Bonjour Tristesse (1958) Poster

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  • Parisienne teenager Cécile (Jean Seberg) relates the story of how she and her rich playboy father Raymond (David Niven) spent the previous summer on the French Riviera playing host to Raymond's girlfriend Elsa (Mylène Demongeot) and to Anne Larson (Deborah Kerr), the best friend of Cécile's deceased mother. When things got serious between Raymond and Anne and they proposed marriage, Cécile began to fear for the relationship with her father and with their decadent way of life, and she plots with Elsa and her current boyfriend Philippe (Geoffrey Horne) to separate Anne from Raymond...with sad results for them all. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Bonjour Tristesse was based on the 1954 novel of the same name by French novelist Françoise Sagan [1935-2004], who was 17 years old at the time she wrote it. The novel was adapted for the film by American screenwriter Arthur Laurents. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Bonjour Tristesse can be translated to mean Hello Sadness. The title comes from the first lines in a short poem, À peine défigurée, by French poet Paul Éluard [1895-1952], first published in a book of poems by Éluard titled La Vie immédiate (1932). The poem begins Adieu tristesse/ Bonjour tristesse... (Goodbye sadness/ Hello sadness). The original poem can be read in French here. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • That was French singer and actress Juliette Gréco. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The use of color versus black-and-white is to separate past events from present events. The story that is presented in color is flashbacks from a year ago, when Cécile, Raymond, and Anne spent their summer of tristesse together on the French Rivera. The story presented in black-and-white shows the tristesse that has befallen Cécile and her father in the present. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • [Color, one year ago, the French Riviera] Having come upon Raymond and Elsa reawakening their previous relationship, Anne jumped in her car and drove off in tears while Cécile begged her to stay. Some hours later, as Raymond and Cécile laughed about their "silliness" and rehearsed what they might say to make Anne come back, Raymond got a telephone call, informing him that Anne's car had gone over a cliff. Raymond and Cécile quickly drove to the spot where the police were pulling Anne's car from the water. When a diver brought up Anne's sunhat, Cécile asked to keep it because "she was a friend of ours."

    Cécile leaves the dance club with her new boyfriend who is already beginning to bore her and returns home as, in a voiceover, she explains that the police later informed them that Anne's death was the seventh accident that summer at that spot. "Seven...my lucky number," she says to herself. Although Anne left no suicide note, Cécile is convinced that Anne's death was no accident. She goes on to say that she never heard from Philippe again and that Elsa is now living in South America. As Cécile prepares for bed, Raymond comes home early from his date with Denise, with whom he's also becoming bored. Maybe he'll take Yvonne Marie with him when they spend the coming summer on the Italian Riviera, he says, then kisses Cécile goodnight. In the final scene, Cécile smears more and more cream on her face to cover the falling tears as she wonders to herself whether Raymond remembers, too, whenever he's alone. "I hope not." Edit (Coming Soon)

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