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The Eternal Husband (1946) More at IMDbPro »L'homme au chapeau rond (original title)

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Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel)
Charles Spaak (adaptation) ...
Release Date:
8 January 1949 (USA) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Jean Grémillon: Realism and Tragedy
 (From MUBI. 30 November 2014, 9:23 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Raimu brilliantly bows out See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Raimu ... 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)
Janine Villard ... Lily Zakhlebinina (as Janine Villars)
Héléna Manson ... La mère de Mathias le hussard (as Helena Manson)
Arlette Merry ... Madame Maria - la prostituée (as Arlette Mery)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mercédès Brare ... (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Mocky ... Un garçon d'honneur (uncredited)

Directed by
Pierre Billon 
Writing credits
Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel "The Eternal Husband") (as Dostoiewsky)

Charles Spaak (adaptation) &
Pierre Brive (adaptation) and
Jean Loubignac (adaptation)

Charles Spaak (dialogue) and
Pierre Brive (dialogue)

Original Music by
Maurice Thiriet 
Cinematography by
Nikolai Toporkoff 
Film Editing by
Germaine Artus 
Production Design by
Georges Wakhévitch  (as Georges Wakhevitch)
Costume Design by
Olga Schoumansky 
Makeup Department
Bertrand .... hair stylist
Production Management
Marc Le Pelletier .... production manager
Jean Loubignac .... production manager
Jean-Marie Loutrel .... unit manager (as Jean Loutrel)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques de Casembroot .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound
Paul Gaboriau .... sound assistant
Henry Girbal .... sound assistant (as Henri Girbal)
Jacques Lebreton .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Marcel Franchi .... camera operator (as Franchi)
Paul Ronald .... still photographer (as P. Ronald)
Music Department
Marceau Van Hoorebecke .... conductor (as Van Hoorebecke)
Other crew
Mildred Tournier .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'homme au chapeau rond" - France (original title)
See more »
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

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 »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Raimu brilliantly bows out, 17 July 2015
Author: dbdumonteil

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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