6.6/10
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Act of Love (1953)

Un acte d'amour (original title)
A former soldier on holiday in the French Riviera recalls his time in France during WWII, and his love for a French peasant woman.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Alfred Hayes (novel), Irwin Shaw (screenplay)
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

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

Runtime:

(TCM Print)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Fernand Lacaud: Long before the war, I met many Americans, many American ladies. There was a school teacher from Pennsylvania. She was making a tour of the châteaux. It was in 1920. Twenty-five years ago.
Adèle Lacaud: Oh, yes, twenty-five years ago my husband had a great curiosity about American woman.
Fernand Lacaud: Without curiosity, my dear, there would be no wise men.
Nina: And this curiosity, did you satisfy it?
Fernand Lacaud: Yes. To an extent, my dear, to an extent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Greatest Mysteries: Smithsonian (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A historic French -American co-production
22 October 2010 | by trimmerb1234See all my reviews

USA/French co-productions are a rarity. But this serves its subject matter superbly well - that time when American soldiers in their hundreds of thousands were first fighters then feted liberators on French soil. As does the script - nobody is a stereotype, everyone has their own, believable, character. Perhaps the sense of authenticity came also from the short time, just 8 years, between the events portrayed and when it was filmed. This was not one author's or one scriptwriter's imagination - it must have been a vivid memory in the minds of tens if not hundreds of thousands of American soldiers. Equally vivid for the French who had seen occupation or collaboration then liberation. There is a certain graciousness and humanity in the treatment of the characters. Later and lesser writers and directors would portray such situations as simply the meeting of drunken animalistic soldiers with faceless whores and thieving tricky locals. There is a dignity and respect to this film which has all but disappeared in subsequent "war movies".

Star that he is, was Kirk Douglas well-cast? I think not. Kirk Douglas portrayed even personified a particular type: given to action either outer or inner. Here he plays a far less certain character, not driven but drifting. Douglas was always Spartacus, even if the Romans couldn't spot him, viewers could every time. Perhaps this was a role for Mitchum - a mixture of integrity tempered by a degree of indolence.

This is not a film packed with stars, it is packed with people, American and French - a tribute to the director, writers and cast.

(British viewers might recognise a familiar face - Leslie Dwyer (here a quirky cameo Tommy with "just 5 teeth") later the grumpy child-hating children's entertainer in a '80's TV comedy series Hi De Hi!.)


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