8.0/10
3,347
19 user 27 critic

My American Uncle (1980)

Mon oncle d'Amérique (original title)
Prof. Henri Laborit uses the stories of the lives of three people to discuss behaviorist theories of survival, combat, rewards and punishment, and anxiety. René is a technical manager at a ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (writings)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Providence (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn, John Gielgud
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A robbery at the secluded country home of a wealthy old man goes horribly awry.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Luce Guilbeault, Marcel Sabourin, René Caron
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ovide Plouffe has married Rita. She still tries to attract other men even after their marriage. Unhappy Ovide feels for Marie - a young French woman he had met. But his catholic background ... See full summary »

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Gabriel Arcand, Anne Létourneau, Jean Carmet
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

It's hard to review this movie without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that it depicts the crime of one member of a gay male relationship and the desperate struggle for the lead ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Jacques Godin, Jean-François Pichette
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An experiment in abstract film-making, this short film (as it name implies) consists only of vertical lines, drawn directly onto each film frame, that change in response to music.

Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Mosaic I (1966)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man sets a ping-pong ball into motion and it becomes fruitful and multiplies.

Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Stars: Norman McLaren
Synchromy (1971)
Short | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The film's soundtrack is an original musical composition produced with synthetic sound - through photographing unusual geometric shapes and running them through an optical sound head. The ... See full summary »

Director: Norman McLaren
Abracadabra (1970)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Inon (1972)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Stars: Luc Durand, Budd Knapp
Short | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An illustration of a traditional French Canadian song in the form of progressing cutouts and still pictures.

Director: Norman McLaren
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
René Ragueneau
...
Janine Garnier
Roger Pierre ...
Jean Le Gall
Nelly Borgeaud ...
Arlette Le Gall
...
Zambeaux, le représentant de la direction générale à Paris
Gérard Darrieu ...
Léon Veestrate
Philippe Laudenbach ...
Michel Aubert
...
Thérèse Ragueneau
Henri Laborit ...
Himself
Bernard Malaterre ...
Le père de Jean
Laurence Roy ...
La mère de Jean
Alexandre Rignault ...
Le grand-père de Jean / Jean's Grandfather
Véronique Silver ...
La mère de Janine
Jean Lescot ...
Le père de Janine
Geneviève Mnich ...
La mère de René
Edit

Storyline

Prof. Henri Laborit uses the stories of the lives of three people to discuss behaviorist theories of survival, combat, rewards and punishment, and anxiety. René is a technical manager at a textile factory and must face the anxiety caused by corporate downsizing. Janine is a self-educated actress/stylist who learns that the wife of her lover is dying and must decide to let them reunite. Jean is a controversial career-climbing writer/politician at a crossroads in life. Written by Dragomir R. Radev <radev@cs.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mi tío de América  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(archive footage)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alain Resnais: [character name] Pierre Arditi's character is named Zambeaux. See more »

Quotes

Janine Garnier: Like most people, I thought happiness was something I had coming to me. Like an inheritance... from an uncle in America.
Zambeaux, le représentant de la direction générale à Paris: America doesn't exist. I should know. I lived. there.
See more »

Connections

Edited from They Were Five (1936) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A brilliant example of using narrative to bring abstract ideas alive
14 March 1999 | by (Kingwwod, Tx) – See all my reviews

This film was made with the cooperation of psychologist Henri Laborit. It's broken down, like a greek drama, into narrative episodes and odes where the chorus, in this case psychologist Laborit, explains the meaning of the episodes. I love this movie because it makes clear the pretenance to everyday life of a discourse which is very rich as an interpretation of life, in exactly Matthew Arnold's sense, but at the same time so abstract that most people just, for example, reading Laborit's "Decoding the human message" would not see the immediate relevance of what was being said to their own daily concerns. I use this film to teach psychology. I open my intro class with it every term. Learning to read this film is learning to think like a psychologist. In the film, we cut from scenes of the human characters involved in various relationships to Laborit showing how lab rats react to stress under various conditions. The result is not dry or pedantic but funny as hell. It comes off as the rats doing a low burlesque of the human comedy. We also see the characters as children and as adults and scenes from various formative episodes along the way. When Laborit says "a person is a memory which acts" it seems a powerful commentary on what we are seeing on screen. We see one character as a tiny girl interacting with her factory worker father. He is a communist and he is teaching his newly articualte baby girl to repeat after him "USA go home". Watching this, I remember being taught to sing "Jeusus loves me" shortly after I started talking. This film is funny and wonderful dealing with the thing which matters most of all, the question of what it means to be a person.


30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Black + White Interruptions! simonrosenbaum
Meaning of the Title donwc1996
B for Effort mikeybayer
Acting manuelbpelletier
Discuss My American Uncle (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?