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The Soft Skin (1964)

La peau douce (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | 20 April 1964 (France)
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (original scenario) (as F. Truffaut), Jean-Louis Richard (original scenario)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jean Desailly ... Pierre Lachenay
Françoise Dorléac ... Nicole (as Françoise Dorleac)
Nelly Benedetti Nelly Benedetti ... Franca Lachenay
Daniel Ceccaldi ... Clément
Laurence Badie Laurence Badie ... Ingrid
Philippe Dumat Philippe Dumat ... Directeur cinéma Reims
Paule Emanuele Paule Emanuele ... Odile
Maurice Garrel ... Bontemps
Sabine Haudepin Sabine Haudepin ... Sabine Lachenay
Dominique Lacarrière Dominique Lacarrière ... La secrétaire Dominique
Jean Lanier Jean Lanier ... Michel
Pierre Risch Pierre Risch ... Chanoine
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maurice Magalon Maurice Magalon
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Storyline

Pierre Lachenay, a middle-aged, well-known publisher and lecturer, is married to Franca, an unbalanced woman, and father of Sabine, a 10-year-old girl. While traveling to Lisbon for a lecture, Pierre Lachenay has a one night stand with Nicole, the Panair do Brasil air stewardess. He wants to see her again and again, they travel to Reims together, and Pierre hides the affair from his family, mostly to spare his daughter the anguish of a separation. Nicole is taking it lightly but Pierre, misunderstanding her feelings and expectations, decides to live with her. The couple's break-up leads to a tragic end. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Eternal Triangle At Its Most Eternal

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Portuguese | English

Release Date:

20 April 1964 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Soft Skin See more »

Filming Locations:

Lisbon, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film's seemingly melodramatic concluding incident is actually based on a real event which François Truffaut read about in a newspaper. See more »

Goofs

Pierre and Nicole are in a hotel elevator approaching the 8th floor, Pierre is on the right side. The following shot from outside the elevator shows Pierre on the opposite side. See more »

Quotes

Pierre Lachenay: I've learned that men's unhappiness arises from the inability to stay quietly in their own room.
See more »

Connections

Featured in François Truffaut: Portraits volés (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Retour À L'Hôtel
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

A stunningly modern film on the most classic of all melodramas
13 April 2003 | by R. J.See all my reviews

François Truffaut's fourth feature and his first true masterpiece is essentially a classic love triangle, filmed like a quiet juggernaut that eventually overwhelms all those involved. On a quick trip to Lisbon for a lecture, literary essayist Jean Desailly's eye catches the lovely Françoise Dorléac, the air hostess on his flight. Soon he's asking her out for a drink and a love affair develops in between her flights, as his married life with seductive but demanding wife Nelly Benedetti slowly unravels. Much to Truffaut's credit, there is no judgment passed on any of the characters: whether Desailly is undergoing a dreaded mid-life crisis and wishes to be young again or is merely indulging an intellectual whim, whether he really wants to prove himself he is still a man capable of passion or just looking for a way out of his stifling marriage, is entirely up to the viewer to decide. But the director doesn't avert his eye from the seedy unpleasantness of the central situation, as the masterfully extended Reims interlude and the shock ending prove. Basically, it's a film about the mess people make when they think they're in love, all the more disturbing because Truffaut bases it all on chance meetings and missed opportunities - had Desailly not arrived late for his plane to Lisbon, had Dorléac not called him back at the hotel, maybe none of this would have happened. Marvelously shot in black and white by Nouvelle Vague lenser Raoul Coutard, this was the very first film where Truffaut showed the world all he was capable of; it's a stunningly modern film on the most classic of all melodramatic stories.


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