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Return from the Ashes (1965)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 14 February 1966 (UK)
In Paris, a Polish gigolo marries a rich Jewish doctor and stands to inherit her estate when she is deported to Dachau by the Nazis.


J. Lee Thompson


Julius J. Epstein (as Julius Epstein), Hubert Monteilhet (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maximilian Schell ... Stanislaus Pilgrin
Samantha Eggar ... Fabienne 'Fabi' Wolf
Ingrid Thulin ... Dr. Michele 'Mischa' Wolf
Herbert Lom ... Dr. Charles Bovard
Talitha Pol Talitha Pol ... Claudine
Vladek Sheybal ... Paul, Chess Club Manager
Jacques Cey Jacques Cey ... Hotel Desk Clerk
Jacques B. Brunius Jacques B. Brunius ... 1st Detective (as Jacques Brunius)
Jean Marc Jean Marc ... 2nd Detective
Andre Charisse ... Restaurant Captain
Danièle Noël Danièle Noël ... Nurse
Arnold Diamond ... Neighbour
Franco De Rosa Franco De Rosa ... Boy in Nightclub
Doreen Moore Doreen Moore ... Girl in Nightclub
Harriet Harper Harriet Harper ... Girl in Nightclub


Stanislaus Pilgrin, a Polish chess master and handsome gigolo, marries wealthy Jewish widow, Dr. Michele Wolf, an X-ray technician and has an affair with her step-daughter, Fabienne and then plots to murder them both in a scheme that will have him inherit their money. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one may enter the theatre after Fabi enters her bath! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 February 1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ask kurbanlari See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pilgrin mentions Michele's estate could be worth 300,000,000 francs. That would equate to $2,520,000 at the time or around $34M in 2018. See more »


Ingrid Thulin's clothes and hairstyle in the beginning of the film are very mid-1960s, although the film begins around 1940. See more »


Stanislaus Pilgrin: [voicing his thoughts] The simple closing of a door has brought me to the guillotine.
See more »


Version of Phoenix (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

TCM keeps screwing up their ratings
13 March 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

TCM gave this movie two stars. Ridiculous. I saw this film YEARS ago. I never forgot it and at one point, I tried to find out the name of it and was directed to another film. I suspected when I read the plot on the channel guide that this was the movie.

Set in flashback in pre-war Paris and in the present in post-war Paris, the story concerns a doctor, Michele, (beautiful Ingrid Thulin) hopelessly in love with Stanislaus, a chess-playing roué, excellently played by Maximillian Schell. He doesn't pretend to love her - he likes her, but what he loves is her money. They marry, but because she's Jewish, she's picked up and sent to Dachau. During the time she's gone, her husband becomes involved with her now grown-up albeit unstable stepdaughter Fabienne (Samantha Eggar). After the war ends, and Michele doesn't return, Fabienne and Stan assume she's dead. However, because of the laws in France they can't get their hands on her money.

The truth is that Michele is alive, but had to go to a sanitarium after the war to recover from her horrendous experiences in the camp. She's scarred and aged, and when she finally returns to Paris, she stays in a hotel and turns to an old colleague, Charles (Herbert Lom) to fix her up. When Fabienne spots what she thinks is a Michele-lookalike (actually Michele), she comes up with a plan to have her stepmother return from the dead, with the imposter taking a cut.

A really good movie, very intriguing, with good performances all around and excellent photography. I'm so sick of being burned by TCM's ratings - four stars for trash and two stars for a fine movie like this (not all the time, but occasionally).

Highly recommended.

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