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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:
More skies of gray than any Russian play can guarantee.. See more (1 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 »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
More skies of gray than any Russian play can guarantee.., 24 July 2006
Author: Benoît A. Racine (benoit-3) from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This little-shown French film (I saw it last night on Ontario's French TFO network) is the second of two French films based on Dostoyevsky novels that were produced in France in 1946 with roughly the same personnel and writing by Charles Spaak, the other being "L'Idiot".

It is unremittingly dark. As such, the Russian cult for frankness (to the point of squalor) was in tune with the prevailing "existentialist" atmosphere of post-WW II France. The story shows the devastating effect on a widower of learning of his wife's infidelities on her death-bed. The film follows the troubled relationship and natural antagonism between the widower Nicolas (Raimu in his last and most troubling performance) as the "eternal husband", and the probable biological father of his young daughter, Michel (Aimé Clariond), as the "eternal seducer".

This simple tale allows the characters to navigate the troubled waters of resentment in every one of its unhealthy phases and concludes the only way it can, which is rather unsatisfactorily, but not before a couple of heart-stopping revelations. It also allows the actors to wallow into psychological skulduggery and the analysis of spiritual mediocrity in a way that usual French stage conventions would not normally allow.

In short, it is an unremitting portrait of a facet of life one does not normally dwell upon and whose depressing character is only alleviated by the general excellence of the actors and the realistic depiction of bourgeois Russian society.

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