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Retour de manivelle (1957)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 18 September 1957 (France)
An unemployed Frenchman who saves the life of a rich man is hired as a chauffeur by the grateful man but gets caught in a murder-for-life-insurance-money scheme.


Michel Audiard (dialogue), James Hadley Chase (novel) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Michèle Morgan ... Hélène Fréminger
Daniel Gélin ... Robert Montillon
Michèle Mercier ... Jeanne
François Chaumette François Chaumette ... Charles Babin
Pierre Leproux Pierre Leproux ... M. Bost, le créancier
Olivier Darrieux Olivier Darrieux ... L' inspecteur-adjoint (as Jean Ollivier)
Hélène Roussel Hélène Roussel ... Une secrétaire
Peter van Eyck ... Eric Fréminger
Bernard Blier ... Le commissaire Plantavin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arras Arras ... Duke, Eric's dog
Lucien Frégis Lucien Frégis ... Le gendarme
Clara Gansard Clara Gansard
Anne Gardel Anne Gardel
Guy Tréjan ... Undetermined Role


What do you do when you want to commit suicide whereas you have just had the suicide clause cancelled from your insurance contract ? Just ask your wife ! What do you do when the attractive new chauffeur surprises you in the process of distorting the truth ? Just make him your lover! But beware : even the most elaborate schemes can backfire ! Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...and she knew she was being watched by this stranger who wanted her so much...and now she would make sure he would want her even more... See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »



France | Italy



Release Date:

18 September 1957 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

There's Always a Price Tag See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Enregistrement Magnétique S.I.M.O.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michèle Mercier's first film. See more »


Robert Montillon: Bitch!
Hélène Fréminger: Is it an insult?
Robert Montillon: Bitch!
Hélène Fréminger: Don't use up the word. You might want it later. It was always said to me as a word of love.
See more »

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User Reviews

A deliciously cold-blooded "French Noir" from James Hadley Chase
15 March 2014 | by melvelvit-1See all my reviews

Robert (Daniel Gélin), an itinerant painter passing through Monte Carlo, saves the life of uber-rich drunk Eric Fréminger (Peter van Eyck) late one night and the man offers Robert a job as his companion-cum- chauffeur, much to the displeasure of his icy, elegant wife Hélène (Michèle Morgan). When Fréminger isn't playing sadistic mind games with Hélène, he's either blotto or busy going bankrupt and he tells Hélène she'll only have a couple of hours after he blows his brains out to make the dirty deed look like murder if she wants to collect on a sizable life insurance policy. Fréminger immediately makes good on his threat and after a quick tête-à-tête, Hélène and Robert agree to take the dead man's advice and hide his body in a walk-in freezer until they can come up with a plan. They begin by hiring a pretty young maid (Michèle Mercier) to convince her that the master of the house is a recluse who won't come out of his room but "oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive..."

A deliciously cold-blooded, sexy French noir based on a James Hadley Chase pulp thriller that took its lead from Cornell Woolrich's "The Black Path Of Fear". Woolrich's version first saw the light of day as THE CHASE in 1946 (also starring Michèle Morgan, interestingly enough) but, as usual with J.H. Chase, there's more than enough variational surprises to allow a "twisted sister" to stand on its own and THERE'S ALWAYS A PRICE TAG does just that. A thoroughly jaundiced eye is cast on human nature and Morgan (platinum blonde here a la DOUBLE INDEMNITY's Phyllis Dietrichson) chills to the marrow as the devastating, driven femme fatale. The estimable character actor Bernard Blier is also pitch-perfect as a police inspector who's a bit smarter than he lets on. Cynical and satisfying.

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