7.3/10
4,081
34 user 40 critic

The Lovers (1958)

Les amants (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 26 October 1959 (USA)
Saddled with a dull husband and a foolish lover, a woman has an affair with a stranger.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writer:

Louise de Vilmorin (dialogue)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol. Although he is constantly distressed, he leaves the hospital and tries to meet good ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Maurice Ronet, Léna Skerla, Yvonne Clech
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This merry farce depicts a satirical view of the French society: Ten-year-old Zazie has to stay two days with her relatives in Paris, so that her mother can spend some time with her lover. ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1944, an 18-year old boy from small-town France, collaborates with the Nazi-regime and subsequently falls in love with a Jewish girl.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clément, Holger Löwenadler
May Fools (1990)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Miou-Miou, Michel Piccoli, Michel Duchaussoy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Jill becomes a movie star, she soon discovers that her private life is destroyed by persistent fans that won't leave her alone. Her mother's ex-lover, Fabio, tries to protect her.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Marcello Mastroianni, Nicolas Bataille
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself between the urge to discover love and the ever-present, dominating affection of his mother.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin
Viva Maria! (1965)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Somewhere in Central America in 1907: Maria II is the daughter of an Irish terrorist. After her father's death, she meets Maria I, a singer in a circus. She decides to stay with the circus,... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, George Hamilton
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette
Atlantic City (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Vibrant scenes of individuals' daily life are filmed in Place de la République.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Louis Malle
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

New York actors rehearse Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a dilapidated theatre.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Wallace Shawn, Phoebe Brand, George Gaynes
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanne Moreau ... Jeanne Tournier
Jean-Marc Bory ... Bernard Dubois-Lambert
Judith Magre ... Maggy Thiebaut-Leroy
José Luis de Vilallonga ... Raoul Florès (as José Villalonga)
Gaston Modot ... Coudray
Pierre Frag Pierre Frag
Michèle Girardon ... Hélène Cavalier
Gib Grossac Gib Grossac
Lucienne Hamon Lucienne Hamon ... Chantal
Georgette Lobre Georgette Lobre ... Marthe
Claude Mansard Claude Mansard ... Marcelot (as Claude Mansart)
Alain Cuny ... Henri Tournier
Edit

Storyline

Bored with her husband, bored with her polo-playing lover, will the middle-aged heroine go away with the young man who gave her a lift that day when her car broke down on the way back to her country estate from a weekend with her lover in Paris? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most talked-about and fought-about film! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

26 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lovers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Québec)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After screening this film, Nico Jacobellis, manager of the Heights Art Theater in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was charged with and convicted of possessing and exhibiting an obscene film. He appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court, which overturned the convictions, ruling that the film was not obscene. In a concurring opinion, Justice Potter Stewart made his famous pronouncement concerning what was pornography: "I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197 (1964) (Stewart, J., concurring). See more »

Quotes

Jeanne Tournier: Aren't you going fishing?
Henri Tournier: No, I thought I'd stay with you.
Jeanne Tournier: He's making a great sacrifice. He adores fishing.
Raoul Florès: I once did too, before polo lured me from the joys of nature.
Henri Tournier: I admire you for playing that croquet on horseback.
See more »


Soundtracks

Streichsextett No. 1
(uncredited)
Op.18: Movement II--Andante ma moderato
Music by Johannes Brahms
Conducted by Serge Baudo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Slow paced and not an easy watch but engaging and interesting regardless of whether you empathise or judge
20 June 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Jeanne Tournier is a bored middle-aged woman. She lives in comfort with her wealthy husband, children and small army of maids and servants but yet she is not happy. Her husband is distant and spiteful while her relationship with a polo-playing lover has become stale and tiresome. Returning from one of her many "trips to Paris", Jeanne's car breaks down and she is helped by a young student who takes her back to her home where he is invited to join the Tournier's and their guests for dinner. He stays the night and quickly starts to peal away the layers of frustration and offer her something else if she is brave enough to take it.

Although it probably says more about America than the shock value of this film, the fact that this was legally classed as "not pornography" brought it a success that continues to this day and was the main reason I decided to join those who had seen it by seeing it. From a content point of view I must admit that I found it hard to get into Jeanne as a character because the film did sort of expect us to accept her adultery and sex as part of her escaping and growing in some way – a thing that will not always be true, sometime people just cheat and there is no reason for it other than the most basic. However, unless this really bothers you, there is still much to enjoy in the character if not totally in the story. The plot is basic but the writing and delivery allows for enough to engage although, as I said, it may annoy as much as please, it depends on your point of view.

Like her character or not, Moreau is certainly powerful and assured in her performance and she seems to really understand the complexities of her character – never judging or excusing anything to a point where it would be overdone. Her body language is as convincing as her dialogue and she is really a good reason for watching the film – hell, she almost makes you believe her character's reasoning and have sympathy for her (almost). The support cast are all good with similarly natural performances from Bory, Magre, de Villalonga and others; however the film belongs to Moreau in terms of performances. The other main reason for watching is the crisp and stylish direction from Malle and the wonderful black and white photography. Although it has long lost its shock value today, the love scene is pretty strong stuff considering the period.

Overall this will not appeal to the masses because it is pretty slow and is all about complex inner issues that do not lend themselves to clear plotting, easy answers or pace. This is not to say that it can cope with these problems well, because it doesn't totally manage it and it does come off a little "up itself" in how it presents some of the issues but the direction, cinematography and acting all make it worth seeing, meanwhile the material will engage whether you are annoyed by it or sympathise with it.


17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed