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Les Cousins (1959)

Les cousins (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 23 November 1959 (USA)
A pair of cousins share a flat, but animosity begins to build between the two when a woman gets involved.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Claude Chabrol (scenario), Paul Gégauff (dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Blain ... Charles
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Paul Thomas
Juliette Mayniel ... Florence
Guy Decomble Guy Decomble ... Le libraire
Geneviève Cluny Geneviève Cluny ... Geneviève
Michèle Méritz ... Yvonne
Corrado Guarducci Corrado Guarducci ... Italian Count Minerva
Stéphane Audran ... Françoise
Paul Bisciglia Paul Bisciglia ... Marc
Jeanne Pérez Jeanne Pérez ... La femme de ménage
Françoise Vatel Françoise Vatel ... Martine
André Chanal André Chanal
Gilbert Edard Gilbert Edard
Clara Gansard Clara Gansard
Jean-Louis Maury Jean-Louis Maury ... Un étudiant joueur de bridge
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Storyline

Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with other idles, while Charles is a plodding, naive and honest man. He fell in love with Florence, one of Paul's acquaintances. But how will Paul react to that attempt to build a real love relationship ? One of the major New Wave films. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

23 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cousins See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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?

Trivia

Two ends were filmed, one optimistic (the reconciliation between the two cousins, which was discarded, and the other pessimistic (which was finally chosen). See more »

Quotes

Le libraire: Read Dostoyevsky. He addresses all your concerns.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.34 (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Crépuscule des Deux (Mort de Siegfried)
Music by Richard Wagner
Performed by Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire
Conducted by Carl Schuricht
Disque DECCA
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The seeds.
10 August 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Although it's Chabrol's second effort (the first one being "le beau serge" featuring the same actors),this one is closer to Chabrol-as -we -know-him.The detective ending and the first steps in the bourgeois world of Brialy character herald Chabrol 's heyday (which begins with "les biches" ,encompasses such works as "la femme infidèle","que la bête meure" "le boucher" "la rupture" "juste avant la nuit " and ends with" les noces rouges";that's not to say all the movies were great during that period :"doctor Popaul" and "la decade prodigieuse" can be forgotten";that does not mean there were no great works after "wedding in blood" (les noces)either as testify such memorable works as "Violette NOzières","Une affaire de femmes" or "l'enfer".But in France the 1967-1973 era is generally regarded as Chabrol's peak ,with "le boucher" ,his towering achievement. So we enter the bourgeois world with Brialy's character,a bon vivant as we say in France,with parents (whom we never see)who provide him money and a comfortable flat .He is a student,but we never see him studying,girls and pleasures taking the best of him. In direct contrast with him,enters Blain,his provincial cousin.He comes from a much more modest background,his parents (whom we never see either)had certainly to struggle hard to send him to the Latin Quarter. So from the beginning ,the incommunicability is total.Blain is a grind,and if sometimes he accepts to follow his life-lover cousin in not-so-intellectual places in Paris,he knows he shall not disappoint his old parents.Brialy's kind of life is bewildering for a young lad like Blain:a scene is particularly strange,baroque,and even threatening: some fascination for Nazism from Brialy and his clique during a strange party(it's 1959,and German occupation is not that much far behind after all). Chabrol has ready begun his bourgeoisie wholesale massacre:Brialy is the prototype of the bourgeois student,selfish and smug,self-confident and apolitical (And however,1959,it's Algerian war!Young French are sent to do the dirty job).Apolitical,such is also Blain's case,but with more excuses :after all,when you're poor .. In his autobiography "le ruisseau des singes" ,Brialy told that Chabrol(and the producer) had planned an happy end with the two cousins running across the fields,reconciled.Both endings were filmed,and finally the two actors urged Chabrol to renounce this silly conclusion. Hence an almost Hitchcockian ending,Hitchcock whose influence will grow over the years in Chabrol's work.


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