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The Eternal Husband (1946)

L'homme au chapeau rond (original title)
An adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Le Eternel Mari", a somber story of marital infidelity, revenge and near madness, and starring Raimu in his last film appearance.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Dostoiewsky), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nicolas Trousotsky
Aimé Clariond ...
Michel Veltchaninov (as Aimé Clariond Sociétaire de la Comédie-Française)
Gisèle Casadesus ...
Marie (as Gisèle Casadesus Sociétaire de la Comédie-Française)
Micheline Boudet ...
Agathe Zakhlebinina (as Micheline Boudet de la Comédie-Française)
Louis Seigner ...
La juge Ernest Zakhlebinine (as Louis Seigner Sociétaire de la Comédie-Française)
Jane Marken ...
Amélie Zakhlebinine (as Jeanne Marken)
Made Siamé ...
La gouvernante de Marie (as Mad Siamé)
Lucy Valnor ...
La petite Lisa (as Lucie Valnor)
Charles Lemontier ...
Le médecin
Gisèle Alcée ...
Lucie Zakhlebinina
Adrienne Alain ...
Anna Zakhlebinina (as Adrienne Allain)
Françoise De La Halle ...
Mathide Zakhlebinina (as Françoise Feron)
Colette Georges ...
Adélaïde Zakhlebinina
Maud Lamy ...
Élisabeth Zakhlebinina
Thérèse Marney ...
Clotilde Zakhlebinina (as Thérèse Marney de la Comédie-Française)
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Storyline

An adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Le Eternel Mari", a somber story of marital infidelity, revenge and near madness, and starring Raimu in his last film appearance.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Eternal Husband  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Spaak changed the name of practically all the characters from the original Russian novel to make them sound more French: Alexei Ivanovich Veltchaninov (played by Aimé Clariond) is renamed "Michel"; Pavel Pavlovich Trousotsky (played by Raimu) is now called "Nicolas"; Nadia Zakhlebinina (played by Micheline Boudet) is re-christened "Agathe", Klavdia Petrovna (played by Gisèle Casadesus) is called "Marie" and so on. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Raimu brilliantly bows out
17 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Although based on Dostoyevsky's novel,and in spite of the Russian names ,Pierre Billon,unlike his thirties colleagues ,did not try to re-create a Russian atmosphere,the story could take place anywhere.

This is Pierre Billon's towering achievement ,the only movie in a rather uneven filmography which includes such estimable works as "Vautrin" "Ruy Blas" "Agnès De Rien" or " Chéri" ,which can be ranked as high as the best of Duvivier and Clouzot with whom he shares here a fascination for the darkness of the human soul .

That was to be Raimu's last part ,and he did leave on a high note ,this man with a derby (bowler hat)is his final triumph! A widower comes to see a former womanizer who is his only daughter's biological daughter ;then begins a cruel game between the two men . Raimu ,for the first and only time in his career ,is almost scary;matching him all the way is Aimé Clarion's old beau , who tries to redeem himself by taking care of the little girl and to relive his youth with a seventeen-year -old maid.In their infernal cat and mouse play,Raimu has always the upper hand but you cannot tell good from evil .

The director works with his camera like a painter does with shadows and light: it's the triumph of studio cinema:the obscure bedroom where Michel is haunted by ghosts from the past ,the dirty alleys where Nicolas roams,stalking his prey,the muddy yard where his daughter plays with the street urchins(in sharp contrast to the country mansion,where the children seems straight out of a Comtesse De Ségur novel)

Outstanding sequences:

-Nicolas ,pretending to hang himself,in front of his terrified daughter;one of the ten most atrocious scenes of the French cinema.

-The same,simulating sympathy for the family of a dead dashing officer.

-The blind man's buff game .

-The reception in the lounge where the self -interested selfish parents (Louis Seigner and Jeanne Marken) "sell" their offspring.

-The sweet Marie (Gisele Casadesus ,now a centenarian ,and still working:"Sous Le Figuier ""La Tête En Friche"aka "My afternoon with Margueritte") comforting Lisa and desperately trying to save her from her doomed fate.

An absolute must.


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