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Étrange destin (1946)

Patrica is the wife of Alain de Saulieu, a handsome engineer. She unfortunately loses her husband, who is killed in action during a battle of the First World War. At least, this is only the... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Renée Saint-Cyr ...
Le professeur Gallois
Alain de Saulieu
Nathalie Nattier ...
Germaine - l'infirmière
Denise Grey ...
Madame d'Evremond
Robert Favart ...
Philipe - l'assistant du professeur
Gabrielle Fontan ...
Madame Durtain
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hélène Bellanger
Marguerite de Morlaye
Charlotte Ecard
Luce Fabiole ...
Une veuve de guerre
Gaston Girard
Georges Gosset
Marie-Thérèse Moissel
Paul Ollivier


Patrica is the wife of Alain de Saulieu, a handsome engineer. She unfortunately loses her husband, who is killed in action during a battle of the First World War. At least, this is only the official truth, for Alain is not dead. Patricia indeed recognizes him one day. But the inverse does not work the other way around: Alain has become amnesiac and he does not remember her. And worst of all, he lives in a conjugal relationship with Germaine, his dedicated nurse, who is now pregnant by him. What has the future in store then for the three (not to say four) of them? Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

5 June 1946 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Elämän varjossa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Paradise Lost
3 July 2010 | by See all my reviews

Obscure extravaganza which has sunk into oblivion.

Two things to remember : 1°You're very fond of melodramas.

2°Your disbelief needs to be suspended firmly if you are to get anything out of this 1946 movie.

A born silver spoon in hand snub girl (Renée Saint -Cyr) was always told (by his godfather ,a leading light in the medical world ,who brought her up after her dad's death)that there were two worlds :"our" world that is to say the world of educated well-mannered aristocrats ,and the "others" that is to say the riffraff's we have nothing to do with.

One day she meets a handsome young man (Henri Vidal) she mistakes for a member of the common herd.But don't rely too much on appearances;the hunk is not only an educated engineer but also a true noble.She falls for him -knowing he is from HER world- and they get married.

Alas,overnight,WW1 broke out .Only one sentence had hinted at a possible war,probably to justify the event.Vidal is even more handsome in full regalia and the heroine who can't stop her sobbing sees him go away from her.He's killed and the distraught wife searches comfort in charity.

The wicked godfather who is ALSO in love with his goddaughter tries to seduce her (or should I say "rape" ) but to no avail.

One day ,she meets again her late husband (you read well) suffering from amnesia:a nurse (Natalie Nattier) takes good care of him ,has married him too and is pregnant by him .What will the 'true" wife do?and most of all ,what shall the screen writers do with the intruder ? "Etrange Destin" shows the reactionary side of the melodrama genre ,which is not the prerogative of this one.The good nurse,whose devotion and abnegation know no bound ,is part of the "common herd" :she can't eat the way chic people have their dinner,she finds classical music boring,and she "erects a wall between me (the war hero) and my past".When you discover what terrible fate lays in store for her,you will realize that the obnoxious moral of the beginning bears fruit.Think of the baby ,honestly! There's a delightful supporting part of a concierge by Gabrielle Fontan who is no good at "psylochogy"! Like this? try these....

"Paradis Perdu " (Abel Gance,1939) "Carrefour" (Kurt Bernardt,1938) and its two remakes "Retour De Martin Guerre" (Daniel Vigne ,1981) and "Sommersby" (Jon Amiel ,1993)

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