At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at... See full summary »
During the hot summer, 5 kids, "Les Mistons", spy on two lovers. They follow Gerard and Bernadette everywhere. Les Mistons send a suggestive postcard to Bernadette once Gerard is away. But ... See full summary »
"Love at Twenty" unites five directors from around the world to present their different perspectives on what love really is at the age of 20. The episodes are united with the score of ... See full summary »
Stanislas Previne is a young sociologist, preparing a thesis on criminal women. He meets in prison Camille Bliss to interview her. Camille is accused to have murdered her lover Arthur and ... See full summary »
This short film is the first segment of five in the multinational feature Love at Twenty (1962), all five segments on the theme of first adult love. After indulging in much delinquency in ... See full summary »
Jean Lerat de la Grignotière is as full of himself as his name is long. Heeding (somewhat reluctantly to be true) the call of the Motherland he goes to the barracks where he is to ... See full summary »
Claude de Givray,
Christian de Tillière,
A timid and clumsy young man is looking for a room through newspaper ads. A young lady answers his phone call. When he arrives to the apartment with his suitcase, he finds the young lady in... See full summary »
A young woman is going to Paris by bus, but when she steps out of her house she discovers that her garden and the whole village is flooded with water. With a boat and a bike she succeeds to... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at the house where she lives with her mother and her sister Muriel, for whom she intends Claude. During these holidays, Claude, Ann and Muriel become very close and he gradually falls in love with Muriel. But both families lay down a one-year-long separation without any contact before agreeing to the marriage. So Claude goes back to Paris when he has many love affairs before sending Muriel a break-off letter... Written by
Anne's last words in the film are, "If you send for a doctor, I will see him now." These were writer Emily Brontë's last words before she died, Truffaut who was an avid reader probably used her words in the film as an homage or to compare her to the character of Anne. See more »
Dearest Claude... I came to see you to bury this thing. I'm glad you were the first, because it's you, because you wanted it. I shan't cry. Listen to me as you once did when I told you love was stirring in me. Now I tell you that is must die. So that I may live.
See more »
The actor Jean-Pierre Leaud, the child star of Truffaut's breakthrough '400 Blows' and who plays the protagonist Claude in 'Deux Anglaises et le Continent' symbolises the flawed and tender charm at the heart of this 1971 film. Leaud can't act. Nevertheless, by dint of his solemn Gallic charm and beauty, there is something deeply moving about this turn-of-the- century cross-Channel menage-a-trois.
The story is an adaptation of a novel by Truffaut's beloved author Henri Pierre Roche who also wrote the novel which inspired 'Jules et Jim'. 'Deux Anglaises et le Continent' is written in diary form from the points of view of three characters, Anne, Muriel and Claude who make up the narrative's central love triangle. The story is basically one of thwarted love. Both English sisters develop strong feelings for their French 'brother' Claude, which eventually turns into destructive sexual passion. As such, the film is an inversion of 'Jules et Jim', which was a comic celebration of love between two close male friends and one girl. Stories of doomed love appealed to Truffaut.
When it appeared in cinemas, the film was a critical and commercial flop. In '71 society was in the grip of sexual liberation, and here was Truffaut, who had reflected the zeitgeist so perfectly six years earlier with a whimsical celebration of liberated passion in 'Jules et Jim' serving up a period piece more reminiscent of the buttoned-up prudery of a Bronte novel.
There are many things wrong with the film. There is an odd tension between the acceptance of Claude's promiscuity as a French fait accompli on the one hand, and the sisters' chaste Victorian values on the other. The film also contains anachronisms throughout which it's fun to spot, including modern electricity pylons. The first half of the film is set in Wales but you can tell it was filmed in Normandy (Truffaut didn't want to travel to a non-French speaking location.) There are several scenes in English in which the dialogue makes you squirm. And, in my opinion, it was an error of judgement on the film maker's part to record the voice-over narration himself in such a hasty, lacklustre tone.
And yet, and yet... There is something moving and wonderful at the heart of this film because it is naive. When it was made, society had moved on and women were taking the pill and changing history; the last thing it wanted was a pastel mood-piece about two thirty year-old virgins. But there is an innocence at the film's heart which is not sentimental but you could call it very male. On the one side you have Leaud's truly shocking moments of ham acting, stilted dialogue, unbelievable period settings and a generally plodding tone, but in the balance these are outweighed by the beauty of the cinematography, the fine performances from Kika Markham and Stacey Tendeter, the music, and Truffaut's genuine feeling for the intricacies of love in all its colours.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?