Life and Nothing But (1989)
"La vie et rien d'autre" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, War  |  6 September 1989 (France)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,127 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 11 critic

Intense character study of men and women driven by an overpowering obsession with the past.



(scenario & adaptation), (scenario & adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Delaplane
Irène de Courtil
Pascale Vignal ...
Maurice Barrier ...
François Perrot ...
Jean-Pol Dubois ...
Daniel Russo ...
Lieutenant Trévise
Michel Duchaussoy ...
Général Villerieux
Arlette Gilbert ...
Louis Lyonnet ...
Charlotte Maury-Sentier ...
Cora Mabel (as Charlotte Maury)
François Caron ...
Thierry Gimenez ...
L'adjudant du génie
Madame Lebègue
Pierre Trabaud ...
Eugene Dilatoire


January, 1920. 350,000 French soldiers remain missing in action. Major Dellaplane tirelessly matches the dead and the wounded with families' descriptions. Honor and ethics drive him; he hates the idea of "the unknown soldier." Into his sector, looking for her husband, comes a haughty, politically connected Parisian, Madame Irène de Courtil. Brusquely, Dellaplane offers her 1/350,000th of his time, but as their paths cross and she sees his courage and resolve, feelings change. After he finds a surprising connection between her missing husband and a local teacher, Irène makes Dellaplane an offer. This man of action hesitates: has he missed his only chance? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Un monument!


Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 September 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida e Nada Mais  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$428,758 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film takes place in January 1920. See more »


[Irene de Courtil reacts to an explosion]
Irène de Courtil: It's as if the war was still on.
Major Dellaplane: You saw the war from afar. War is worse, so much worse. Acres and acres covered with rotting cadavers, no trees, fly-covered heads sticking out of waterholes... It stinks. Swarming with rats...
Irène de Courtil: Shut up!
Major Dellaplane: We do nothing but shut up! Who'd listen to us anyway? Who'd print it? The newspapers want only lies and official idiocy. "The war's devastating allure only appears to be destructive." I read that. Signed: General Cherfils....
See more »

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User Reviews

It worked for me
5 October 2007 | by (San Diego, USA) – See all my reviews

I watched La vie et rien d'autre, about a year ago. Well, it stuck with me. And I really wanted to see it again. So I watched it a second time. And some things became clearer to me. The central message obviously that war sucks, that war is a disaster for everybody. And nothing should be done to hide this truth from anybody. That's Delaplane's belief, that's his fight, his moral code. And yes, there is a love story coming to interfere with his dull and depressing duty. Why people can't see that a man such as Delaplane could not handle love, specially while in the middle of such an ugly struggle? I read some negative comments about this film. I just could not understand that. This is a beautiful movie, touching, a bit slow certainly, but the topic does require that we take time to learn all the details so as to better understand the nature of this human drama. What pushes all these people to look for remnants of their loved ones, just to have proof of their death. For what? This we may never understand for not having to live through this. Go ahead, watch this movie. It's not a big action movie, no, it's a reflection movie. A movie that a lot of people who see war as something that's glamorous should have seen, but probably never will... alas!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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