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Demoniac (1957)

Les louves (original title)
Gervais and his friend Bernard, two prisoners of war, manage to escape from the camp where they are held. Bernard is determined to take refuge with Hélène, his war grandmother, a woman with... See full summary »

Director:

Luis Saslavsky

Writers:

Pierre Boileau (novel), Pierre Boileau (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
François Périer ... Gervais Larauch / Bernard Pradal
Micheline Presle ... Hélène Vanaux
Jeanne Moreau ... Agnès Vanaux
Madeleine Robinson ... Julia Pradal
Marc Cassot ... Bernard Pradal
Pierre Mondy ... André Vilsan
Paul Faivre Paul Faivre ... Le docteur Jaume
Louis Arbessier Louis Arbessier ... Le commissaire de police Drouin
Simone Angèle Simone Angèle ... Eulalie - le patronne de l'auberge
Jo Peignot Jo Peignot ... Le pharmacien
Clément Harari Clément Harari ... Le préparateur en pharmacie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Barge Paul Barge
Charles Bayard Charles Bayard
Rivers Cadet Rivers Cadet
Rodolphe Marcilly Rodolphe Marcilly
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Storyline

Gervais and his friend Bernard, two prisoners of war, manage to escape from the camp where they are held. Bernard is determined to take refuge with Hélène, his war grandmother, a woman with whom he has been carrying on a romance by correspondence and Gervais agrees to accompany him. Unfortunately, Bernard is killed by a train before they get to destination. Gervais then decides to present himself to Hélène who, never having seen Bernard, mistakes the newcomer for her war godson. Too weak to restore the truth, Gervais becomes Bernard and moves in with Hélène. The situation gets even more complicated as two more women get into Gervais'life and entangle him in their web, Agnès, Hélène's jealous sister, and Julia, Bernard's sister, who pretends to recognize him... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hair-Raising Cinematic Thriller! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

26 April 1957 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Demoniac See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zodiaque Productions See more »
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?

Connections

Remade as Letters to an Unknown Lover (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dance with she-wolves
11 May 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Aside from Hitchcock's "Vertigo" and Clouzot's "Diaboliques" which are still unsurpassed,the best adaptation of a Boileau-Narcejac novel for the screen.Whereas the two masters completely rewrote the stories,the screenplay of " les Louves" was reworked by the novelists themselves .

This is an absorbing suspense from the railroad tracks at dawn where you've got to watch out for trains going nowhere to that house in the country where the hero feels that he is fading little by little .

Two prisoners of war escape from a camp.One of them has a soldier wartime woman pen friend he wants to marry ,a person he never met.But he dies and his pal takes his name (impostors have always played a prominent part in thrillers:to name but two ,both William Irish ("I married a dead man" ) and Patricia Highsmith( "The talented mister Ripley" )brilliantly succeeded ).When he arrives in the "Marraine de Guerre" 's home,the plot thickens.It seems that the woman's sister knows more than she should.And his own "sister" Julia is coming any day know.How will he be able to go on lying and pretending he is someone he is not? Luis Salvsky has a dream of a cast ,his four leads being part of the creme de la creme of French actors:François Perier as the unfortunate victim who will discover that there's much more worse than a prisoners camp;Micheline Presles as his pen friend,prepossessing,but isn't it strange that a woman takes a man she's never met before to be her husband?Jeanne Moreau as Presles's sister,a sensual woman,who enjoys séances in the dark where she reveals things better left unsaid;and to top it all,Madeleine Robinson ,as the dead soldier's sister ,who welcomes the impostor as "her dear little Bernard" .

This fabulous quartet takes the film out on a level of stratospheric intensity.Often filmed in close shots,their faces are like disturbing masks.Their eyes are always telling lies and the viewer,caught with them in a devilish trap,needs a breath of fresh air after the last sequence,to be avoided by people suffering from claustrophobia.

This is another fine French film noir of the fifties,when the genre was thriving before the new wavelet butchered it.


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