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Le nain rouge (1998)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 18 June 1999 (USA)
2:02 | Trailer

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Lucien is a dwarf, who works hard in a large legal office. His only friend is trapeze circus artist Isis. One day he gets the attention of singer Paola Bendoni and falls in love with her.



, (story)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucien L'Hotte (as Jean-Yves Thual)
Paola Bendoni
Dyna Gauzy ...
Isis Colombe
Michel Peyrelon ...
D'Urbino (Circus Director)
Arno Chevrier ...
Carlo Colombaioni ...
Alain Flick ...
Alexandre von Sivers ...
Dirk Lavryssen ...
Head of the office
Cyril Casmèze ...
The zoomorph
Sophie Ladmiral ...
Woman with fishnet stockings
Pierre Kudlak ...
Man with the whip
Yvette Merlin ...
The old mother
Karl Charnak ...
Maria Ducceschi ...
Cleaning lady


Lucien is a dwarf, who works hard in a large legal office. His only friend is trapeze circus artist Isis. One day he gets the attention of singer Paola Bendoni and falls in love with her. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life begins when you snap.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »



| |



Release Date:

18 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Red Dwarf  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,979 (USA) (18 June 1999)


$6,500 (USA) (25 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was actress Anita Ekberg's final cinematic appearance. See more »

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User Reviews

In the Red
17 June 2002 | by (North Dakota) – See all my reviews

Watching this film is a lot like watching a David Lynch film, but

without the "Hey, look at me! I'm doing weird stuff here!" attitude

that ruined "Wild at Heart," "Lost Highway," and the "Twin Peaks"

theatrical film.

Jean-Yves Thual is Lucien, a dwarf who works at a law firm. His

job is to write incriminating letters to divorcing spouses in order to

break up their marriages. He meets little Dyna Gauzy, who is Isis,

a child trapeze artist in a local traveling circus. They become

friends, as Isis sees Lucien as her guardian angel and not a freak

of nature. Lucien also meets Paola, played by '60's sexpot Anita

Ekberg (who has REALLY let herself go). Paola and Lucien start

sleeping together, and Lucien falls in love with her, ignoring Isis

after a while. Eventually Paola and her husband, the goofy Bob, get

back together. In the films creepiest scene, Lucien, wearing some

of Paola's makeup and a wig, strangles his lover to death and

blames it on Bob, who has fled the country.

Between the sex and the murder, Lucien now has a new found

confidence that eventually gets him in trouble at work. Lucien quits,

and does something on his boss' desk that we all have wanted to

do to our employers at one point or another.

Lucien joins Isis' circus, but Bob shows up. He is on the run, and

he and Lucien become friends and perform together as clowns.

Isis is jealous, and has some very touching scenes sobbing as

the crowd doubles over at Lucien and Bob.

Lucien and Isis do team up for an act, and this leads to the final

ambiguous ending, with director Le Moine leaving us wanting


This is a weird film full of weird scenes: Lucien's clandestine bath

at Ekberg's house, the smoking cab driver, the law office run more

like a cruel boarding school, and the circus performances.

I compare this favorably to early David Lynch films like the idiotic

"Eraserhead" and the incredible "The Elephant Man." Le Moine

shoots in black and white, which brings out a bleakness that adds

to the French locales. The entire cast is great, professionally

playing parts that must have read as impossible on paper. Le

Moine draws you into this bizarre vision of his, and uses his

camera to uncover things as opposed to being hit over the head

with plot points every ten minutes.

Jean-Yves Thual is brave as Lucien, he has a revealing nude

scene, love scenes, and yet he is someone you want to succeed

(except for that small matter of murder). He looks a little like a

miniature version of Christopher Reeve, and holds his own

against this cast.

The film is French language with excellent, readable English

subtitles. If you fancy yourself a patron of the bizarre, you must rent

this film. I highly recommend it.

This is rated (R) for physical violence, some gore, strong profanity,

female nudity, male nudity, sexual content, sexual references,

some drug use, and adult situations.

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

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