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The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)
"Le chagrin et la pitié" (original title)

PG  |   |  Documentary, History, War  |  25 March 1972 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,559 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 31 critic

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 »

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

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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)
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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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

25 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sorrow and the Pity  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally intended for French television but broadcasters refused to show it. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Claude Levy: France is the only government in all Europe whose government collaborated. Others signed an armistice or surrendered, but France was the only country to have collaborated and voted laws which were even more racist than the Nuremberg laws, as the French racist criteria were even more demanding than the German racist criteria. It's not something to be proud of.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Annie Hall (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

to 'Triumph over France'"
Written by Grigory Kaputnikov (pseudo-name Siegfried Karl Schlegelmeyer)
(heard in footage when Hitler cames to Paris)
See more »

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User Reviews

Profound sadness.
5 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How truly compelling is "The Sorrow and the Pity," a monumental 4 ½-hour documentary about one of the saddest realities of World War II: the almost placid collaboration of the French with their occupying German conquerors. The movie was created by Marcel Ophüls (son of the great Max Ophüls) and portrays a devastating picture of the collective compromise of morality under duress. We are brought into intimate contact with the times by way of newsreel footage and interviews with present-day survivors of all persuasions as they recall the events of the past, corroborate or contradict others or even themselves. We see the danger that comes with historical amnesia and the refusal to see that there is a potential for great evil as well as great good in all of us. This is a profound movie, and a profoundly disquieting one. It does not substitute facile attitudinizing for intelligence and integrity. It demands that we push the limits of our vision beyond the borders of the screen masking in the theatre. It would be a sorrow and a pity not to see it…and think about its implications for all of us.


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