MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,116 this week

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

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  November 1986 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,663 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 27 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

, (collaborating writer), 6 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 10 Feb 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 6 days ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

The Decline of the American Empire (1986) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Decline of the American Empire.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set in a dreary urban landscape of an anonymous Canadian city, LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark comedy about a group of twentysomethings looking for love and meaning in the '90s. The film ... See full summary »

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Thomas Gibson, Ruth Marshall, Cameron Bancroft
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The unexpected return of his ex-wife and the assembly of a group of protesters both threaten to wreck a corrupt contractor's inauguration party for his new superhighway.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Jean Lajeunesse, Luce Guilbeault, J. Léo Gagnon
Léolo (1992)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Young Leo Lauzon is torn between two worlds - the squalid Montreal tenement that he inhabits with his severely dysfunctional (and largely insane) family, and the imaginative world that he ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Maxime Collin, Ginette Reno, Gilbert Sicotte
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

During his final days, a dying man is reunited with old friends, former lovers, his ex-wife, and his estranged son.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Rémy Girard, Dorothée Berryman, Stéphane Rousseau
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jean-Marc Leblanc (Labrèche), a desperate civil servant, escapes reality as we all know it, to imagine himself as the hero in imaginary adventures.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger, Sylvie Léonard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Le film raconte l'histoire de Luc (Éric Bruneau), un architecte dans la trentaine en pleine ascension professionnelle... See full synopsis »

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Éric Bruneau, Mélanie Thierry, Melanie Merkosky
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
Orderers (1974)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fact-based account of ordinary citizens who found themselves arrested and imprisoned without charge for weeks during the October Crisis in 1970 Quebec.

Director: Michel Brault
Stars: Hélène Loiselle, Jean Lapointe, Guy Provost
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Stars: John Oliver
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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 | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Directors: Denys Arcand, Denis Héroux, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Michelle Boulizon, Nicole Braun, André Dubois
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dominique Michel ...
Dorothée Berryman ...
Louise
...
Diane Leonard
Pierre Curzi ...
Pierre
...
...
Claude
Geneviève Rioux ...
Danielle
...
Alain
...
Mario
Évelyn Regimbald ...
Theresa
Lisette Guertin
Alexandre Remy
Ariane Frédérique
Jean-Paul Bongo ...
Transvestite
Edit

Storyline

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) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Decline of the American Empire  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

CAD 2,200,000 (Canada)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 64263 delivered on 5-2-1987. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A classic of Canadian cinema
24 April 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

From The Lady Eve to Groundhog Day, the battle of the sexes is a recurrent theme in much cinema. In Denys Arcand's 1986 film The Decline of the American Empire, the showdown takes place over a fall weekend in Quebec cottage country among a group of academics. The film is a witty and sardonic look at sex and relationships in the modern age, and along with a handful of other French-Canadian films (Mon Oncle Antoine, C.R.A.Z.Y.) makes a solid argument for Quebec as the leading exponent of quality cinema in Canada.

Decline... commences with parallel groups of four men and four women as they prepare dinner at the cottage and work out at the gymnasium, respectively. The characters are either professors in the history at the Universite De Montreal or their lovers, and their conversations are dominated by talk of sex, sex and more sex. Though initially the segregated groups of men and women have quite gendered conversations on the subject, their eventual coming together over dinner causes things to heat up and tensions to rise.

A troupe of veteran Quebecois actors give indelible and utterly believable performances as the eight lead characters, special praise going to actor Remy Girard as the lovable scoundrel of the same first name. The cinematography of Arcand and DOP Guy Du Faux is also quite good, functional yet also achieving a subtle lyricism in parts. More than anything, however, the film should be noted for its script, Arcand possessing a preternatural skill for witty dialogue which makes the film enjoyable and engrossing throughout.

In conclusion, The Decline of the American Empire is a smart and funny comedy/drama which offers a glimpse into the lives of intellectuals and their bedroom matters. The film is a must-see for fans of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, covering similar territory to these filmmakers while also offering a flavour that is uniquely French-Canadian. The Empire may be in decline, but so long as films this good are being made we should be fine.

8/10


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
i have just watched the barbarian invasions..is it also that good? film_buffy
Suck Sacula
Where to rent? malfi
DVD gregbarnes
Sébastien??? LoveTheRicardos
Half way through the film joanbrazas

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?