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The Breach (1970)
"La rupture" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,085 users  
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Helene Regnier's husband Charles, who is mentally ill, injures their son Michel in a rage. Charles moves back in with his wealthy and manipulative parents, who blame Helene for their son's ... See full summary »


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Title: The Breach (1970)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ludovic Régnier
Annie Cordy ...
Mme Pinelli
Jean-Claude Drouot ...
Charles Régnier
Mario Beccara
Serge Bento
Henri Pinelli
Marguerite Cassan ...
Louise Chevalier ...
La deuxième parque
Suzy Falk
Pierre Gualdi
Harry Kümel
Daniel Lecourtois
Pierre Le Rumeur ...
(as Pierre Lerumeur)


Helene Regnier's husband Charles, who is mentally ill, injures their son Michel in a rage. Charles moves back in with his wealthy and manipulative parents, who blame Helene for their son's condition and vow to win custody of Michel. While the boy is in hospital, Helene rents a room in a boarding house nearby. The Regniers hire Paul Thomas, a family acquaintance who needs money, to find dirt on Helene before the court hearing on custody. Paul moves into the boarding house and, with the help of his girlfriend Sonia, who rarely wears clothes, plots to ruin Helene's reputation and then her very life. Written by <>

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Release Date:

26 August 1970 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Breach  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Claude Chabrol once stated that the bus scene where Hélène (his wife Stéphane Audran) tells her family's story to the lawyer (Michel Duchaussoy) was the occasion when he finally thought that Stéphane had become an actress. See more »


Paul Thomas: Let me do something for you. Let me take you to the airport, then I'll know you've forgiven me. Please!
Hélène Régnier: No, I won't.
Paul Thomas: Don't be spiteful. Understand me, I know you're not mean.
Hélène Régnier: No, I can't afford the luxury.
[is about to leave]
Paul Thomas: [grabbing Hélène] What do you mean? Come, tell me or I'll never forgive myself!
Hélène Régnier: [trying to free herself and leave] Don't be stupid! It won't be a disaster if I go alone!
Paul Thomas: Hélène, don't go, it's impossible!
[eventually lets her go]
Hélène Régnier: [whiny] Oooohhh...
See more »

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User Reviews

Totally Subversive And Profound
11 September 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Though I've always found it difficult to stomach the parallels between Hitchcock and Chabrol (another user on this site highlighted the similarities Chabrol shares with Clouzot, a comparison that I concur with, Chabrol sharing Clouzot's moral ambiguity/overall weltschmerz), it would be foolhardy to deny the broad Hitchcockian flourishes here. Dipped and dredged in LSD, the hallucinatory sequences in here nod reverently to "Vertigo" and "Marnie". Yet, unlike some hitchcock staples (no gripes with Hitch here, he is after all my all time favorite director), there is nary a hint of escapism here. Instead, Chabrol plunges us head-first into the depths of modern complacency, a project that we are all complicit in.

The story itself is another virulently acerbic "thriller of manners" for Chabrol, capturing with Flaubertian honesty the farce upon which class distinctions are built. Other than Clouzot, I've always felt that Chabrol's work comes closest to Bunuel's (no surprise that Cassel and Audran would also feature in Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie)- he brings a blowtorch to insipid, self-satisfied, hypocritical civilization, and dares to gaze into the vacuous abyss beneath. Like Bunuel and Fassbinder, he does this with consummate style and infuses his films with cruelly ironic wit.

Chabrol's films are always unnerving to watch because they come too close for comfort, and never allow us to be self-satisfied. He asks some terribly important questions: at what price are bourgeois myths of propriety, morality and civilization bought? In "The Unfaithful Wife", murder is necessary to sustain the idyll, while this movie offers a profound dissection of bourgeois identity- in order for bourgeois "decorousness" and privilege to survive, it must posit an Other, the sordid, vulgar, ill-educated boor, even if it doesn't exist. Throughout "La Rupture" the viewer witnesses the creation of these supposed "absolutes", the unfurling of the absurd narrative that legitimizes bourgeois entitlement- sully, tar and feather the peasant, the Other. Like homophobia, class prejudice is only an expression of the precariousness of identity, without an opposite to define oneself against, the suppositions invariably crumble.

Chabrol is an acutely intelligent, courageous and singularly brilliant film maker. Don't miss this deconstructive an examination of class, I think only "La Ceremonie" would surpass this one.

ps i can't help but wonder if the eccentric, insular boarding-house here is an homage to balzac's maison vauqeur in his incomparable "Old Goriot"- both the altruistic doctor (Bianchot) and the moustachioed, absurdly eloquent tempter (Vautrin) are parodied/mirrored here

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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