1 user 3 critic

Brugge, die stille (1981)

Hugues cannot get over the untimely death of his wife Blanche, who made him happy for ten years. He lives alone in his house in Bruges, a city he would like to be dead like his wife. The ... See full summary »




Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mira (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a small and conservative West-Flemish village opposing the construction of a bridge over the Scheldt.

Director: Fons Rademakers
Stars: Willeke van Ammelrooy, Jan Decleir, Carlos van Lanckere
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Since Luc granted a divorce to Pascale ten years ago, he paid generous alimony and left a fine country house as long as their twin sons remain at home. Pascale always acted as if she was ... See full summary »

Director: Joachim Lafosse
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Jérémie Renier, Yannick Renier
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A tale centered on the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302 where the Flemish rank and file won a major victory over the glorious French knights.

Director: Hugo Claus
Stars: Frank Aendenboom, Bert André, Piet Balfoort
Cider with Rosie (TV Movie 1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in the Cotswolds during and immediately after the First World War.

Director: Claude Whatham
Stars: Rosemary Leach, Stephen Grendon, Philip Hawkes
Möbius (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An FSB officer falls in love with his agent, an American woman, who works as a trader in a Russian bank.

Director: Eric Rochant
Stars: Jean Dujardin, Cécile De France, Tim Roth
Boerenpsalm (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This Flemish heimat-movie after a novel by Felix Timmermans, the title of which translates as "farmers psalm", is about the at first sight idyllic, but actually tragical life of Wortel, a ... See full summary »

Director: Roland Verhavert
Stars: Bert André, Jef Burm, Ludo Busschots
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Liège, a group of men gathers every day in a café situated near the steel factory which once reigned supreme. They play cards in a warm atmosphere but that hardly masks their quiet ... See full summary »

Director: Lucas Belvaux
Stars: Éric Caravaca, Lucas Belvaux, Claude Semal
Trial (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Courtroom drama set in 1947 and underlying post-WW2 acute problems facing the USA such as stormy race relations and the growing threat of local communism.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Glenn Ford, Dorothy McGuire, Arthur Kennedy
Het Debuut (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The delicate story of the impossible love between an older married man and a fourteen-year old schoolgirl.

Director: Nouchka van Brakel
Stars: Marina de Graaf, Gerard Cox, Pleuni Touw
Speed Walking (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Martin (14) is forced to deal with confused sexuality and the loss of a mother in a provincial setting in the mid-seventies, where the famed Danish liberation of porn has had its influence on the grownups.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Stars: Villads Bøye, Anders W. Berthelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

On her honeymoon on a ship the daughter of a rich plant owner realizes that she's not happy with her marriage. She meets a poor woman on the way to meet her future husband, a missionary in ... See full summary »

Director: Markus Imhoof
Stars: Élodie Bouchez, Heinz Bühlmann, Laurent Grévill
Je vous ai compris (TV Movie 2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Franck Chiche
Stars: Karyll Elgrichi, François Deblock, Damien Zanoli


Cast overview:
Idwig Stephane ...
Hugues Viane
Magda Lesage ...
Blanche Viane / Jeanne Marchal (as Eve Lyne)
Chris Boni ...
Rosalie, de huishoudster
Caroline Vlerick ...
Filip Vervoort ...
Cécile Fondu ...


Hugues cannot get over the untimely death of his wife Blanche, who made him happy for ten years. He lives alone in his house in Bruges, a city he would like to be dead like his wife. The sorrowful widower has transformed the place he lives in into a shrine dedicated to his beloved wife. One day, he meets Jeanne, a ballet dancer, who looks like Blanche. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

16 March 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bruges, la morte  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Based on the book "Bruges-la-morte" by the Belgian writer Georges Rodenbach. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The brilliant adaptation of a literary work
18 September 2005 | by (Antwerp, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Most people, spectators as well as critics, have turned their backs on this movie and so did I, when I first saw it. Bruges is nowadays known as an attractive, warm city that millions of people come to visit every year while in the movie it looks dismal and deserted. The short novel from which the movie was adapted tells the story of a widower obsessed by the image of the beloved bride he recently lost. He happens to encounter a young girl who looks exactly like the deceased and falls in love with her –or at least fancies he does. This might have been a touching love story with a resurrection à la Vertigo but it turns out to be the story of the chilling passion of a deranged mind. It was only years later, when I lived in Bruges, that I had the curiosity of reading the novel "Bruges-la-Morte" and that I understood what the screenwriters had achieved. The book has been written by Georges Rodenbach, a Flemish journalist, novelist and poet who wrote in French, which was not exceptional at the time. He was, at the end of the 19th century, one of the founders of the Symbolist literary school to which also belonged, among others, his schoolmate Emile Verhaeren as well as poets Stéphane Mallarmé and Charles Baudelaire. First published in "Le Figaro" in Paris, his gloomy novel should not be taken literally. It is essentially a matter of symbols and the key to these is already to be found in the original title of the book where the dashes between "Bruges-la-morte" tell us that there is an identification in the mind of the main character, Hughes Viane, between the dying city and his dead wife, while he himself has also mentally ceased to be alive. The original Dutch title "Brugge, die Stille" (no dashes) and the English title "Bruges, still life" are not correct: it is not a matter of being quiet; it a matter of being dead. Larger than London in the Middle Ages, Bruges had known a slow decay of its economy after the silting up of its harbour and even a few decades before Rodenbach wrote his novel more than 30% of the local population lived on welfare. No wonder we have here a most depressing story. Knowing on what kind of story the screenplay was based, my admiration for Roland Verhavert, whose own favourite movie this is, started to grow and I fully appreciated the genial treatment screenwriter Théodore Louis (also a distinguished film critic) gave to this most unusual book. It is a masterly adaptation and as such deserves the greatest admiration. We may however ask ourselves whether it was wise to bring to the screen a novel that is famous by its title, but that most people never read, and, in this case, that needs a key to its symbolism in order to be understood. When John Huston filmed James Joyces "The Dubliners" his screenwriter, and son, Tony Huston made the same adaptation effort in order to be true to the spirit of Joyce's short story which they renamed "The Dead" in order to be very clear about the real content of it. Here,on the contrary, the producers of the movie tried to sweeten the approach by switching from "dead" to "still" and thus enhanced the disappointment of the spectator who expected to see a cheerful little city that has kept alive its medieval aspect. But this happened precisely because it was so pitiable in the 19th century that no one wanted to invest in new constructions and that the old ones were preserved. I gladly give 9 stars (nobody's perfect) to this film for the exceptional quality of the translation of the intrinsic literary value of a book into cinematographic language, not only by its skillful screenplay but also by the brilliant work of cinematographer Walther van den Ende (himself from Bruges).

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

Message Boards

Discuss Brugge, die stille (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: