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Tender Moment (1968)

La leçon particulière (original title)
Teenage student Olivier (Verley) meets 25 year-old Frédérique (Delon), wife of race car driver Enrico (Hossein), and start an affair. But guilt and doubt storm over Olivier's mind.




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Credited cast:
Frederique Dampierre
Renaud Verley ...
Olivier Fermond
Enrico Fontana
Bernard Le Coq ...
Katia Christine ...
Martine Sarcey ...
La mère d'Olivier
Nicole Desailly ...
La concierge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michel Boisrond ...
Le père d'Olivier
Henri Lambert ...
Le motard


Olivier, a seventeen-year-old high school student, is a good-looking young man, much more mature than most of his schoolmates. One day he meets Frédérique, 25, a beautiful woman who attracts him strongly. The trouble is that she has a life companion, race car driver Enrico. For the time being, Enrico is away in Detroit to test a new prototype and Frédérique is idle in Paris that is why she welcomes the young man's company. Slowly but surely, the friendship turns into an affair, for Frédérique finds she shares Olivier's feelings. But Enrico finally comes back to Paris. Will Olivier and Frédérique's love story be possible in these conditions? Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

20 December 1968 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Tender Moment  »

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I Don't Know Why
Music by Francis Lai
Lyrics by Christian Gaubert
Performed by Nicole Croisille
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User Reviews

The discreet charm of a young bourgeois.
18 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

A movie which is forgotten in its native France but seems to enjoy a small cult abroad,notably in Japan.

Let's be straight about it:"psychological drama" is too good an expression to depict this Harlequin romance :it's actually the umpteenth story of the young lad who thinks he will live a Grand Amour with a seasoned woman,and who,after sufferings (so to speak) ,has learned to be a man and to become responsible ;some did it well before it,and did it much better ("LE Diable Au Cœur" " Le Blé En Herbe"(Autant-Lara).As would do Mauro Bolognini in "Un Bellissimo Novembre" in 1969.

The soft eroticism today would not even be rated PG12 (when the movie was released it got a NC-18,which urged the teenagers to see it ).

When I write "sufferings" ,well....Olivier belongs to the high bourgeoisie and is truly a spoilt rich kid: the movie made certainly most of the French sixties audience drool,and not only for Nathalie Delon 's perfect body -furtive nudity-: luxury apartment,his own TV set -which was extremely rare in 1968-,winter sports in Avoriaz ,one of the swankiest ski resorts,in a four-star hotel -a sign reads (twice):"Hotel Des Dromonts ****-.So it must have been hard ,for the average teenager of the era ,to relate to this way of life and to feel sympathy for his heartache .

This aspect of the movie is interesting,because it shows the upper classes in a way diametrically opposite to that of Claude Chabrol.One should also notice that although the movie was made in the very year of 1968,all these students are non political:Olivier's mates talk about a meeting in high school " Louis Le Grand" but the subject remains very vague ;only Delon's character seems to indicate that something has changed in the Wake of woman's lib,but the ending leaves no hope: back in Robert Hossein's (why did this talented actor get involved in that business?-arms ,she will soon become a housewife and a socialite (ain't her daddy a consul?).

The score by Francis Lai is syrupy and accentuates the mawkishness of the screenplay.

About the actors: Renaud Verley (b.1945) was Bernard Verley's brother;after several indifferent movies -including the abysmal hippie movie "Chemins De Kathmandu" -he was finally cast in a masterpiece :" "La Caduti Dei Degli" by Visconti ,but first -class actors such as Dirk Bogarde ,Ingrid Thulin and Helmut Berger drowned him out;he has never found a great part since.

Bernard Le Coq (b.1950),less cute than Verley,serves as a foil to him in Boisrond's movie;but he enjoyed a more successful career than his co-star ,mainly in TV works.

Like this ? try this......

"La Liberte En Croupe" : Boisrond jumps on the bandwagon and cowardly treats the events of May 68 ;feat. Bernard Le Coq as the lead ,this time.

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