Prosper Chicot, the owner of a tavern, makes the calvados from the apples that grow in his fields. Everyone loves the taste of the potent drink, which is widely appreciated by the patrons of his place. Chicot, an ambitious man, covets the fields of his neighbor, Mme. Magloire, an elderly woman in her seventies, living alone with no heirs apparently.
One day Prosper goes to see the lady. He finds her peeling potatoes. He has a new proposal: he will buy her property and pay her a monthly amount and she can keep her farm for as long as she lives. The cunning old woman does not quite get the concept, but being fond of money, she takes the matter into a notary in town, who assures her it is a legitimate deal.
Some three years elapse and the lady is in perfect health. She shows no signs of illness. One day, she visits the tavern, as a guest of Chicot. He goes to her table where she has feasted on foods she never eats. Prosper offers her a drink of his prized calvados. Mme. Magloire is skeptical at first, but she can appreciate the taste and how light and happy she feels afterward. Chicot figures he has the solution to his problems. Every month he visits the old woman with the money he owes her and a barrel of his excellent liquor. It does not take long before the old lady is dead, thus giving Prosper the coveted farm for which he paid dearly.
The Maupassant tale is a short one, but Claude Chabrol, and his collaborators Gerard Jourd'hoi and Jacques Santana expanded on the story brilliantly. The superb casting could not be better: Tsilla Chilton of "Tatie Danielle" fame, is on hand to play Mme. Magloire and Francois Berleand is Prosper Chicot. Seeing these two wonderful performers bring to life Guy de Maupassant story to life, guided by the master Chabrol, is a delicious experience.
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