8.4/10
2,799
34 user 32 critic

The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

Le chagrin et la pitié (original title)
From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary about Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyon, and his life after the war.

Director: Marcel Ophüls
Stars: Klaus Barbie, Claude Lanzmann, Marcel Ophüls
Night and Fog (1956)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, ... See full summary »

Director: Emile de Antonio
Stars: Harry S. Ashmore, Daniel Berrigan, Joseph Buttinger
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jarda Lukás (Jan Kacer), a worker from a big machine-tool plant, enjoyed a rather decent career after the Communist putsch in February 1948. As one of the pioneers of the youth-movement of ... See full summary »

Director: Evald Schorm
Stars: Jana Brejchová, Jan Kacer, Jirina Jirásková
Certificate: Passed Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The struggles of a hardscrabble Iranian nomadic tribe as they journey through bleak country to reach the grasslands that will save their livestock.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Marguerite Harrison
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
Stars: Angelo, Nadine Ballot, Régis Debray
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A filmed account of a bitterly violent miner strike.

Director: Barbara Kopple
Stars: Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Veronica plans a rendezvous with her lover, Boris, at the bank of river, only for him to be drafted into World War II shortly thereafter.

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Stars: Tatyana Samoylova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasiliy Merkurev
Ucho (1970)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Kachyna
Stars: Jirina Bohdalová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Gustav Opocenský
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Allee
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War.

Director: Peter Davis
Stars: Dwight D. Eisenhower, William Marshall, Georges Bidault
Shoah (1985)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.

Director: Claude Lanzmann
Stars: Simon Srebnik, Michael Podchlebnik, Motke Zaïdl
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Bidault ...
Himself
Matthäus Bleibinger ...
Himself - Wehrmacht Soldier in the Auvergne (as Mathaus Bleibinger)
Charles Braun
Maurice Buckmaster ...
Himself - Former Head of the British Underground
Emile Coulaudon ...
Himself - Former Head of the Auvergne Maquis
Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie ...
Himself - Founder of the Liberation Movement
René de Chambrun ...
Himself - International Lawyer (as Count René de Chambrun)
Christian de la Mazière ...
Himself - Aristocratic Former Nazi
Darquier de Pellepoix ...
Himself - Handshake with Heydrich (archive footage)
Jacques Doriot ...
Himself - Head of the French Popular Party, 1942 (archive footage)
R. Du Jonchay ...
Himself - Head of the Resistance Movement (as Colonel R. du Jonchay)
Jacques Duclos ...
Himself - Former Secretary of the Clandestine Communist Party
Anthony Eden ...
(as Lord Avon)
Sgt. Evans
Marcel Fouche-Degliame ...
Himself - Director of the Combat Movement (as Marcel Degliame-Fouche)
Edit

Storyline

From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Important Fact Film Ever Made See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sorrow and the Pity  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Georges Bidault: Some people are resistants by nature. In other words, some people are naturally headstrong. Others on the contrary, try to adapt to the circumstances, and get what they can out of it. If you are a resistant over everything and nothing, you're exaggerating. But if you accept everything, you're lying.
See more »


Soundtracks

Notre Espoir
(uncredited)
Music by Henri Betti
Lyrics by Maurice Chevalier
Performed by Maurice Chevalier with Marcel Cariven and his Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fine though un-systematic look at French in city during German Occupation
12 December 2002 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

This is a fine documentary. Marcel Ophuls, the interviewer and director, is never too intrusive, never too opinionated - like a Ted Koppel or Jim Lehrer, he doesn't try to censor the views of those he interviews but to ask questions to help elucidate them.

The documentary selects a few dozen people to interview - virtually all with different roles and attitudes during the Occupation. I found particularly interesting:

the French doctor with "7.5 children" (?) who was concerned primarily with feeding his family throughout the Occupation and was thrilled when hunting began after a two year moratorium,

the champion bicyclist who began against great competition in 1943 because of the number of French riding bicycles due to the absence of gas to run their motorbikes or cars (and who said he didn't see many Germans around Clermont-Ferrand in Vichy France)

the extraordinarily gentlemanly and rather shy-seeming Resistance chief who refused to cooperate with the Communists in his ferocious anti-Nazi work,

the British transvestite singer who became a secret agent for the British in occupied France and broke up with his German soldier lover for fear of compromising him,

Anthony Eden's extraordinary tact and intelligence,

Pierre Mendes-France's wonderful restraint, objectivity, humor and

absence of recrimination,

the German father of the bride at a wedding reception whose attitude toward his (undoubtedly brave) service in the War is wholly uncolored by the fact that the country for which he fought was the aggressor, totalitarian, and vigorously persecutor of groups - (I actually suspect that if one were merely a soldier and had not personally acted dishonorably in the War, this is the attitude that most would have -whether a German or Russian soldier - despite extending one's own horrible system into the rest of Europe).

For one, such as myself, who does believe the Communist Party, especially in those days of Stalin, to have been as great a menace to the world as the Nazi Party, the documentary's failure to ever ask the Communist officials interviewed about their beliefs about substituting one horror for another is disappointing. I could not forget as I watched the interviews of Communists, the 14.5 million recently killed by the Russians in Ukraine as the result of the terror famine imposed on that region - or the Great Terror that killed more millions and concluded just as the War began. In fact, M. Ophuls discomfits the Resistance leader who defied Orders from the Free French in London to cooperate with the Communists against the Nazis - I felt like applauding his behavior!

I'm sure for most, the most fascinating character is M. de la Maziere, the extraordinarily candid, intelligent, disarming and charming aristocrat and former Fascist youth who, at the end of the War, volunteered to serve on the Eastern Front in the German Waffen S.S. - from which only 300 of the 5000 survived. He was quite remarkable to hear - he'd obviously spent a great deal of time thinking about what he had done, why, and although regretful, was unsparing in his description of what he knew and what he had done. However, in interviewing him in a German castle used between the Wars by the Kaiser, and in 1944 for Petain and Laval, the documentary makes it appear as if the castle somehow relates to de la Maziere - as if he owned it

  • when in fact Ophuls simply took him there for the interview. It's the one


dishonest seeming moment in this wonderful documentary.

I strongly recommmend that others see it - you will wonder how you would react, and think about what those in your own country would react to foreign occupation.


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This is pathetic butterfinger
Translation errors in the subtitles? jg1972
Is this not Monday Morning Quarterbacking by the director? raymondcl2
Subtitles... abclaret
1969? Saturnome
where can i get it in Mexico? plen5
Discuss The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page