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The Mouth Agape (1974)
"La gueule ouverte" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  8 May 1974 (France)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 428 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 11 critic

Monique is dying. Around her gather her unfaithful husband, her son, who is like his father, and her daughter-in-law. We observe them playing with life as she dies.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hubert Deschamps ...
Roger le père, 'Le Garçu'
Philippe Léotard ...
Philippe, le fils
Monique Mélinand ...
Monique, la mère
Henri Saulquin
Alain Grestau
Anna Gayane
Mireille Laurenchet
Corinne Derel
Marie-Blanche Dehaux
Christian Dehaux
Jean-Dominique de la Rochefoucauld ...
(as J.-D. de la Rochefoucauld)
Jeanne Dulac
Lucien Dulac
Anne-Claude Girard ...
(as Annie Claude Girard)


Monique is dying. Around her gather her unfaithful husband, her son, who is like his father, and her daughter-in-law. We observe them playing with life as she dies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

8 May 1974 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Íntima de Um Casal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Deutsche Grammophon
B.P. 138 861
(Atto Primo: Scena 5. Recitativo "Non v'e più tempo, amici" - No 9 Quintetto e Coro "De scrivermi ogni giorno" / Scena 6: Recitativo "Dove son ?" - No 10 Terzettino "Soave sia il vento") song title uncredited
Conducted by Eugen Jochum (uncredited)
Fiordiligi: Irmgard Seefried (uncredited)
Drabella: Nan Merriman (uncredited)
Ferrando: Ernst Haefliger (uncredited)
Guglielmo: Hermann Prey (uncredited)
Don Alfonso: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (uncredited)
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Cries and whispers
24 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

The last picture:Philippe Leotard and Natalie Baye are leaving home behind.He drives at a dizzying speed.Then the father,alone in his deserted house,turns off the light.

The young couple thinks he can escape:it's not pleasant to stay in a house where one of your folks has just died.But actually,it's their OWN death which they fear ... Death is no more an abstract word (which concerns the others),it's something certain.

"La Gueule Ouverte" is Pialat's "Cries and Whispers" (both his film and Bergman's were released at about the same time).But "La Gueule Ouverte" is devoid of aestheticism: directing is icily remote,music is completely absent (with the exception of the scene when Monique Melinand is listening to Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" ),no embellishment; nothing is spared the audience and the fact that such a harrowing screenplay succeeds artistically without falling into the trap of vulgarity or/and sentiment is entirely due to Pialat's natural feeling for economy and sparseness which preclude all forms of conventional sentimentality.

His characters are despicable persons,with the eventual exception of the mother who seems more educated (Pialat seems to indicate she must have suffered from the meanness of her family: the father and the son play around ,even when she is about to die ,the daughter-in-law tries and tries to show some compassion but she's finally completely indifferent.

Nothing was spared the audience indeed .The dying woman 's unbearable breathing -and the scene lasts three interminable minutes- ,the body placed in the coffin, the old man crying his heart out...

My two favorite Pialat movies are this one and "L'Enfance Nue" .The latter deals with the beginning of life ,of a harsh life whilst the former depicts an inhuman death.

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