The Uninhibited (1965) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Vincent, a young man from Paris, arrives at the small Spanish village of Caldeya. where his has been loaned a home by his friend, Reginald. He meets Pascal Regnier, a novelist engaged in pursuits of drinking and love affairs, who spends his summers in Caldeya with his son, Daniel. Regnier introduces Vincent to Jenny, local nightclub owner, who has already received a wire from Reginald asking her to look after his friend. Vincent and Jenny fall in love and plan a trip to Barcelona together, a trip they take in spite of Reginald's arrival. However, the shadow of Reginald comes between them and they accept the fact that their love is doomed to failure.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Los pianos mecánicos (aka Les pianos mécaniques in the slightly longer French language version) is loosely based on the 1962 novel Les pianos mécaniques (literally meaning player-pianos, which are heard playing in various bars during the film) by Henri-François Rey (1919-87).

    During the opening credits Vincent Brenner (Hardy Krüger), a neurotic 34-year-old art critic from Paris, drives his sports car across the border from France to the small Spanish fishing village of Caldeya in August 1964, where he has been loaned the house of his friend & business partner, the English homosexual art-gallery owner Reginald. En route he stops to pick up Tom Dixon (a retarded adolescent of an artist engaged in painting a portrait of a rock) who is lying in the roadway as a means of getting a lift back to the village. At Toms request Vincent is taken by 11-year-old Daniel (Didier Haudepin) to collect the keys of Reginalds house from his father, Pascal Régnier (James Mason), a novelist mainly occupied in the pursuit of girls & drinking whisky, who spends his summers in Caldeya with his son, to whom he is devoted. As the two arrive Régnier is in the process of throwing out his latest girlfriend. After showing Vincent to his lodging, Régnier introduces him to Jenny (Melina Mercouri), owner of The Estrella bar with its jangling mechanical piano, who has already received a telegram from Reginald asking her to look after his friend. Vincent and Jenny are attracted to each other & become closer after he assists in the rescue of Jennys friend Nora, who has attempted suicide. Jenny tries unsuccessfully to interest Vincent in Nora. When they attend a party at the villa of millionaire Elvis Bryant, a former lover of Jennys, but a total vacuum, she shows Vincent around the art collection there before they swim in the sea & sleep together.

    Meanwhile teenager Serge & other children play at capturing the village by entering houses undetected. Serge takes his girlfriend Nadine into a house where they lie on a bed & kiss until fleeing unobserved when they hear someone enter below. Later Serge & Daniel, who are close friends, take a dingy to collect sea-urchins, but when Serge goes onshore to find Nadine who is sun-bathing, Daniel returns the sea-urchins to the water. As the three of them sail back to the village Serge tells Daniel that he and Nadine plan to run away together, but need 30,000 francs, which Daniel says he can easily get from his father, who always leaves lots of money lying around their house.

    At The Estrella Régnier picks up a newly arrived girl - beautiful like a fruit - whom he christens "Orange" as she does not seem to speak any known language. Daniel brings in an owl & places it on the bar where it frightens some of the customers & Régnier, who is drunk as usual, starts a brawl getting himself arrested. When he & Jenny are released from the police station with a warning, they find a distressed Daniel waiting outside with Vincent. As the bar has been closed by the police for three days Jenny suggests to Vincent that they take a trip to Barcelona; they leave just as Reginald arrives. The latter gives Vincent a new jacket, which he throws away on the mountain road in a gesture of independence. Jenny & Vincent are staying at a hotel when flowers arrive from the ever-controlling Reginald; she decks herself in them but they realise that they are not meant for each other. In the hotel bar Jenny tells Vincent her history of transient affairs & her refuge in Caldeya where Bryant bought her the bar; then they walk to a cafe where she once worked with a former lover. As he leaves Vincent gets into a fight trying to help a victim of bullies. Jenny tells him to accept that he needs Reginald in his life.

    Daniel runs up to Serge & Nadine on a hillside with the promised money, but when he tells Serge that he does not believe Nadine is serious about going away with him, she tearfully admits it is true. Daniel, to his disgust, finds Orange at his house, being taught a basic vocabulary by his father, using pictures and made-up words for sun, food, drink, sleep and sex, so that they can communicate. That evening Daniel encounters the unhappy Serge on the quayside watching fireworks and goes home leaving Serge to weep for his lost love. Next morning when he finds Orange in the kitchen, Daniel protests to his father, who is shaving, that they need a settled life, before going out calling the girl a "silly bitch".

    Daniel tells Nadine that Serge has left the village, intending to wait until midnight for her to join him & then goes to Serge, who is waiting nearby, telling him that she merely wept without agreeing to follow him. Serge departs as Daniel wishes him good luck to wait alone on the hillside above the village. Jenny, Nora & Tom play cards in the bar as Vincent comes in to say goodbye to them & to Daniel who is outside. Vincent & Reginald drive off separately in their cars. Meanwhile Serge lights a brushwood fire as a signal to Nadine, which is seen by the villagers who rush up the hillside to beat it out. Daniel anxiously comes up & to his great distress sees Serge's burnt body, saying to the onlookers "He was my friend". The police bring Serge's body to the village, watched by Daniel in tears; he blames himself but Jenny & Régnier comfort him, saying it was an accident. As Régnier puts the boy to bed Daniel tells his father about the money he took for Serge, but his father does not mind. Next day Régnier is at first angry with Daniel for criticising his womanising, but quickly apologises, asking Daniel if he is happy living with him rather than with his mother, saying that it was his (Régniers) choice for them to live together. Daniel kisses him but says that he would like them to live permanently in Caldeya rather than moving from place to place with him being sent away to school.

    When the village is beset with heavy autumnal rain & thunder, Jenny receives a note from Nora informing her that she has left the village & accepted an offer of work in America. Orange is upset by the bad weather & Régnier can do nothing to stop her tears so Daniel sees his chance to get rid of her. He packs her bag, gives her some money and puts her on a bus, telling her to go south to the sun (or to the devil). In Jenny's bar Daniel says he and his father need a house to stay in permanently at Caldeya. As he suggests the three of them live together Régnier comes in looking for Orange & Daniel admits getting rid of her. Trying to look at Toms finished rock painting Régnier falls over in the bar, breaking his leg & destroying the canvas. Staying at Jenny's house to convalesce Régnier & Jenny kiss, observed by Daniel, who approves of this new & at least temporarily settled life. He leaves them together, going out to sit happily on the rocks by the sea as the film ends.

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