The Eighth Day (1996)
"Le huitième jour" (original title)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 March 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,792 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 15 critic

An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pascal Duquenne ...
Henri Garcin ...
Le directeur de la banque
Isabelle Sadoyan ...
la mère de Georges
Michele Maes ...
Nathalie (as Michèle Maes)
Fabienne Loriaux ...
la soeur de Georges - Fabienne
Alice van Dormael ...
Juliette Van Dormael ...
Marie-Pierre Meinzel ...
La vendeuse du magasin du chaussures
Sabrina Leurquin ...
La serveuse du snack
Laszlo Harmati ...
Luis Mariano
Alain Bougnet
Magali Cote
Jean Désert


Georges has Down's syndrome, living at a mental-institution. Harry is a busy businessman, giving lectures for young aspiring salesmen. He is successful in his business life, but his social life is a disaster since his wife left him and took their two children with her. This weekend his children came by train to meet him, but Harry, working as always, forgot to pick them up. Neither his wife nor his children want to see him again and he is driving around on the country roads, anguished and angry. He almost runs over Georges, on the run from the institution since everybody else went home with their parents except him, whose mother is dead. Harry tries to get rid of Georges but he won't leave his new friend. Eventually a special friendship forms between the two of them, a friendship which makes Harry a different person. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

7 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day  »

Box Office


FRF 25,000,000 (estimated)


$328,452 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Both Pascal Duquenne and Daniel Auteuil tied for the Best Actor Award at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival for their roles in this film. This was the first time such an event had happened. See more »


[lying on the grass in the sun]
Harry: We should get going.
Georges: Just one more minute.
Harry: Okay.
[they lie down for a minute more]
Harry: [looks at his watch] Okay, it's over.
Georges: A nice minute, for us.
See more »


Referenced in Pumpkin (2002) See more »


Qui sait, Qui sait, qui Sait (Quizás, Quizás, Quizáz)
Music by Osvaldo Farrés
Lyrics by Jacques Larue (French version)
Performed by Luis Mariano
See more »

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User Reviews

One of My Favorite Movies!
17 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film first on my way home from Paris to Newark aboard Air France in August 1996. The film itself I believe is quite a masterpiece. It's the kind of film that people should be making. I still think Daniel Auteuil is one of the sexiest actors around. In this French film, he plays a divorced father and businessman who has lost his zest for life until he across a Down Syndrome man who lives in an institution with other Down Syndrome patients. The actors including the actor who actually has Down Syndrome create a believable friendship and relationship between these two unlikely men. Daniel's life and ours changes forever with the Down Syndrome man. He realizes that life is not just work and not play but for the living and loving and that's what life should be all about. The ending is kind of silly though but I still think it's one of my favorite movies. It's enough to bring a tear to your eye.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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