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Dear Inspector (1977)
"Tendre poulet" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 490 users  
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Romance in the prime of life. When Lise's car bumps Antoine's bike, they recognize each other from a brief fling 20 years before while at the Sorbonne. He's now a professor of Greek; she's ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Alric ...
Christine Vallier
Hubert Deschamps ...
Mère / Mother
Roger Dumas ...
Marcel Guérin, l'inspecteur
Raymond Gérôme ...
Le chef de la division criminelle / Director of Criminal Division
Guy Marchand ...
Georges Wilson ...
Alexandre Mignonac
Monique Tarbès ...
La dame des toilettes
Henri Czarniak ...
L'inspecteur Cascard
Maurice Illouz ...
L'inspecteur Picot
Georges Riquier ...
Professeur Pelletier
David Gabison ...
Le doyen Levergue (as Alain David)


Romance in the prime of life. When Lise's car bumps Antoine's bike, they recognize each other from a brief fling 20 years before while at the Sorbonne. He's now a professor of Greek; she's loathe to tell him she's a police inspector. A call interrupts their first dinner date: a Deputy of the National Assembly has been murdered. She has a suspect, another Deputy, and must track him while deflecting Antoine's eye from her vocation. All roads in the inquiry lead to Christine Vallier, the dead Deputy's mistress, a beguiling 22-year-old whose mother ran the Assembly's snack bar. When more deputies die and Antoine learns Lise's identity, she must act quickly solve the crime and save her future. Written by <>

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Release Date:

18 January 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dear Inspector  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade as Dear Detective: Pilot (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Light French farce
1 April 2003 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

Light, anarchic, entertaining French film about love, lust and murder in middle age, treated with considerable joie de vivre, even the murder part, as only the French and Spanish can. Waifish Annie Girardot and shambling Teddy bear Philippe Noiret are two unlikely lovers, but the story works on screen. Despite the underlying sexual themes of the film, the actual sexual content on screen is minimal and handled with a casualness that is the opposite of salacious. Antoine (Noiret) and Lise (Girardot) had a brief involvement while students at the Sorbonne. Now, 20 years later, he is a rumpled academic and she is a police inspector when they meet again. Antoine's radical politics, and the difficult case she's working, make Lise reluctant to reveal her occupation to him. Antoine, for his part, seems awfully slow to catch on that Lise is hot on the trail of a serial killer who's at large in Paris. Inevitably, the love story and the crime story converge, and eventually Antoine finds himself taken hostage by the killer and forced at gunpoint to drive the killer's getaway car. What the killer hasn't counted on is that the only form of personal transportation Antoine has used since college is a bicycle. He can barely drive the car; in fact, he can't figure out how to get out of first gear! There follows a low-speed chase through the streets of Paris that is one of the funniest chase sequences ever filmed.

"Tendre Poulet" was released in the U.S. under the English title "Dear Inspector." It was remade into a leaden, arthritic, flat-footed American TV movie in 1979 called "Dear Detective" starring Brenda Vaccaro. The Hollywood TV movie was considerably sanitized from the French version: What little, fluffy sexuality there was in the original film was cleaned up even further, and the fairly graphic murder of a plainclothes detective with an icepick (an important plot element that is something of a shock in the original) is watered down to a painful but otherwise not life-threatening stab wound in the remake.

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