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

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 March 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,659 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Pascal Duquenne has Down syndrome, like his character Georges. 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 »


References Rain Man (1988) See more »


L'Amour est un bouquet de violettes
Music by Francis Lopez (as Francis López)
Lyrics by Mireille Borcey
Performed by Luis Mariano
See more »

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User Reviews

A touching film for good natured souls
11 August 2007 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

This film is about the unlikely friendship between a businessman and a man with Down Syndrome.

The character development in this film is excellent. We get to believe that Harry is a businessman who neglects his family, and Georges is an innocent man who craves loving and care from the "normal" society. Acting is excellent, and the Cannes best actor award is well deserved.

The fantasy scenes in the film highlights the fact that Georges misery towards his abandonment by his family, and his desire to be treated like a normal person. The song that gets played repeatedly also reinforces this message. The film shows that people who are mentally handicapped are good natured. We have been treating them with discrimination and neglect, a fact that is highlighted by the scene where Georges gives a present to the waitress in the kitchen). If we get to understand and share these people's world, both we and the mentally handicapped can become very happy.

I was so drawn into the film and the characters' emotional experiences. It is a touching film for good natured souls.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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