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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)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,824 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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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
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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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in Montréal vu par... (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
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User Reviews

 
Improves on second viewing...
3 April 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

And also on having seen the Barbarian Invasions. I loved it the first time around, startled by its depiction of the dialogue on sex and realizing it was also reaching for something deeper. Men bragging to each other, the macho-ness of it all. The over-intellectualizing analysis of the battle of the sexes. The vulnerability underlying all the scenes, the false bravado. The acceptance of homosexuality. The jarring introduction of the brute biker primitive to the sophistication of the academics' table. The tangible hurt of Louise at the offhanded way Remy admits to affairs with her best friends. The devastating betrayal she feels and her seeking comfort from the only safe person - Claude, someone who cannot hurt her. Diane, wounded, angry acting out with her brutal lover. So much richness and depth. And the Barbarian Invasions, 18 years later in the lives of all, only enhances it. Bravo, Denys and everyone. 8 out of 10.


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