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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent movie

Author: Mario Bergeron from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Canada
7 October 1999

Low key but very well written drama, about a strange man (Trintignant) who is pretending to be pursued by the police and the army, because he knows a very dangerous secret. He met a couple (Jobert and always wonderful Noiret) and hide at their home. Noiret thinks that the man is very kind and decides to help him to go to Spain, where he will be safe. But the press tells that this man is a very dangerous psycho killer. The woman begins to have doubts about the man. This is a very seventies movie, with sometimes a lack of direction, but it's sure an intelligent movie. Spectators will know the famous secret at the very end of the movie. And it's a very surprising finale. By the way, whatever happen to the lovely Marlene Jobert?

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Infectious paranoia conspiracy.

Author: atenxm1
13 August 2006

Want to see a movie that leaves you uneasy, paranoid, makes you question the reality you're presented with? Scared to go out and scared to stay in? But at all cost, distracts you from mundane reality? This is one film that does that. Forget movies that rely on lavish helpings of gore and blood, gratuitous violence, habitual screaming and endless repetition of expletives. That's not scary any more. It was only ever shocking, really, and nowadays people seem to have become used to that. No, this is a French film. No clichéd devices such as explosions of discordant noise to startle you when you least expect it. Instead, something excruciatingly sinister somehow manages to silently creep out from this film, like a miasma. A chilling, clammy, atmosphere that's reinforced by subtle but compelling acting and directing. Did you hear a noise just then . . .?

I've seen this film only a few times over the years as an adult, but I was still left disturbed by it each time. I didn't exactly 'have to leave the light on' when I went to bed afterwards. But, let's say, it left a permanent impression on me. It's the way it's executed, you see. I'm too macho to admit to anything more. For connoisseurs of effective films of this genre, this is a must for the collection. You'll end up looking over your shoulder after seeing this film. Unless, of course, they come for you too . . . .

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

South West France scenery

Author: DickVG from Belgium
3 May 2001

The rude nature of the South West of France alongside the plot of the movie where three well known french actors give the best of themselves in a story that is taken of reality of those years of the 70's. Sublime shots and dialogues, good acting work, a movie that has no need to any Hollywood action and big budgets in order to entertain. If you like France and its mentality, then this movie is for you.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Believe me deadly.

Author: Gerald A. DeLuca ( from United States
5 June 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Le Secret," a French movie directed by Robert Enrico, stars Jean Louis Trintignant as a man who has stumbled accidentally upon a state "secret." We never find out exactly what it is, but it is something so awesome and so dangerous that the government first confines him to a mental ward and then hunts him down to eliminate him once he manages to escape. There are some shades of Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly" here.

After his escape the man is befriended by Philippe Noiret who plays a character of supernatural goodness reminiscent of his role in "The Clockmaker." Noiret and his less altruistic wife Marlène Jobert harbor and protect the man while they wonder whether he is telling them the truth or is indeed the killer which the authorities say is on the loose. Their uncertainty will cost them dearly.

The movie is weakened by our never knowing what hideous truth the man has uncovered (a sort of unexplicated Hitchcockian 'MacGuffin') and by an overly oblique directorial style from the man who gave us the unforgettable "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." The principals, nevertheless, are uniformly excellent, and the shock ending managed to frighten me a great deal.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Seeking the truth beyond the boundaries of what we are

Author: (albertoveronese) from Switzerland
21 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jean-Louis Trintignant (David) plays a fugitive on the run claiming to hold a unspeakable secret. He befriends with Marlène Jobert (Julia) and Philippe Noiret (Thomas) who are living a slightly dull life in the country. Robert Enrico's The Secret (1974) is a master peace of a film. A real film – and as an omen it reflects very well today's society; where fears and anxiety unfortunately still prevail in our lives. Leading to an increasing fatalism as events move towards a desolate conclusion, the prejudices that lie deep within yourself while watching does not let up until the very last minute… Ennio Morricone's soundtrack is incredible, one of the finest ever, tense and disarming in all the right places. An Amazing Film.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A mysterious guy escapes from some underground asylum, finds refuge with a couple of fringe people of 68 and gives a new impetus to their lives.

Author: Klaas Tjoelker ( from Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala
10 December 1999

Under mysterious circumstances a strange guy (well played by Trintignant) escapes from some underground asylum. He finds refuge with a couple of fringe people of 68 who seemed to have retired to a tranquil life somwhere in the south of France. The strange visitor revives old dreams and memories and represents new opportunities to make something more out of life. The couple, superbly played by Philippe Noiret and Marlène Jobert, have each their own reasons to be interested and intrigued by the visitor. After a series of sometimes menacing, sometimes hylarious events, always impregnated with a subdued tension, the movie ends somewhere in the emptiness of some isolated beach.

This is a very good movie. The images and the playing show a lot but also leave a lot to be guessed by the watcher. It makes a point (about Big Brother who is watching you) and is mysterious enough to remain full of tension.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Well worth tracking down.

Author: audresonmichael from London, England
8 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's not that well known when great french films are discussed but this is a wonderful film, cunningly written and directed so that our expectations are constantly being changed. It works then as an entertainment but it has one of the greatest endings of any film. There's no way of describing it that won't spoil it. There's a time and a place for SPOILERS but there's nothing to be gained by putting them here. The end conveys love as well as anything I've ever seen. Not the joys of a quick affair but the sense that two people have been in a relationship which has matured over many years. Very special and well acted by the three leads.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

so beautifully simple

Author: Gary from United States
18 December 2005

What a delightfully simple suspense film! From the opening scene in a "prison hospital" to a ride up an elevator to a small home in the country this Kafka-esqe story will grip you. I'm surprised this film has not been released on DVD considering it stars Jean-Louis Trintignant.

I saw this film on TV over 20 years ago. CBS offered a--sadly short-lived--cable channel that offered truly quality films. When I happened to catch Le Secret (probably 1982) I was stunned that I had never heard of it and had no memory of its release in the U.S. eight years earlier. Like Hitchock? Yes, but not completely.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

one of the composer's very best

Author: christopher-underwood from United Kingdom
23 September 2013

Fabulous little film involving just three main characters all of whom do very well but Jean Louis Trintignant and Philippe Noiret excel. Great start, great finish and all along the way this curious film has the main protagonists and us guessing. Only Trintignant's character is really sure what is going on and we have seen him make an escape at the beginning but whether his interpretation of events is accurate is always uncertain. As well as this there is a curious relationship between the man and wife Trintignant befriends. Is he offering his wife to him, daring her, testing her?

At times quite chilling, always challenging and intriguing and if this slips or pauses for a second there is the fantastic Morricone score holding everything firmly in its grip. Sweet, menacing and assured, this has to one of the composer's very best. Great find!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What lies beneath

Author: dbdumonteil
10 July 2007

"Le secret" was overshadowed by Robert Enrico's blockbuster "Le Vieux Fusil" released the following year.I have always thought that that movie -also featuring Noiret-was largely overrated.

"Le Secret" is a different matter:it's a return to mystery,irrational,and madness ,tendencies Enrico had displayed in his first(and best)work "Au Coeur de La Vie" (1963).It is far from being as stunning though.It's too long.In its first part,the story drags on and on.Fifteen minutes could have been easily edited out,the story would not have suffered for it.

It was the time of paranoia in political movies.In the wake of "Conversation" and "The parallax view" lots of FRench directors jumped on the bandwagon.There was Jacques Deray and "Un Papillon sur l'Epaule" ;Yves Boisset and "Espion Lève-toi" ;Jean-Claude Tramont and "Le Point de Mire" ;and Robert Enrico and "Le Secret" .All those films deal with a huge conspiracy which may or may not exist.

Enrico 's movies has good assets :his three leads are adequate ;a disturbing prologue (and a symmetrical epilogue);and characters who change : in the last third,we are not sure that Trintignant's paranoia or would be mythomania has not corrupted his "normal" companions.

The military intervention complete with paratroopers and tanks is a bit too much but it adds to the offbeat atmosphere of the film and it reminds us of Enrico's anti-militarism (already obvious in "La Belle Vie" (1964)).

"Le Secret" is a flawed but interesting work.

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