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Deadly Circuit (1983)
"Mortelle randonnée" (original title)

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Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never ... See full summary »



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Title: Deadly Circuit (1983)

Deadly Circuit (1983) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Serrault ...
Catherine Leiris / Lucie Brentano - 'Marie'
Guy Marchand ...
L'homme pâle / The pale man
The grey lady
Macha Méril ...
Mme Schmidt-Boulanger
Sami Frey ...
Ralph Forbes
Dominique Frot ...
Michel de Meyerganz
Isabelle Ho ...
Cora Palenbrg
François Bernheim ...
Gilberte Lauvray ...
La curiste
Michel Such ...
L'homme à l'attaché case / The fat man
Paul Anrieu


Beauvoir, lonely, aging private detective, is put on the bloody track of beautiful Catherine Leiris who kills and robs her rich husband(s) on their wedding night. Although he never approaches her directly, he follows her and increasingly feels to be telepathically connected to her, because she reminds him of his daughter he never met. After he led a blind artist, Catherine's truly beloved spouse, into a bus accident, she makes a living by bank robbery with young Betty till Betty gets shot. Alone again, Catherine leads a sad, uneventful life as a waitress, when she meets her follower. Written by Knut Behrends <>

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Release Date:

9 March 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Circuit  »

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References The Last Laugh (1924) See more »


Der Hirt auf dem Felsen
  • 12 Ländler op.171

Composed by Franz Schubert
Soprano Anne Forez
Piano Guy Printemps
Clarinette Maurice Gabai
See more »

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User Reviews

Detective losing his mind tracks a killer whom he identifies with as his lost daughter
2 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although this neo-noir gets a bit repetitious (I watched the long uncut version), it manages to hold one's interest until the end. It's an interesting story while simple: Michel Serrault is a detective who tracks a murderess, Isabelle Adjani.

The movie is existential in the sense that the two main characters, while living and doing things to and with others, are nonetheless dissociated and separated from others and from a sense of belonging. This is apparently due to a loss in their lives from which they failed to recover, so that they have become more or less obsessed in their actions and not really connecting to life with a sense of growth or value. This is their alienation.

The music score handles this by using somewhat jocular themes despite the seriousness of the crimes being committed and the lack of moral conscience that we observe. This too defies conventional expectations and disconnects the viewer. The music is like what one would hear in an Agatha Christie movie with multiple murders that was being done in a light comical style.

Serrault is having great difficulty in his private detective job, as his employer lets us know. He simply goes off the track searching for his daughter, no matter what the case is. He makes up stories, talks to himself, becomes protective over the murderess he is tracking and identifies her with Marie, his daughter. Adjani plays a young woman who takes on multiple identities, tells multiple tales, and also seems to have lost her moorings, if she ever had any.

This will not be everyone's cup of tea. The movie brings to life the "absurd", and that too is existential. In some sense, these people are crazy, but all the little roles of the supposed normal people whom they encounter also then seem robotic, conditioned, bound by convention, and also absurd. That is, the everyday becomes absurd in a movie like this.

Taking it for what it is, I make it as not terrible but not great either. It's hard to say what a great movie with these themes might be, but this one, while good, is surely not great. It suffers from too much mournful narration and repeat action. It's not clear where such a story can go except toward nothingness, unless the person overcomes the existential quandary with a self-generating life-affirming value. This movie doesn't go that route, being in the more downer neo-noir vein.

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