Up 1,181 this week

Scene of the Crime (1986)
"Le lieu du crime" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  May 1987 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 453 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 8 critic

In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ... See full summary »


0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 7 titles
created 20 Apr 2012
a list of 37 titles
created 29 May 2012
a list of 414 titles
created 06 Dec 2012
a list of 167 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 687 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Scene of the Crime (1986)

Scene of the Crime (1986) on IMDb 6.9/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Scene of the Crime.
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Barocco (1976)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Barocco is about a girl in love with a boxer. They plan to go abroad after making a lot of money by participating in an interview intended to discredit a politician at ... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Gérard Depardieu, Marie-France Pisier
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At her son's funeral, Solange, a lawyer famous for losing hopeless cases, agrees to defend René, her son's age, accused of murdering his wealthy aunt, Jeanne, who's part of the ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Melvil Poupaud
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Traveling from France to Tangiers, a man looks to reunite with his former love, though their romance ended some 30 years earlier.

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Gilbert Melki
Wild Reeds (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a village in the Southwest of France, 1962. Maite and Francois are 18 years old. They are friends, not lovers. In Francois's classroom, there are Serge, whose brother has just married to... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Élodie Bouchez, Gaël Morel, Stéphane Rideau
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A drama centered on a young woman who claims she was the target of an anti-Semetic attack and the subsequent media sensation it creates.

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Émilie Dequenne, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Blanc
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At the age of 20, Martin leaves his home town and comes to Paris, where he fortunately becomes a model by chance. He meets Alice, his brother's friend, and falls in love with her. They ... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Alexis Loret, Mathieu Amalric
Far (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Tangier, intercontinental truck driver Serge is in love with Sarah, but is in some trouble of his own. Film generally concerns Moroccans with various relationships with the country: ... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Stéphane Rideau, Lubna Azabal, Mohamed Hamaidi
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve
Fort Saganne (1984)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

French civilization in the desert. Saganne is of peasant stock, with courage and a forceful will. In 1911, he volunteers and is posted to the Sahara under the aristocratic Colonel Dubreuilh... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Catherine Deneuve
L'unique (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Jérôme Diamant-Berger
Stars: Julia Migenes, Sami Frey, Charles Denner
Disorder (1986)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Wadeck Stanczak, Ann-Gisel Glass, Lucas Belvaux
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bank executive Rainier allows his firm to deliver adventurous investor Chevalier d'Aven a huge loan, with what he thinks is his employer Mirement's total backing. Chevalier's business ... See full summary »

Director: Christian de Chalonge
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Deneuve, Laura Kornbluh


Complete credited cast:
La grand-mère
Nicolas Giraudi ...
Jean-Claude Adelin ...
Jean Bousquet ...
Le grand-père
Michel Grimaud ...
Roger, le serveur
Philippe Landoulsi ...
Claire Nebout ...
Le Père Sorbier
Victor Lanoux ...


In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ensues, and through happenstance, the murderer and the boy's mother form an alliance. All this takes place in four days during which the boy has his first communion, his separated parents face each other amidst grandmother's hopes they'll reunite, the grandfather just wants to go fishing, the school's chaplain complains about the boy's behavior, and the convicts' shared girlfriend comes, gun in hand, to help them escape to Tangier. The mother's surprising decisions complete the story. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scene of the Crime  »

Box Office


$164,187 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Thomas first tries on his suit that "itches", his top shirt button is undone. But when he undresses in his room shortly after that, he undoes that button too. See more »


Performed Jeanne Mas
Written by Jeanne Mas, Romano Musumarra (as Romano Musumara)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Compelling, complex and worthy.
26 August 2001 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I've only seen three of Andre Techine's films ("Rendez-Vous," "Scene of the Crime," and "Wild Reeds") but after watching "Wild Reeds" I knew I'd have to watch everything else he'd ever made, for now I was a life-long fan.

"Scene of the Crime" has many of the virtues of "Wild Reeds,"--a film that will inhabit you for weeks after you've seen it--chief among them Techine's intelligence and sensitive handling of character and flair for melodrama. If Thomas Hardy were alive today, he'd probably be Techine's script-writer.

The film's two concerns are repression and freedom. Thomas--a sullen angry 13 year old--and Lili--his dreamy, distractedly neurotic mother-- undergo several collisions and unions with a young escaped convict and his friends: they are left to pick up the pieces and reconfigure their lives. Both mother and son are bound by a repressions whose roots are in family, community and religion. And each conflict with others binds them like a rope, so that Thomas futilely lashes out in anger while Lili attempts to lose (and in doing so) find herself with an act of impulsive negation. We could trace much of the repression toward the less likable characters--other criminals or family members--but doing so is futile. Techine understands what Renoir meant when said "everyone has his reasons," and so this film isn't about the difficulty of living with other people, but the difficulty of living in this universe.

Techine has often been called a "novelistic" director; meaning he takes you deep inside his characters' thoughts and motivations. This doesn't involve voiceover, just Techine's direction and the melodramatic plots that force their characters into confrontations ordained by the strength of their passions. Melodrama asks the most of its characters; requires them to feel and undergo all they can. It's numerous coincidences, and run-ins can seem like an amplified version of life's randomness and havoc. Techine's approach involves an analytical acceptance of melodrama's approach to narrative; a willing and measured use of its conventions, resulting in narratives that often seem more vivid than reality and paradoxically more truthful and satisfying. The emotions unearthed are more intense than those brought out by reality, but possess the inner truth of reality.

His technique is not flashy, attention-getting or hyper-formalistic: which means it works discreetly and extremely well. There is an ever-present analytical attention to the natural (and un-) surroundings that surround his characters, along with an intense intimacy toward them. He follows very few rules, and mixes quick cutting with measured long takes and a mobile camera. All this allows us to move back and forth and toward and away from his characters, sympathizing with them in close-up one moment, then judging at a detached angle or pan to another character's reaction. It is a wonderfully effective method, and constantly reminds us of each character's motivations (as do the relentless melodramatics.)

Techine's films aren't formally difficult, but if you lose track at one point it's hard to catch up, because his characters will have accumulated even more motivations and reactions by then. The intense sensitivity of his style allows us to accurately register each character's accumulating layer of emotions, which continually enlarge their motivations. To lose track of that accumulative process is probably what happened to Roger Ebert, who wrote the film should have been a gangster drama made in 1939, so that the melodramatic plot would seem more acceptable and Techine's moments of psychological insights wouldn't seem so "out of place." (The film IS primarily flawed in the sketchiness of the convict's lover and the overly-rushed pace of the climactic sequence.)He doesn't consider that the melodrama of the plot is precisely what allows for those moments of psychological insight. And desire for the film to be an old-fashioned crime noir seems inexplicable, when this is obviously a family drama where crime serves to provoke a shake-up and re-evaluation of family relations and the life-directions the characters have chosen. At the end of "Scene of the Crime" we're not sure whether Thomas and Lili have either recovered or damaged forever. And as Lili hauntingly remarks, after a certain point, losing and finding yourself may be the same process.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD mooning_out_the_window
Discuss Scene of the Crime (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: