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The Salamander (1971)
"La salamandre" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  27 October 1971 (France)
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Reviews: 3 user | 9 critic

Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they're writing a teleplay about a minor but ... See full summary »


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The Salamander (1971) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bulle Ogier ...
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Jacques Denis ...
Véronique Alain ...
Daniel Stuffel ...
Le patron du magasin de chaussures
Marblum Jequier ...
La femme de Paul (as Marblum Jéquier)
Marcel Vidal ...
L'oncle de Rosemonde
Dominique Catton ...
Violette Fleury ...
La mère du patron du magasin de chaussures
Mista Préchac ...
La mère de Rosemonde
Pierre Walker ...
L'inspecteur de la Régie
Janine Christoffe ...
Catherine, une amie de Pierre
Guillaume Chenevière ...
L'inspecteur de police
Claudine Berthet ...
Zoé, la dactylo
Michel Viala ...
Le patron peintre en bâtiment


Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they're writing a teleplay about a minor but curious event in which either her uncle was wounded while cleaning his rifle or she shot him. Pierre is a free-lance journalist hired to write the script; he's short of time so he asks a Bohemian poet friend, Paul, to help. Pierre wants facts and tracks down Rosemonde for interviews that lead to other explorations; Paul only wants to imagine her and needs little more than her name to do so. But he does meet her, and she entangles him, too. Did she cause the shooting? Is she venomous or innocent? Written by <>

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Release Date:

27 October 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Salamander  »

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Remade as Fourbi (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

As fresh as today...
17 November 2004 | by (san francisco, ca.) – See all my reviews

Renting a foreign film, at random, especially one you've never heard of, and directed by someone you're unfamiliar with, can be a wonderful experience if you're lucky enough to wind up with "La Salamandre."

This 1971 Swiss/French production, shot in glorious black and white, is an off-beat satire which mocks bourgeois conformity and culture in oh-so-straight laced Switzerland. Like shooting fish in a barrel? Director Alain Tanner is far too inspired a talent to settle for the obvious.

He takes an absurdest plot -- played terribly straight -- about a couple of down-on-their luck, hapless, hack writers, trying to put together a TV script about a sexy, free-spirited young woman who, "in real life," shot and wounded her uncle for several good reasons, mainly, I suspect, for being boring (a motive I find endearing).

Tanner, best known for "Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000," takes his sweet time setting up his eccentric characters and their numskull project, but once in place a lot of genuine laughter arises from the work of his gifted cast, led by the irrepressible Bulle Ogier (the compassionate dominatrix in "Maitress") in their delirious situation. Many great bits, all played straight, are offered, including a government inspector of "civil decency" popping up for an investigation. Much of this inspired stuff seems like it could have been written today and definitely not about the Swiss.

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