IMDb > "The Staircase" (2004)
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"The Staircase" (2004) More at IMDbPro »"Soupçons" (original title), TV mini-series 2004-


User Rating:
8.5/10   2,247 votes »
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Release Date:
June 2004 (USA) See more »
Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, presents a gripping courtroom thriller... See more »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
(2 articles)
The Daily Beast: "At the Bottom of The Staircase"
 (From Televisionary. 4 March 2013, 9:23 AM, PST)

TV highlights 04/02/2013
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 3 February 2013, 4:05 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Compelling viewing See more (19 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 9 of 22)
Caitlin Atwater ... Herself (8 episodes, 2004)
Margaret Blakemore ... Herself (8 episodes, 2004)
Ron Guerette ... Himself (8 episodes, 2004)
Bill Peterson ... Himself (8 episodes, 2004)
Clayton Peterson ... Himself (8 episodes, 2004)
Todd Peterson ... Himself (8 episodes, 2004)
Martha Ratliff ... Herself (8 episodes, 2004)
David Saacks ... Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
Julia Sims ... Herself (2 episodes, 2004)

Series Directed by
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (unknown episodes)
Series Writing credits
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Allyson Luchak .... producer (unknown episodes)
Denis Poncet .... executive producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Joel Goodman (unknown episodes)
Jocelyn Pook (unknown episodes)
Series Cinematography by
Pierre Milon (unknown episodes)
Isabelle Razavet (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Jean-Pierre Bloc (unknown episodes)
Sophie Brunet (unknown episodes)
Adam Lichtenstein (unknown episodes)
Scott Stevenson (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Sonda L. Rowland .... painter (unknown episodes, 2007)
Series Sound Department
Benoit Degornet .... dialogue recordist (8 episodes, 2004)

Christophe Moreno .... sound mixer (unknown episodes, 2004)
Anne-Laure François .... sound mixer (unknown episodes)
Tristan Jaoul .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Sébastien Wera .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Jean-Xavier de Lestrade .... cinematographer: additional scenes (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Eric Heinrich .... color timer (8 episodes, 2004)

Christian Riffard .... post-production coordinator (unknown episodes, 2004)
Series Other crew
Mathias Farrugia .... subtitler: French (4 episodes, 2004)
Series Thanks
Christian Riffard .... thanks (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Soupçons" - France (original title)
See more »
France:360 min (8 parts)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Mike Nifong, the DA involved in the Duke Lacrosse case, appears as an assistant DA in this documentary.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Girls: Daddy Issues (#4.9)" (2015)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Compelling viewing, 24 March 2005
Author: Steve West from Adelaide, Australia

What I liked about The Staircase was it was told at a more relaxed pace than 42-minute (minus ads) shows such as 48 Hours Mysteries or Real Crime. We get to see things in a lot more detail like life back at defendant Michael Peterson's home, investigations of crime scenes, locations, and discussions throughout the way.

Unlike the shorter shows you don't have to be paying attention 100% of the time, I missed an episode by accident and it didn't seem to make a huge difference. Unfortunately there's no camera teams sitting in on the prosecution's side so we don't see the trial from every perspective, but we see what they present in the courtroom at least. The prosecution's case was pretty convincing but the evidence the defence presented cast doubt on most of their theories. I tried not to form opinions either way and was interested only in the evidence, or what conclusions could be drawn from the evidence available.

In my opinion the jury decided the verdict more on emotion than anything else, and I was surprised that each and every one of them had reached a point where they were beyond any reasonable doubt. I did not see the whole testimony as I was not sitting at the trial for days, but based on the "highlights" presented, the jury's certainty made me wonder.

The Staircase was must-see viewing for me by the time of the final episode, there's a lot of material with eight episodes but it was all relevant, I guess a trial needs that many episodes to really give a feel for what it's like. One thing that surprised me was that the cameras had full access throughout the proceedings as well as the aftermath. Peterson's family and lawyers seemed comfortable, although I'm guessing it wasn't "The Osbournes" with cameras there night and day.

I thought The Staricase was a fairly unique documentary, and I think most people would find something of interest in it.

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