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Viper in the Fist (2004)

Vipère au poing (original title)
Jean Rezeau and his elder brother were living happily in their family estate in Brittany, until the death of their grandmother. The return of their mother, a worthy descendant of fairytales... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Villeret ...
Jacques Rézeau
Jean Rézeau
Miss Chilton
L'abbé Traquet
Sabine Haudepin ...
Tante Thérèse
William Touil ...
Ferdinand "Freddie" Rézeau
Le père Volitza
Pierre Stévenin ...
Annick Alane ...
Mme Rézeau
Paul Le Person ...
Le père Létendard
Amélie Lerma ...
Dominique Paturel ...
M. Pluvignec


Jean Rezeau and his elder brother were living happily in their family estate in Brittany, until the death of their grandmother. The return of their mother, a worthy descendant of fairytales' witches, brings an all new atmosphere to their home. Written by morroviolet

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »




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Release Date:

6 October 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Viper in the Fist  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,466,137 (France) (8 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation France # 106220 du 19-10-2004. See more »


Version of Viper in the Fist (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Incredibly evil mother
16 April 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Vipère au poing (2004) (Viper in the Fist) was co-scripted and directed by Philippe de Broca. The story is based on a novel by Hervé Bazin. I saw this movie at the 2005 Cinefranco Film Festival in Toronto. (www.cinefranco.com)

Jean and Freddie are growing up in a château, under the loving care of their paternal grandmother. When she dies, their father returns from Vietnam with their mother and their young brother.

Within minutes, their mother displays her true colors, and within days she's made their life hell. Catherine Frot plays Paule Rézeau, who in a fairy tale would be the evil stepmother. Unfortunately, she's their biological mother, who totally dominates the boys, their father (played well by the late Jacques Villeret), and the entire household.

The chilling nature of this film stems not only from from maternal hatred, but from the fact that the boys are obviously good kids. They are prepared to love their mother and their brother, and to behave in an acceptable--even admirable--fashion.

Unfortunately, their situation leaves no room for maternal-child affection. What develops is open warfare on the mother's side, and guerrilla warfare on the part of the boys. The middle brother, Jean (Jules Sitruk) is particularly dedicated to opposing his mother's tyranny, and he's very good at it.

The movie has scenes that are humorous, and some warm and touching moments between father and sons, but the basic tone is dark and menacing. It's not a warm movie that will leave you with a glow of contentment, but it's well written, directed, and acted, and definitely worth seeing.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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