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Francois comes back to his home village in France after more than a decade. He notices that the village hasn't changed much, but the people have, especially his old friend Serge who has become a drunkard. Francois now tries to find out what happened to him and tries to help him.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Claude Chabrol had originally intended to shoot Les Cousins (1959) first, but due to its Paris setting, it would have been twice as expensive to film. He chose instead to shoot Le Beau Serge (1958) which took place in Sardent, a village where his mother lived before moving to Paris and where he often spent the summer with his grandmother. The film was shot over nine weeks in the winter of 1957-1958 on a budget of 32 million old francs. See more »
Impressive Debut from a very talented director, even though it may not exactly be 'New Wave'
This film is considered to be the first film of the French New Wave film movement, preceding 400 Blows, Hiroshima Mon Amour and Breathless. I don't think you can put this film in the same category as those films. This film is a straight up conventional narrative about Francois who travels back to his hometown after 12 years, looking for a peaceful, restful place and recuperating from a lung infection, he finds that the people he once knew are all in dire straits. They are poor, provincial and cant seem to get out of their rut in this small town, the town Chabrol grew up in. Watching this film I didn't quite know in which way it was headed. The acting is superb and I really felt like I was in that small town with these people. Francois former friend turned alcoholic Serge turns in a convincing performance of drowning ambitions. This film was meticulously put together and the moving shots were intelligently fluid and effective. Unlike what other reviewers have said, this does not feel like a film from a first-timer. I have only seen Chabrol's last two films, Inspector Bellamy and A Girl Cut in Two and they were masterful in execution and i expected this one to be weaker but i was delightfully surprised. It holds up really well and I even think modern American audiences would enjoy this film about sacrifice and reformation.
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