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Therese (1962)

Thérèse Desqueyroux (original title)
After Thérèse is acquitted of trying to poison her husband, Bernard Desqueyroux, she recalls the events that lead to her being charged. At the beginning of her marriage to Bernard, the only... See full summary »


Georges Franju


Georges Franju (adaptation), Claude Mauriac (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Emmanuelle Riva ... Thérèse Desqueyroux (as Emmanuele Riva)
Philippe Noiret ... Bernard Desqueyroux
Edith Scob ... Anne de la Trave
Sami Frey ... Jean Azevedo
Renée Devillers Renée Devillers ... Madame de la Trave
Jeanne Pérez Jeanne Pérez ... Balionte
Hélène Dieudonné ... Tante Clara
Richard Saint-Bris Richard Saint-Bris ... Hector de la Trave
Jean-Jacques Rémy Jean-Jacques Rémy ... Le spécialiste
Harry Vardier Harry Vardier
Jacques Monod Jacques Monod ... Maître Duros
Lucien Nat Lucien Nat ... Laroque
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Villattes Daniel Villattes


After Thérèse is acquitted of trying to poison her husband, Bernard Desqueyroux, she recalls the events that lead to her being charged. At the beginning of her marriage to Bernard, the only respite she found from the stifling provincial life was the company of her sister-in-law Anne. After Anne left, she found herself trapped in a loveless marriage to a boring man, whose only interest was in preserving his family name and property. By accident, Thérèse found that an increase in Bernard's medicine made him very ill. Written by Will Gilbert

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Did You Know?


Original literary source: "Thérèse Desqueyroux", novel by François Mauriac, published by Bernard Grasset, Paris, 1927, 241 pp. See more »


Featured in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.41 (1962) See more »

User Reviews

"The moaning Pines."
27 October 2020 | by brogmillerSee all my reviews

Francois Mauriac's novel of 1927 is a scathing indictment of the bougeoisie, especially its obsession with avoiding scandal, keeping up appearances and maintaining the status quo. Therese marries into the Desqueyroux family but in her relationship with husband Bernard from the outset there is evidently something missing. She fulfils her wifely duty by giving birth but this is no consolation and her subsequent actions are both drastic and devastating. Even she cannot explain what brings her to do what she does and in one of her internal monologues refers to 'a deranged power' within her. Her character is one of the most enigmatic in the history of literature and who better to play her than Emmanuelle Riva. This sensitive, intelligent and ethereal actress had entered films with a miniscular role as Jean Gabin's secretary in 'Grande Familles' and within a year took the world by storm in 'Hiroshima, mon Amour' for which she was nominated for a BAFTA. She came full circle half a century later by winning it for her sensational performance in 'Amour'. Bernard, the boorish husband, is played by Philippe Noiret who excels in what might otherwise be an unsympathetic role. An avowed workaholic, Noiret had initially not taken films too seriously but went from strength to strength, picking up a BAFTA and two Cesars during his career. Anne, the sister-in-law on whom Therese has a 'crush' is played by the equally ethereal Edith Scob. The young man with whom Anne falls in love is portrayed by Sami Frey who brings his customary air of mystery to the role. Although the period has been updated, this faithful adaptation by the author himself comes within a productive seven year period for director Georges Franju, during which he made his most satisfying films. He has a highly distinctive visual sense and a subdued directorial style that suits this material perfectly. The power of this film lies in its restraint and its psychological penetration. The subject matter is harsh, austere and uncompromising but the performances, cinematography of Christian Matras and score by Maurice Jarre combine to make it eminently watchable. This is a fine film and arguably Franju's finest. I certainly would not deter anyone from seeing Claude Miller's remake with the excellent Audrey Tatou in the title role but Franju's unique style and its overall atmosphere give the original a definite 'edge'.

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Release Date:

12 November 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Therese See more »

Filming Locations:

Bazas, Gironde, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmel See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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