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

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  November 1986 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,446 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 26 critic

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

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, (collaborating writer), 6 more credits »
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Title: The Decline of the American Empire (1986)

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

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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
See  »
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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

Referenced in Speaking Parts (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Music themes
by George Frideric Handel.
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User Reviews

 
Personal Luck Addiction
25 June 2007 | by (Berlin, GER) – See all my reviews

The title sounds like as if it comes from Ancient Rome, and in a very galvanized way, this witty-sarcastic tragicomedy from Canada has something to do with it: The easier is life, the looser are the dos. And that is why during a country house weekend stay all the participating intellectual bourgeois charmers, who usually teach history and write books, waffle about sex, sex and sex, while they kick at the fitness center (the women) or prepare a fish plate in the kitchen (the men).

With perfidious lust Denys Arcand contra-dots male and female sex fantasies. When you listen to the gent club between stove and sink, your ears seem to fall off. When you hear the rants of the lady squad between sauna and bodybuilding, the ears of the gents ought to fall off. However, after the gender cliques unite at the table for dinner, a more complicated inner life becomes visible beneath all these ludicrous orgasm rants from before. Friends came together here who are kind to, who lie to, who hurt each other. Bitterness and resignation, but also safety and tolerance remain in the autumn dawn. And after all, it's a film of a verbally disarming sexual humour, adorably acted and with gentle ironies of absurd experiences of life: The human being is multifaceted. Simple are only theories.


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