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Claire's Knee (1970)
"Le genou de Claire" (original title)

GP  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  21 February 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,248 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 34 critic

On holiday, a conflicted man lusts after beautiful stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter.



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Title: Claire's Knee (1970)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Aurora Cornu ...
Aurora, the novelist
Béatrice Romand ...
Laurence de Monaghan ...
Michèle Montel ...
Madame Walter
Gérard Falconetti ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sandra Franchina


Cultural attache Jerome spends his last holidays as a bachelor at Lake Annecy where he meets Aurora, an Italian writer and old friend. She talks him into a flirt with his landlady's teenage daughter, Laura, but he falls for Laura's half-sister Claire and develops a desire to caress her knee. Written by Otto Oberhauser <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

21 February 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Claire's Knee  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The shadow of the boom mic is visible on the ground when Amber and Laura sit in the meadow, and then is seen on her shirt as she stands. See more »


Jerome: The turmoil she arouses in me gives me a sort of right over her.
See more »


Featured in The Son of Gascogne (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful, authentic Rohmer film
27 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eric Rohmer's style never ceases to amaze me: his characters and scenarios always seem realistic but not oppressively so. Furthermore, while on paper his films might sound stagey thanks to his direction they manage to be uniquely cinematic. This film is no exception; it has a tremendous amount of dialogue, perhaps even moreso than other Rohmer films I've seen but it never feels too talky.

The plot of this film revolves around Jerome, a vacationing man who is about to get married. He runs into an old friend who happens to be vacationing with his neighbor's family and he begins spending a lot of time with this family. Before long the neighbor's 16 year old daughter Laura develops a crush on Jerome much to his delight. Rohmer's treatment of his teenage characters is one place where the film really shines: he doesn't portray them as naive innocents or stereotypes but rather as intelligent, unique individuals. After quite a bit of flirtation, Laura realizes that nothing will come of their relationship and moves on. In spite of his lack of attachment to Laura, Jerome has difficulty dealing with her new indifference. He quickly turns his attention to her sister Claire, a girl who has very little interest in him. He seems to see this as a challenge; her perfect figure (particularly her shapely knee) fascinates him to no end.

Ultimately Jerome and the other adults seem more childish than the teenagers in the film: while the younger folk know what they want and react maturely if they don't get it the older folk are indecisive and petty; they want what they can't have. Jerome in particular constantly claims that he doesn't care about looks but he pursues the more attractive Claire even though she doesn't seem nearly as intelligent as her sister. The point here might be that maturity and age don't necessarily go hand in hand or that even the most sophisticated seeming adult can behave as a childish fool.

As usual, the film had some interesting, realistic characters. The film is also one of the best looking I've ever seen, probably in no small part thanks to the efforts of legendary cinematographer Nestor Almendros. Still, I couldn't help but feel that the themes of this film were not expressed as well as those in the very best Rohmer films I've seen. Still quite good and Rohmer is steadily becoming one of my favorite directors.

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