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

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,518 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

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)

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Cast

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 ...
Madeleine
...
Mme Schmidt-Boulanger
Sami Frey ...
Ralph Forbes
Dominique Frot ...
Betty
...
Michel de Meyerganz
Isabelle Ho ...
Cora Palenbrg
François Bernheim ...
Jerry
Gilberte Lauvray ...
La curiste
Michel Such ...
L'homme à l'attaché case / The fat man
...
Voragine
Paul Anrieu
Edit

Storyline

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 <knut.behrends@wirtschaft.tu-chemnitz.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Circuit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Last Laugh (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A neo-noir patchwork that dissolves to reveal a great study on obsession
10 April 2010 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

There's a private detective who keeps an old b/w photo with him. It shows a class of little girls and one of them is his daughter but he doesn't know which one so they're all his daughter. There's a mysterious girl, beautiful and a little sad, she goes around changing names and wigs and killing rich men (but not for their money, although it seems so at first, the money only the means by which she can sustain her person until she can kill again) and she tells outrageous made-up stories about a father she probably never met. The movie sets itself up as something potentially quirky, a noir patchwork where the dialogue is witty, a corpse is dumped in a lake, and the private dick tails the mysterious woman from murder to murder.

It's around that point, when the movie must decide the course it will take, when the crime mystery begins to dissolve into something irrelevant because the private dick is not trying to catch her any more, in fact he starts erasing her traces and lying to his boss that he's in Morocco, and he calls her "Marie", the name of his long lost daughter, so that we're not asking whys anymore but rather staring obsession straight in the eye. This newfound surrogate daughter becomes a compulsion to him but it only starts there. It gets confusing, almost surreal like characters can foresee things, but it's an interesting confusion for me because the latenight atmosphere is right and something intuitive is suggested between the two protagonists. It's like we're in the cavelike gloom of a hotel staircase and the plot is used like an oil lamp that serves to increase that gloom and mystery for us and we can't tell at once what is going on on the top floor until we're halfway up there.

At one point there's a TV showing FW Murnau's The Last Laugh and the girl begins fashioning another madeup tale about her father, tailored this time after Emil Janning's hotel porter character in Murnau's movie, the tale is outrageous and weepy like bad melodrama but it's the telling that makes it poignant, like the magnitude of the lie suggests the depth of what is broken. Michel Serrault's private detective is one of the most fascinating movie characters of the 80's, he's methodical in his work but also a little detached from everything around him like Elliot Gould's Phillip Marlow in The Long Goodbye, and the only thing that keeps him going is the pursuit of his obsession which he is willing to go far to sustain. Right down to the amazingly sad ending, Mortelle Randonnee is a forgotten masterpiece, a little flawed around the edges and the details sometimes go out of focus like we're inside an old beat-up Renault and the view from the window is blurred but we stop at interesting places and interesting things happen there (often at gunpoint) and then we're on the move again, and it's that neon-lit blur of something sad and desperate that can't be made right again that makes it so fascinating to me.


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