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The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
"Le déclin de l'empire américain" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,892 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 28 critic

Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Dominique Michel ...
Dorothée Berryman ...
Diane Leonard
Pierre Curzi ...
Geneviève Rioux ...
Évelyn Regimbald ...
Lisette Guertin
Alexandre Remy
Ariane Frédérique
Jean-Paul Bongo ...


Four very different Montreal university teachers gather at a rambling country house to prepare a dinner. Remy (married), Claude (a homosexual), Pierre (involved with a girlfriend) and Alain (a bachelor) discuss sex, the female body and their affairs with them. Meanwhile, their four female guests, Louise (Remy's wife of 15 years), Dominique (a spinster), Diane (a divorcée) and Danielle (Pierre's girlfriend) are spending the time at a downtown health gym. They also discuss sex, the female body and, naturally, men. Later in the evening, they finally meet at the country house and have dinner. The discussion? Well, you can guess it... However, a ninth guest, named Mario, who used to know Diane, drops in on the group for some talk and has a surprise of his own. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sex | dinner | university | gym | weekend | See All (71) »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Decline of the American Empire  »

Box Office


CAD 1,800,000 (estimated)


CAD 2,200,000 (Canada)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The house in which the majority of the events take place, in Magog, burned down in 1989, was later rebuilt. The scene in which one of the women characters is having sex, seen through a window from outside, was actually shot through a garage window. The actress was sitting on the snow tires which the owner of the house stored in the garage. She told him that, thanks to the tires, it was one of the most comfortable scenes she had ever done. See more »


Edited into 50 ans (1989) See more »


Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
See more »

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User Reviews

Power Meal
21 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an extraordinary, in the very French (this is French Canadian,) slice of life film. Fidelity, infidelity, values, intellectuality, deceit, love, mortality, frienship beautifully explored by a great ensemble playing a great script with heart, no pretension, and to great result. This is one of those "trust me" films, almost inexplicable in its gathering power. Fine art, this.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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