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La Chienne (1931)

La chienne (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 20 November 1931 (France)
A woman and her pimp exploit a painter for money.


Jean Renoir


Georges de La Fouchardière (novel) (as Georges de la Fouchardière), Jean Renoir (adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Michel Simon ... Maurice Legrand
Janie Marèse ... Lucienne Pelletier dite Lulu
Georges Flamant ... André Jauguin dit Dédé
Roger Gaillard Roger Gaillard ... L'adjudant Alexis Godard (as Gaillard)
Romain Bouquet Romain Bouquet ... Henriot - le patron de la bonneterie
Pierre Desty Pierre Desty ... Gustave Brocheton
Mlle Doryans Mlle Doryans ... Yvonne
Lucien Mancini Lucien Mancini ... Wallstein (as Mancini)
Jane Pierson Jane Pierson ... Philomène - la concierge
Christian Argentin Christian Argentin ... Le juge d'instruction Desrumaux (as Argentin)
Max Dalban Max Dalban ... Bernard - le collègue (as Dalban)
Jean Gehret Jean Gehret ... Monsieur Dugodet (as Gehret)
Magdeleine Bérubet Magdeleine Bérubet ... Adèle Legrand (as Magdelaine Berubet)


Cashier Maurice Legrand is married to Adele, a terror. By chance, he meets Lucienne, "Lulu", and makes her his mistress. He thinks he finally met love, but Lulu is nothing but a streetwalker, in love with Dede, her pimp. She only accepts Legrand to satisfy Dede's needs of money. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This is considered the first French film where the sound was recorded directly and on real locations, not post synched or in the studio. See more »


When Lulu reads her books, she is on the left side of the bed (1:06:16). But when Maurice sits down, she jumps to the right side in the next shot. See more »


Lucienne Pelletier dite Lulu: And you could paint pictures yourself. You're as smart as old Legrand. Smarter even. I'd mix your colors and clean your brushes. It would be wonderful.
André Jauguin dit Dédé: Would you shut up?
[slaps Lulu]
André Jauguin dit Dédé: You can be a real pain when you get started.
[slaps Lulu]
Lucienne Pelletier dite Lulu: All right, darling. I won't say any more if it bothers you. Kiss me.
See more »


Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre
Sung by Michel Simon
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User Reviews

Film (Re)Noir
8 January 2017 | by HitchcockyanSee all my reviews

Jean Renoir's LA CHIENNE is an exhilaratingly nasty tale of a henpecked hosiery cashier's adulterous relationship with a manipulative prostitute, and the moral damnation that ensues. Noir aficionados will instantly make the SCARLET STREET connection but the unmistakable differences in execution and style render both of these masterworks sufficiently distinguishable.

Firstly, LA CHIENNE is more sexually charged of the two - evidenced by the explicit exhibition of its various on screen dalliances. SCARLET STREET on the other hand was shackled by the Hays Code where the furthest Edward G. Robinson's character gets is painting his mistress' toe nails. Restrictions of the production code notwithstanding SCARLET STREET is still the bleaker of the two and remains one of the hallmarks of classic film-noir, while LA CHIENNE benefits from its consistent tragicomedy tone.

Michel Simon is outstanding as the frustrated, love-struck painter who's almost destined to lose: he's domineered by his miserable wife when he's not being cuckolded and scammed by his deceitful mistress (and her scheming pimp boyfriend) and remains oblivious of the fact that he's merely a part-time lover but a full-time benefactor. EGR's rendition however was on a completely different level and had more psychological heft to it.

LA CHIENNE's visual aesthetic is loaded with quadrangular, window-framed, canvas-like compositions that not only resonate with the film's theatrical opening but also with the art produced by our protagonist. I also feel that it's too beautifully realised (or at least the restoration made it so) to be categorised as "noir" in the traditional sense and is devoid of conventional noir flourishes, rugged edges or pulpy vibes. Having said that it was undoubtedly instrumental in the proliferation of films that would come to be known as noir.

As an interesting aside, SCARLET STREET was not the only Lang venture that shared a literary source with a Renoir film; HUMAN DESIRE and the classic LA BÊTE HUMAINE also originate from the same Émile Zola novel.

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Release Date:

20 November 1931 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La Chienne See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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