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Flesh and the Woman (1954)

Le grand jeu (original title)
Bankrupt and disbarred, Parisian lawyer Pierre Martel heads for Algiers where he's supposed to rejoin his high-maintenance Italian girlfriend Sylvia but when she fails to show-up a heart-broken Pierre joins the French Foreign Legion.


Robert Siodmak


Jacques Feyder (story "Le Grand Jeu"), Charles Spaak (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Gina Lollobrigida ... Sylvia Sorrego / Helena Ricci
Jean-Claude Pascal ... Pierre Martel (as Jean Claude Pascal)
Raymond Pellegrin ... Mario
Peter van Eyck ... Fred
Jean Hébey Jean Hébey ... Le commissaire de police (as Jean Hebey)
Jo Dest Jo Dest ... Karl - le patron du bistrot
Lila Kedrova ... Rose
Margo Lion ... La première
Odette Laure Odette Laure ... L'amie de Mario
Alix Mahieux Alix Mahieux ... Mado
Umberto Melnati Umberto Melnati
Jean Témerson Jean Témerson ... Xavier Noblet (as Temerson)
Arletty ... Blanche


Pierre Martel is a brilliant lawyer in Paris who has fallen in love with a ravishing Italian girl, Sylvia Sorrego and they take up housekeeping on a luxurious scale beyond his means, and Pierre commits a few irregularities and is asked to resign the Bar Association. He heads for Algeria and tells Sylvia to sell everything they own and join him there. Sylvia is a no-show and Pierre, broke, with a dishonored name and having lost the woman he loves, dons the hair-shirt he wears the rest of the film and becomes a human wreck, and he joins the Foreign Legion. Pierre and his friends Mario and Fred engage in a bit of globe-hopping warfare for the next four years and are sent back to the camp in Algeria. There, they discover a house/castle near the camp called "The Last Stop" run by Madame Blanche, who spends most of her time reading playing cards. When she isn't reading cards, Madame Blanche runs a few prostitutes on the side and arranges for three ladies of the evening to spend a night in ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Pampered Pet of Parisian luxury...temptress for hire in the slums of Algeria See more »


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Did You Know?


In Australia advertised as Il Grande Giuoco (sic). See more »


Referenced in Ulysse (1983) See more »


Wedding March
Music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
See more »

User Reviews

Petit Jeu
18 July 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Word to the wise: this is the remake of Jacques Feyder's great movie (1934) and you 'd better avoid Siodmak's version which is useless .Jean Claude Pascal ,Gina Lollobrigida and Marie Bell take on Pierre Richard -Wilm 's ,Marie Bell's and Françoise Rosay's parts .Lollobrigida is more beautiful than Marie Bell and that's it.

The screenplay (well summarized by the precedent users )was typically thirties when the Legion Etrangère (see also "L'Atlantide" "La Bandera" )was one of the audience's favorite subjects.In the fifties it was probably already old-fashioned .Hence the absurdity to redo.

Do not get me wrong : I like both Robert Siodmak and Arletty.But this movie does not do them justice.

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France | Italy



Release Date:

June 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flesh and the Woman See more »


Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Western Electric)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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