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Act of Love (1953)

Un acte d'amour (original title)
Approved | | Drama, War, Romance | 17 December 1953 (USA)
A former soldier on holiday in the French Riviera recalls his time in France during WWII, and his love for a French peasant woman.


Anatole Litvak


Alfred Hayes (novel), Irwin Shaw (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Robert Teller
Dany Robin ... Lise Gudayec / Madame Teller
Gabrielle Dorziat ... Adèle Lacaud
Barbara Laage ... Nina
Fernand Ledoux ... Fernand Lacaud
Robert Strauss ... Sgt. Johnny Blackwood
Marthe Mercadier ... La fille de la terrasse
George Mathews ... Henderson
Richard Benedict ... Pete
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Le sergent anglais
Sydney Chaplin ... Un soldat
Brigitte Bardot ... Mimi
Nedd Willard Nedd Willard
Serge Reggiani ... Claude Lacaud


A former soldier on holiday in the French Riviera recalls his time in France during WWII, and his love for a French peasant woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WANTED for desertion! WANTED for questioning!...WANTING only each other!


Drama | War | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »



France | USA


English | French

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Act of Love See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM Print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas met his German wife-to-be, Anne Douglas, when she applied for a job as his assistant on the French location shoot for this film. See more »


Robert Teller: Tell me more about...
Lise Gudayec: About what?
Robert Teller: About you and the iron balcony and the Mediterranean.
Lise Gudayec: Oh, your train will be here any minute, now.
Robert Teller: Come on. Tell me.
Lise Gudayec: Well, the last night I was promised that I could go out. But, my mother changed her mind. I couldn't sleep and I went out on the balcony. Then, suddenly, I saw two people walking on the dock. A boy and a girl. All alone. Just below my window, they stopped. They didn't say anything to each other and they didn't kiss. The girl looked up into the ...
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Referenced in What's My Line?: Kirk Douglas (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

9 October 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Although a co-production ,although it has a French title and features plenty of French luminaries,the film fell into oblivion in France.It's barely mentioned in the dictionaries of movies .

It was Anatole Litvak's return to France,where he had made some of his thirties movies ("L'Equipage" ,definitely a movie to rediscover, "Mayerling" the remake of which was filmed by Terence Young in 1968 or "Coeur de Lilas").But although I expected much of this film,I must admit I was disappointed.Particularly after watching his absorbing "decision before dawn" ,the movie he made just before "Un Acte d'Amour" The main problem is language:it's not very smart to make the French speak English between them.It's not a problem for a foreign audience,but for the French one it is one: Dany Robin and Serge Reggiani speaking English together is downright embarrassing.Not that their English is bad,but it is impossible to believe in THAT Paris,where almost everybody ,from a humble waitress to the hookers,speaks fluent English .And why didn't Litvak use Douglas' linguistic abilities?I once saw an interview during the Festival de Cannes and his French was quite good.

The French outnumber their American co-stars:Fernand Ledoux,Gabrielle Dorziat (whom Litvak had already directed in 'Mayerling" where she was miscast as Elizabeth "Sissi" from Austria),Dany Robin (who would be part of Hitchcock's "Topaz") ,the highly superior Reggiani (whose English delivery is much faster than when he speaks French: one should note he never says a single word in his first language,which is unlikely),and Brigitte Bardot (wearing braids) who appears in two short sequences as a waitress .

The best of this mushy story (the scene in the prison with a ridiculous voice over takes the biscuit when the young pure heroine winds up in the lions den (that is to say a cell with prostitutes)takes place in the prologue and in the epilogue :Douglas comes back to a place his love was happy when she was sixteen on the Cote d'Azur and he remembers her words .The meeting with his former superior and his wife,the room where the soldier feels nostalgic for a time that never was ,all this has Sirk accents and makes me feel the movie could have easily been boiled down into a good short.

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