14 user 5 critic

The Grand Maneuver (1955)

Les grandes manoeuvres (original title)
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.


René Clair


René Clair (screenplay and dialogue), Jérôme Géronimi (adaptation) (as Jérome Géronimi) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michèle Morgan ... Marie-Louise Rivière
Gérard Philipe ... Le lieutenant Armand de la Verne
Jean Desailly ... Victor Duverger
Pierre Dux ... Le colonel
Jacques Fabbri ... L'ordonnance d'Armand
Jacques François ... Rodolphe
Yves Robert ... Le lieutenant Félix Leroy
Brigitte Bardot ... Lucie
Lise Delamare ... Juliette Duverger
Jacqueline Maillan ... Jeanne Duverger, une soeur de Victor
Magali Noël ... Thérèse, la chanteuse (as Magali Noel)
Simone Valère ... Gisèle Monnet (as Simone Valere)
Catherine Anouilh Catherine Anouilh ... Alice, la fille du préfet
Madeleine Barbulée Madeleine Barbulée ... La dame au chapeau jaune
Dany Carrel ... Rose-Mousse


A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The dashing Lieutenant of Dragoons, after all had a certain reputation to uphold...while the ravishing Lady from Paris, at best, had only an uncertain fortress to defend... See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa #20434 delivered on 22 December 1955. See more »


Le lieutenant Armand de la Verne: Why are you all getting married? It's an epidemic!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A darker alternate ending was shot and is included on the UK DVD: riding off to the manoeuvres, Armand sees Mdme Rivière's window is open and smiles, believing he is forgiven. The camera then cranes up to the window - where we see the maid discovering Madme Riviere's dead body in bed. See more »


Referenced in Wild Innocence (2001) See more »

User Reviews

Fine late film by Rene Clair
12 May 2005 | by bob998See all my reviews

I'd seen only the great films from the 30's by this director, before enjoying this first color film from 1955. It is a light work with some sombre undertones from the military setting: we are after all in the summer of 1914, and the gallant young officers will soon be facing the terrors of the Great War. Clair reminds us that this world has vanished into the mists of time by the careful use of pastels--lavender, gray, pink--and by the camera receding into the distance: you hardly ever see a close up, most shots are long or medium. Leon Barsacq did a wonderful job as production designer; this is one of the best designed films I can remember seeing from this period.

Gerard Philipe is the best Armand you could wish for--he's brave and skilled as a soldier and incredibly immature as a man. The idea that you can carry on affairs with five women at a time is no more than a logistical problem for him. Michele Morgan plays her part so well; she's got to be mature and responsible (she's a divorcée, and hasn't been long in this town). Her heart is pulling her in a direction her mind doesn't want to go. Jean Desailly reminds me once again that he's one of the finest French actors: his Victor isn't a stuffy bourgeois, his heart is with Marie-Louise and he knows what a formidable opponent Armand is. Also he's got to combat the closed minds around him, notably his sisters.

Les Grandes manoevres can be compared to Rules of the Game, and if the Renoir classic is greater, it's because Renoir was dealing with more profound themes. I was engrossed in the story of this garrison town just the same.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



France | Italy



Release Date:

1 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Grand Maneuver See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed