IMDb > Monsieur Hire (1989)
Monsieur Hire
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Monsieur Hire (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 45% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Georges Simenon (novel)
Patrice Leconte (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) ...
View company contact information for Monsieur Hire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1990 (USA) See more »
A recluse is accused of murdering a young woman simply because his neighbors think he is strange. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
6 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"She didn't see you as a killer. Neither did I. But that's always the way." See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Michel Blanc ... Monsieur Hire

Sandrine Bonnaire ... Alice
Luc Thuillier ... Emile
André Wilms ... L'inspecteur de police
Eric Bérenger ... Le gérant du bowling
Marielle Berthon ... Pierrette Bourgeois
Philippe Dormoy ... François
Marie Gaydu ... La jeune fille du massage
Michel Morano ... Le chauffeur de taxi
Nora Noël ... La gardienne

Cristiana Réali ... L'adolescente au bowling (as Christina Reali)
Bernard Soufflet ... Le tatoueur
André Bauduin ... Le consommateur de crèpes
Rozeen Landrevie ... La petite fille au bouquet
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francis Baudet ... Le locataire sur le palier

Directed by
Patrice Leconte 
Writing credits
Georges Simenon (novel "Les Fiançailles de M. Hire")

Patrice Leconte (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) &
Patrick Dewolf (scenario, adaptation and dialogue)

Produced by
Philippe Carcassonne .... producer
René Cleitman .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
Cinematography by
Denis Lenoir 
Film Editing by
Joëlle Hache 
Casting by
Catherine Chambelland 
Production Design by
Ivan Maussion 
Costume Design by
Elisabeth Tavernier 
Makeup Department
Judith Gayo .... makeup artist: Paris
Tina Kopecka .... makeup artist: Brussels
Production Management
Denis Castel .... unit production manager
Frédéric Sauvagnac .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marie-Claude Beauchaud .... second assistant director
Étienne Dhaene .... assistant director
Isabelle Han .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
Lisa Azuelos .... assistant art director (as Lisa Alessandrin)
Jacques Brizzio .... assistant art director
Michel Charvaz .... props
Laurent Coutellier .... props
Dominique Hue .... art department crew
Sound Department
Fabrice Adelin .... sound recordist
Denis Carquin .... assistant sound
Jean Goudier .... sound editor
Dominique Hennequin .... sound mixer
Jean-Louis Lebras .... boom operator
Pierre Lenoir .... sound
Jacques Lévy .... post-synchronization
Jérôme Lévy .... foley artist
Maguelone Pouget .... assistant sound editor
Patrick Cauderlier .... stunts
Gilles Conseil .... stunts
Dan Schwarz .... stunts (as Dan Schwartz)
Daniel Vérité .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric Aupetit .... grip
Louis Bihi .... gaffer
Olivier de Pessemier .... electrician
Maurice Defait .... generator operator
Pascal Lagriffoul .... second assistant camera
Patrice Leconte .... camera operator
Jean-Marie Leroy .... still photographer
Pascal Ridao .... first assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Khadija Zeggaï .... dresser (as Khadija Zeggai)
Editorial Department
Maryline Monthieux .... assistant editor
Music Department
David Cunningham .... artistic musical director
Johnny Q. .... music recordist
Transportation Department
Dominique Hue .... driver
Other crew
Julie Belthoise .... assistant location manager
Jean Brun .... production administrator
Donatienne Desmarestz .... production secretary
Anahi Leclerc .... poster designer
Vincent Lichtle .... location manager
Maggie Perlado .... script supervisor
Dominique Segall .... press attache
Anita Vermeulen .... location manager: Belgium

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: In the opening shot of the film, you can plainly see the stomach of the 'corpse' moving up and down.See more »
Movie Connections:
Remake of Panic (1946)See more »
Quatuor en Sol Mineur Op. 25 de BrahmsSee more »


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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
"She didn't see you as a killer. Neither did I. But that's always the way.", 17 July 2007
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

Monsieur Hire is the perfect suspect. Nobody likes him. Conversations die away when he passes by. Children play tricks on him. He sleeps very little. He never uses the lights. He sits in the dark in his room. And he likes to watch… So, naturally, when a young girl is found murdered, Hire finds himself put under the microscope, both by the strange detective who regularly humiliates him in the course of his investigation and the girl he spies upon who suddenly confronts him, with very unexpected results.

Patrice Leconte's film is one of those remarkable career turnarounds that defy expectations. Best known at the time for his unashamedly populist French comedies, Monsieur Hire is the equivalent of the director of Adam Sandler films suddenly having a stab at The Girl With the Pearl Earring and actually getting it right. His adaptation of a half-remembered Georges Simenon novel (literally: when he finally got the rights, no-one could find a copy of the novel to work from!) works both as a spellbinding piece of pure film-making and an intriguing drama about the difference between watching and comprehending. Hire may think he knows almost everything about his neighbour Alice because he has watched her so closely, but seeing and understanding are not always the same thing, as he himself reveals when he tells one of the whores he visits the story of a popular old lady who fed the pigeons breadcrumbs: because of her kindly face, people never realised that in fact she was poisoning them.

Above all, it's a very sensual film. Not in any erotic sense, although there is a charge when Hire finally allows himself to touch another human being. Rather this is a film about seeing and smelling, the senses through which we first form judgements but which still allow us to keep our distance – and not just M. Hire himself. It's no accident that the film ends with everyone silently watching him, and with the camera pulling away from a figure who finally understands what really happened too late in a truly haunting image.

Sandrine Bonnaire does remarkably well in what could simply have been a cipher as the object of his attentions, pulling off the difficult scenes where she gets closer to Hire while still managing to remain a credible figure, but it's no slight on her to say that this is Michel Blanc's show. Lurking at the edge of the frame or isolated in the centre of the image, the balding, almost expressionless Blanc's performance is a masterclass in control. Not merely physical control, but resisting the desire to make Hire in any way likable or more accessible. There is no appeal to sentiment, no crack in the façade to let us in and recognise anything admirable or empathetic, no explanation or excuse for the way he is. As a character he remains strange and ill suited for the world of men and women. Even the POSSIBILITY of love does not free him from his shell. And it's that very inaccessibility that ultimately makes him such a tragic figure. Hire is as dead as the murder victim, who the detective pointedly notes will never be touched again: he just happens to still be walking around.

On the surface, the film is equally controlled – Leconte and Patrick Dewolf's tight screenplay is spare and precise, but with enough room for director and actors to build on, while Ivan Maussion's unostentatious design and Denis Lenoir's restrained yet meticulous cinematography serve the characters perfectly. Even Michael Nyman's music rises above what was then his usual formulised mathematical masturbation to deliver something whose precisely formalised distance is absolutely right. Leconte's great use of the Scope frame is well preserved in Second Sight's sadly extras-free UK DVD, although the colour seems slightly richer than the theatrical print I saw a few years ago (although that could just have been colour fading). Definitely the most welcome DVD release of the year for me.

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