Irma Vep (1996)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  30 April 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,438 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 48 critic

A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of "Les Vampires", finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set.



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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Cheung
René Vidal
Nathalie Richard ...
Antoine Basler ...
Nathalie Boutefeu ...
Alex Descas ...
Dominique Faysse ...
Bernard Nissile ...
Olivier Torres ...
Ferdinand / Moreno
Bulle Ogier ...
José Mirano
Jacques Fieschi ...
Estelle Larrivaz ...
La standardiste
Balthazar Clémenti ...
Robert, assistant


French filmmaker René Vidal was once a renowned director, but most see his career on a quick downward slide based on his last several films. In Paris, he is just starting to film his latest movie, a remake of Les vampires (1915), and has hired Hong Kong based Chinese actress Maggie Cheung as the title lead, "Irma Vep" (an anagram for "vampire"), despite she knowing no French and she not being an obvious choice to most. Maggie has never worked with Vidal before and knows little about his movies, but many of his primarily French crew are part of his regular stable. As such, Maggie may become isolated among the cast and crew, unless there are those who bring her into their English conversations, they who may have somewhat ulterior motives in doing so. There are also factions within the cast and crew, who, based on their history, have a poisoned sense of what is going on. With Vidal, he is dealing with some personal issues while he tries to regain his film making form. He may transfer his... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

30 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ирма Веп  »

Box Office


$191,164 (USA) (8 August 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(movie extracts)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is the anagram of "vampire". See more »


After René says, "respect the silence" to Maggie, he speaks to a woman and takes a drink from a big plastic Coke bottle. He screws the cap on, then hands her the bottle. She turns around, and the cap is missing. See more »


References Bullet in the Head (1990) See more »


Written by Ali Farka Touré
Performed by Ali Farka Touré and Ry Cooder
Courtesy of Hannibal Records, a Rykodisc Label and World Circuit Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Sexy, funny, smart, sad, EXCELLENT.

Unlike Scoopy, I say this movie is WELL worth the effort and time, especially if you're familiar with the French New Wave. Jean-Pierre Leaud, one of the biggest stars of the period (he was the little boy in Francois Truffaut's seminal "The 400 Blows" [no pun intended]) is hilarious as a caricature of Godard in particular and French filmmakers in general, and the rooftop interview with (the stunning) Maggie Cheung refers to both Godard's "Breathless" and, indirectly, Fellini's "8 1/2." Though it pokes good fun at the pretentiousness of the French New Wave, "Irma Vep" is also a tender elegy to a time in which movies were actually viewed as art, as something that really MATTERED. Add to the humor and intelligence some really witty direction, superstylish cinematography, and a slew of beautiful people, and you got yerself a postmodern masterpiece and just maybe one last, great film of the New Wave.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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