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Life Love Death (1969)

La vie, l'amour, la mort (original title)
"Life, Love, Death" was made before the abolition of capital punishment in France. Its central message is the inhumanity of the guillotine. The film, which is shot somewhat in a cinema ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
François Toledo
Caroline Cellier ...
Caroline
Janine Magnan ...
Janine
...
Le commissaire Marchand
Pierre Zimmer ...
L'officier de police
Catherine Samie ...
Julie - la prostituée
Lisette Bersy ...
Helene - la belle-mère
Albert Naud ...
L'avocat de la défense
Jean-Pierre Sloan ...
Le procureur
Nathalie Durrand ...
Sophie
Sylvia Saurel ...
Prostituée (as Sylvie Saurel)
Denyse Roland ...
Prostituée
Rita Maiden ...
La prostituée en voiture
Pierre Collet ...
Le bourreau
Albert Rajau ...
Assistant du bourreau
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Storyline

"Life, Love, Death" was made before the abolition of capital punishment in France. Its central message is the inhumanity of the guillotine. The film, which is shot somewhat in a cinema verite style, divides roughly into three acts. In Act One, there is a series of murders of prostitutes in Paris. An obviously deeply disturbed man is hiring these prostitutes and then strangling them. Suspicion falls on François (Amidou), a married man with a child. The police put him under surveillance. (Viewers will recognize the inspector in charge of the team as Marcel Bozzuffi, who would play Popeye Doyle's nemesis in The French Connection a couple of years later.) Ironically, François is experiencing spiritual healing and renewal through the power of love---not with his wife, of course, this being a French film, but through an affair with a beautiful young woman he has met (not a prostitute). But just as this is happening and François seems to have lost the need to commit violent crimes, he is ... Written by mfisher452

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There are times when crime can be a kind of justice...and justice a kind of crime.

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

29 January 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Life Love Death  »

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User Reviews

 
A harrowing document
10 November 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Claude Lelouch is best known for sentimental movies. Not all are masterpieces, but many are really brilliant -with an excellent camera work (made by Lelouch himself) and long scenes in which facial expressions and movements of the actors replace dialogs, in order to let us imagine their feelings.

This film, made after "Un homme et une femme" (Lelouch's cinematic breakthrough in 1966) and "Vivre pour vivre" (1967) is completely different from the previous two and from the following ones as well. Here the French director quits the sentimental themes for telling a very dramatic story, about a married man who kills three prostitutes and is sentenced to death.

The film is a strong condemnation of death penalty in France -in 1968, when the movie was made, capital punishment was still valid there, it was abolished many years later.

The film shares the same opinion with the US movie "Dead Man Walking" by Tim Robbins (1995): death penalty is useless, no matter which mistake the condemned man has done.

Lelouch films with a lot realism, as if it was a documentary. The story is told in a quite crude way -all the prison scenes are also shot in black and white, whereas the antecedents are in colour.

Death penalty is shown here as a barbarian ritual, a ceremony of the absurd.

I think it still remains a very courageous movie.


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