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Le signe du lion (1962)

A French-American in Paris lives by sponging off his working friends, and throws a party using borrowed money when his rich American aunt dies, believing firmly in his horoscope.

Director:

Éric Rohmer

Writers:

Paul Gégauff (dialogue), Éric Rohmer (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jess Hahn ... Pierre Wesselrin
Michèle Girardon ... Dominique Laurent
Van Doude ... Jean-François Santeuil
Paul Bisciglia Paul Bisciglia ... Willy
Gilbert Edard Gilbert Edard ... Michel Caron
Christian Alers Christian Alers ... Philippe
Paul Crauchet ... Fred
Jill Olivier Jill Olivier ... Cathy
Sophie Perrault Sophie Perrault ... Chris
Stéphane Audran ... La patronne de l'hôtel
Jean Le Poulain ... Le clochard
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Storyline

Pierre Wesselrin is a 40-year-old American who lives in Paris by sponging off his working friends and various wealthy acquaintances. He receives a telegram saying that a rich aunt has died, so he throws a party, using borrowed money of course, and invites all his friends. After discovering that his aunt disinherited him, his luggage is impounded and he is thrown out of his apartment. All his friends are now away for the summer, or are working outside Paris, so he is forced to wander the streets and become a clochard. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Italian | English

Release Date:

3 May 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Az Oroszlán jegyében See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ajym Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visa delivered on 4-7-1966. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Der Stadtstreicher (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Musique pour un...
Written by Louis Saguer
Performed by 'Gerard Jarry'
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User Reviews

 
Unique early Rohmer
18 August 1999 | by allyjackSee all my reviews

The movie's middle section has a pain and desolation perhaps not seen since in Rohmer's work, as the musician slowly slides into homelessness, poverty and borderline madness. Rohmer, with a perfectly measured tone, captures all the tiny escalating humiliations as he wanders through a largely deserted Paris in the heat. Then the musician takes up with a wandering clown, and the movie takes on a broad comic tone again, not seen since in Rohmer, creating an odd symmetry with the movie s early section, when the musician wrongly thinks he's won an inheritance and parties himself into the state of poverty. That kind of symmetry is emblematic of the movie's weakest element - its unenlightening interest in fate and chance and paths of destiny (inherent in the title, in the deus ex machina ending which finds him inheriting the money after all when his cousin's killed in a freak accident, and in the final shot - after his friends have found him and taken him away to restart his life - which pulls away from the earth to show a heavenly constellation (of Leo, I suppose)). There's little here of the smart conversation and introspection that marks Rohmer's later movies, and what there is verges on parody - the smart set gets to seem pretty trivial and inconsequential against the travails of its protagonist. The sequences of him eyeing food, eavesdropping on snippets of life, trying unsuccessfully to shoplift etc. are utterly stark and simple and moving.


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