominique Zardi ...
Riais
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laure Valmée
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Storyline

Frédérique is a rich and beautiful woman who picks up a female street artist called "Why". It is December and they go to her villa in Saint Tropez, which is inhabited by a couple of odd gay men. Both women fall for the local architect Paul Thomas. However Why says that she is not interested in him, so Frédérique invites him to move into the villa. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Girls  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Biche" is not only French for "doe," it is also slang for "girl" or "young woman" (just like British "bird" or American "chick" or "fox") - so the title is ambiguous: it could be taken as "The Girls," or it could very literally refer to the pictures of female deer (one of which is portrayed with another doe inside its womb) that Why draws and, in one case, keeps in her bedroom. In French the word "lesbiche" is slang for lesbian, its plural being "lesbiches". See more »

Quotes

Robèque: [popping a champagne cork] Champagne! The artillery of pleasure!
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Connections

References The Naughty Nineties (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Des Gens Perdus
Written and Performed by Pierre Jansen Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating.
14 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Les Biches', whilst not my favourite Chabrol film ranks among his best. On one level it has sumptuous cinematography on a par with 'Le boucher', another excellent score, courtesy of Pierre Jansen and some very stylish direction. All Chabrol's actors play their parts beautifully although Audran undoubtedly has the best material.

But what marks this film out and what many cannot appear to perceive is that it is not a meditation on class or a portrait of a 'menage a trois'. It does touch on those subjects, as do many of Chabrol's films, but this film is essentially about identity and it's destruction or absorption by another. Stephanie Audran's character is, put simply a VAMPIRE. This is humorously and beautifully established early in the picture when she first meets Sassard's character 'Why' on a bridge in Paris amid a Gothic mist and with Audran looking drained and evidently needing a new victim. Many have commented on Jean-Louis Trintignant's acting, arguing that it is bland or inexpert, failing to realise that as part of the plot he had to be 'consumed' by Audran and had to appear ineffectual. Compare Audran's extraordinarily vital, near superhuman character in 'Les Biches' to her purposefully meek character in 'La Rupture' and one can begin to see what a subtle and intelligent actress she is.

On first viewing 'Les Biches' some years ago I was mystified and like other reviewers irritated by the two scroungers Robegue and Riais. After further viewing it appears they are purposefully antagonistic and their apparently parasitic relationship points to them being Audran's familiars.

The raison d'etre of the film are the final sequences in which 'Why' ultimately escapes the fate of Paul and destroys Frederique by becoming her. So 'Les Biches' is essentially a nuanced and very stylised commentary on identity and it's struggle to coexist within a relationship.


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