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The Love of a Woman (1953)

L'amour d'une femme (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 13 December 1953 (France)
Marie Prieur, a young doctor, decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. Little by little she manages to be accepted by the population. One day she meets André... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Grémillon

Writers:

René Fallet (dialogue), René Fallet (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Micheline Presle ... Dr. Marie Prieur
Massimo Girotti ... André Lorenzi
Gaby Morlay ... Germaine Leblanc
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Le curé
Marc Cassot ... Marcel
Marius David Marius David ... Lulu, l'adjoint d'André
Yvette Etiévant ... Fernande de Malgorny
Roland Lesaffre ... Yves
Robert Naly Robert Naly ... Dr. Morel
Madeleine Geoffroy Madeleine Geoffroy ... Isabelle Morel
Émile Ronet Émile Ronet
Henri Marchand Henri Marchand
Robert Mercier Robert Mercier
Jean Péméja Jean Péméja
Made Siamé Made Siamé ... Joséphine
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Storyline

Marie Prieur, a young doctor, decides to settle down on Ushant, a remote island belonging to Brittany. Little by little she manages to be accepted by the population. One day she meets André Lorenzi, a handsome engineer, and it is love at first sight. Life is wonderful for a while but André wants to marry her only if she remains at home. Despite her strong feelings for André, Marie refuses to give up her vocation and the two lovers part. Marie finds herself alone, with a broken heart. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 December 1953 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Love of a Woman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Award: Prix du Film Maudit 1954. See more »

Soundtracks

Minuit, chrétiens
Text by Placide Cappeau
Music by Adolphe Adam
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jean Grémillon, a maestro unfortunately stuck in the limbo of oblivion for too long
12 February 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

THE LOVE OF A WOMAN is French filmmaker Jean Grémillon's swan song before his death in 1959 at the age of 58, Grémillon's name has remained relatively unknown outside France, and his aesthetics and techniques are often coined as "enchanted realism", an antecedent anticipates the slam-bang French New Wave.

The film takes place in the north-westernmost point of France, the Ushant island, where the new replacement of its retired village doctor is an unmarried 28-year-old woman Marie Prieur (Presle, who is still with us today at the age of 96), who has to overcome the local inhabitants' prejudice and earn her place in the village through her professional aptitude, meanwhile, she falls in love an engineer André Lorenzi (a virile Girotti), who is assigned to a project lasting six months in the island, when marriage is propounded to her as a getaway from the harsh insularity she inhabits and dreads, the option is clear, to become a full-time housewife or remain as a singleton country doctor.

The sticking point here now seems obsolete but what amazes viewers is Grémillon's skill of story-telling, emotions are trenchantly condensed through the cast's uncontrived acting, initially dispirited by Andre's blinkered proposal, Marie takes an about-face when she witnesses the comeuppance of Germaine Leblanc (a solicitous Gaby Morlay), the school teacher who devotes all her life to her students, only succumbs to an abrupt death right after her retirement, yet, not a single tear is shedded in her funeral, it is this noxious apathy that brings forth Marie's disenchantment, and she wants out, even a wedlock diminishes her worth. Only if André could accept that, he is machismo and narrow-minded, but not air-headed, once he realizes her competence and the fact that she revels in her competence, he is sober enough to pull the plug before making a commitment he cannot abide by, a cruel maneuver but not entirely irrational, which in itself reflects Grémillon's lucid conception of what a grown-up love affair should look like.

The film's provincial locale is captured with astonishing pulchritude under the rein of Grémillon and DP Louis Page, a studio-bound sequence of a life-boat buffeted by a tempestuous storm shows up Grémillon's eclectic approach which isn't circumscribed by a Sisyphean obsession of realism, whereas a veri-similar surgical operation passage ensures that Marie has an able hand and is a true asset to the community. Propelled by leading actress Micheline Presle's top-notch embodiment of our heroine, THE LOVE OF A WOMAN should belatedly put Grémillon's name on the international map alongside his more fêted peers, a maestro unfortunately stuck in the limbo of oblivion for too long.


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