Éternel conflit (1948)

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Janvier, an embittered teacher, is fed up with his colorless, monotonous life. One day he breaks away and ends up becoming a circus clown. In his new world, he meets a beautiful acrobat ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Florence dite Lili
Michel Auclair ...
Louis Salou ...
Line Noro ...
Germaine - femme de Janvier
Mary Morgan ...
Mme Chardeuil
Jeannette Batti ...
Jeanne Lion ...
Colette Ripert ...
Mlle Chardeuil
Monique Arthur ...
La bonne
Gaston Modot ...
Le bonimenteur
Roland Armontel ...
Robert Ariani
Marcel André ...
Le proviseur
Guy Favières ...
Marcel Melrac ...
Un garçon de piste


Janvier, an embittered teacher, is fed up with his colorless, monotonous life. One day he breaks away and ends up becoming a circus clown. In his new world, he meets a beautiful acrobat nicknamed Lili and grows fonder and fonder of her every day of his life. The trouble is that the lady bestows her favors to two different lovers : wealthy married man Chardeuil and good-looking but listless young Antonio. He now considers his duty to make Lili recover her dignity... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

26 May 1948 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Eterno Conflito  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

4 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

The first fifteen minutes of the movie are very strong,with a pessimism to rival the best of Duvivier.Ledoux masterfully portrays an aging teacher who lost his dear little girl a long time ago and who is sick and tired of his spouse and of his mother-in-law who dreamed the child was in Heaven.The moment when the teacher explains to his wife that it was not an accident (she actually took her own life) climaxes the movie.There's also the extraordinary scene in which he teaches his students about Napoleon in a school where they all line up to the sound of a drum roll: in front of an inspector,he refuses to praise the French emperor and he tells the boys about the death of million men Bonaparte's dreams caused.Then there's the meeting with a young girl on the bridge which brings back sad memories.

Probably fed up with teaching what the history books tell,and probably fired,the teacher becomes a clown,which does not make a big difference:both the clown and the teacher work/play in front of an audience ,but at least the clown makes them laugh.

Things begin to deteriorate beyond that point,and Fernand Ledoux's performance remains the only thing that keeps on grabbing you.Not that Annabella ,Michel Auclair and Louis Salou are bad actors: on the contrary they can be brilliant when they are given strong roles.The problem lies in the fact that ,after a (too) brilliant start,the movie loses steam considerably.

A beautiful girl works in the same circus as the ex-teacher ;he has become her confidant .She's got two lovers ,a young handsome artist of the circus and a middle -age aristocrat and she does not know where she stands anymore.Sorry to write this ,but Annabella's melodramatic-and a bit boring- story is irrelevant in Ledoux's tragic word.Maybe Douglas Sirk could have avoided the gap between the two plots.Lampin couldn't. The love triangle is a hackneyed subject and it takes genius to renew it.

Opinions differ:I know that a French oldies specialist,Marc A.,will disagree.

Like this ? try these...

La Foire Aux Chimères ,Pierre Chenal 1946 La Vie D'Un Honnête Homme Sacha Guitry 1952

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