MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 3,946 this week

A Gentle Woman (1969)
"Une femme douce" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  27 May 1971 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,146 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 13 critic

A young woman kills herself, leaving no explanation to her grief-stricken pawnbroker husband. We learn in flashback about how they met, married, and how she failed to adapt her lifestyle to... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(from the short story by)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 03 Jul 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 08 Nov 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "A Gentle Woman" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Gentle Woman (1969)

A Gentle Woman (1969) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Gentle Woman.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Luc Simon, Laura Duke Condominas, Humbert Balsan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A society lady engineers a marriage between her lover and a cabaret dancer who is essentially a prostitute.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Paul Bernard, María Casares, Elina Labourdette
Angels of Sin (1943)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rich young Anne-Marie thinks she has found her vocation when she joins a Dominican convent as a novice. The convent specialises in rehabilitating female prisoners, and Anne-Marie becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Renée Faure, Jany Holt, Sylvie
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Florence Delay, Jean-Claude Fourneau, Roger Honorat
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Quinn plays a retired bakery tycoon, alienated from his two sons and jealously guarding his vast wealth... until a cunning young beauty (Sanda) enters the picture, marries one son, seduces ... See full summary »

Director: Mauro Bolognini
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Dominique Sanda, Fabio Testi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Charles drifts through politics, religion and psychoanalysis, rejecting them all. Once he realises the depth of his disgust with the moral and physical decline of the society he lives in, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Antoine Monnier, Tina Irissari, Henri de Maublanc
Mouchette (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Mouchette is a young girl living in the country. Her mother is dying and her father does not take care of her. Mouchette remains silent in the face of the humiliations she undergoes. One ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Nadine Nortier, Jean-Claude Guilbert, Marie Cardinal
The Peddler (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Consisting of three separate stories, the director explores "Man" as a theme: birth, life and death, to present a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic portrait of life at the bottom of the ... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Mahmoud Basiri, Behzad Behzadpour, Zohreh Sarmadi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality.

Director: Eric Rohmer
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Françoise Fabian, Marie-Christine Barrault
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The 'dreamer' is Jacques, a young painter, who by chance runs into Marthe as she's contemplating suicide on the Pont-Neuf in Paris. They talk, and agree to see each other again the next ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Isabelle Weingarten, Guillaume des Forêts, Jean-Maurice Monnoyer
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Directors: Leo De Boer, Jurriën Rood
Stars: Robert Bresson, Louis Malle, Dominique Sanda
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Elle
Guy Frangin ...
Luc, son mari
Jeanne Lobre ...
Anna, la bonne
Claude Ollier ...
Le médecin
Jacques Kébadian ...
Le dragueur
Gilles Sandier ...
Le maire
Dorothée Blanck ...
L'infirmière (as Dorothée Blank)
Edit

Storyline

A young woman kills herself, leaving no explanation to her grief-stricken pawnbroker husband. We learn in flashback about how they met, married, and how she failed to adapt her lifestyle to his. Disgusted with his attempts to dominate her, she considered murdering him, but found herself unable to do it... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Gentle Creature  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Bresson chose Dominique Sanda just as a result of her first voice call. See more »

Goofs

(at about 18 minutes) Guy and Dominique swap places in their cinema seats before they are actually seen to do so in the final shot of that scene. See more »

Connections

Version of A Gentle Spirit (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Powerful and haunting
23 July 2007 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Based on a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Bresson's A Gentle Woman is the story of Elle (Dominique Sanda), a beautiful young woman who, without any forewarning, jumps to her death from the balcony of her Paris apartment. We do not see the actual event, only a hand opening a door, a table falling over, a flower pot breaking, and a white scarf floating limply through the air. Her story is told almost matter-of-factly by her husband Luc (Guy Frangin) to his maid (Jeanne Lobre) as he stands by her bed next to the body but we are no clearer about the "why" at the end than we were at the beginning.

Although the film is Bresson's first in color and perhaps more accessible than many of his films, it is also full of his typically enigmatic details and coincidences that may be clues to the fate of the characters. Like most of his films, the actors are non-professionals with the exception of Ms. Sanda and the performances are emotionally detached yet rich in nuance and body language and the overall experience is powerful and haunting. In flashback, we discover that her husband Luc is a pawnbroker and the two meet when she comes to his store to sell a crucifix. The distinction between her spiritual nature and his obsession with material things is apparent when he strips off the plastic statue of Jesus, keeping only the gold cross that he deems to be of some value.

Moved by her poverty and enamored with her striking features, he pays more than the cross is worth, but she returns it to him saying that she cannot be bought. Though he pursues her with determination, Elle at first resists. "You don't want love", she tells him. "You want me to agree to marry you." Luc insists that he can take her away from her sordid surroundings and provide her with a home, saying, "Say yes and you can leave here forever." And she at last agrees but it is clear from the beginning that the marriage is a mismatch and throughout the film, Bresson conveys a growing mood of claustrophobia and growing oppressiveness. Luc appeals to her spiritual nature by taking her to museums, operas, and plays and buying her phonograph records but there is something missing.

On the surface he loves her, but he is cold, humorless, and unable to understand or meet her deepest needs. On the other hand, Elle is withdrawn, given to long periods of silence, and makes little attempt to communicate her feelings. Indeed, she may be clinically depressed, but Bresson deals with people's problems in existential rather than psychological terms. "For myself", he has said, "there is something which makes suicide possible, almost inevitable – the feeling of void which is impossible to bear." Perhaps Bresson views suicide, at least on one level, as an act of spiritual redemption and A Gentle Woman may have that implication, though the film is very much open to interpretation.

One day Elle picks up a gun and points it at Luc but cannot pull the trigger. Inevitably they fight over money and his jealousy surfaces when he discovers her sitting with a young man in a parked car, even though he hears her reject the man's advances. When she becomes ill, he is generous in providing treatment and the relationship seems to be moving in the right direction until, both fearful of intimacy and afraid of being alone, something within her snaps. Mentally confused or perhaps clear for the first time, she steps out onto the balcony and finds her way home.


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dostoyevsky arian_8769
Featured Movie amd8404
Discuss A Gentle Woman (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?