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Mississippi Mermaid (1969)
"La sirène du Mississipi" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  18 June 1969 (France)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 4,022 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 30 critic

Louis Mahe is a tobacco planter at Reunion Island. He is waiting for Julie Roussel to marry her. He only knows her by mail. The woman that comes does not like the picture he got, but he ... See full summary »

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(based on the novel by) (as William Irish) , (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nelly Borgeaud ...
Martine Ferrière ...
Marcel Berbert ...
Yves Drouhet ...
...
Roland Thénot ...
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Storyline

Louis Mahe is a tobacco planter at Reunion Island. He is waiting for Julie Roussel to marry her. He only knows her by mail. The woman that comes does not like the picture he got, but he marries her anyway. Soon, she flees with Louis' money. She was not the real Julie Roussel but Marion. Louis tries to find her... Another Truffaut's film about passion. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity/sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Mississippi Mermaid  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,668 (USA) (10 July 2009)

Gross:

$26,893 (USA) (18 March 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original French title is spelled "La Sirène du Mississipi" (one P) in some sources, and "La Sirène du Mississippi" (two Ps) in other sources. See more »

Goofs

When the disc Marion has recorded is run over in the street and shattered, she kneels to retrieve the pieces; at first her right knee is uppermost, but then suddenly her left knee is higher, as she stands. See more »

Quotes

Julie Roussel: [as the two of them sit in a busy restaurant] It seems to me that you're looking at a lot of girls.
Louis Mahé: Me? Oh, no, no, I'm not.
Julie Roussel: Yes, Monsieur Mahé. You've taken to looking at women, and you look at them well.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Sleaze (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love is An Illusion, But a Grand Illusion
13 July 2010 | by (Orlando, United States) – See all my reviews

I am surprised that nobody has yet pointed out that the ending in the snow is an homage to Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion." The film is dedicated at the beginning to Renoir.

Jean Renoir was the great humanist director. For him, all that matters is how we treat human beings. The same here for Truffaut. The film tells us that it does not matter if you're rich or poor, male or female, upholding the law or fighting it, the only thing that matters is love. This is a romantic film that has occasional touches of a good mystery/detective/noir film. The Hitchcock film that it most reminded me of was "Marnie". There, like here, it is hard to know if crime or patient love will win out in the end.

I did not care much for the New Wave style editing, which seemed out of sync with the dramatic story at times. The many shots of Belmondo driving kept reminding me of the beginning of "Breathless." The color seemed a bit dull and washed out.

The locations are lovely, but Truffaut seems to have only one thing on his mind, the relationship between the lead characters, Louis and Juli/Marion. The characters and the audience think they know each other, but the film keeps fooling them and us. We are constantly getting new information that makes us re-evaluate who they are and they are constantly surprising each other. For example, Louis has been telling Juli/Marion how much he loves her and how beautiful she is and then suddenly he gets upset and tells her how there are many of her kind - she is not really a woman or a girl, but a "chick". The term "chick" is far more demeaning here then the term "bitch" or "slut" could ever have been. He tells her that her cold attitude actually makes her ugly. Watching the scene, one thinks about how easily and naturally men can degrade women, even women they love.

The film is a bit long and occasionally meanders, but it is emotionally intense at many points along the way. It seems that nothing is happening and then suddenly there's a surprise that makes you think, "Oh my goodness, I didn't expect that." It may not be one of Truffaut's best films, but second-rate Truffaut is still better than 90% of other directors' best stuff.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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