11 user 8 critic

A Matter of Resistance (1966)

La vie de château (original title)
1:40 | Trailer
In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1944, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his ... See full summary »


Jean-Paul Rappeneau (scenario), Alain Cavalier (collaboration) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Catherine Deneuve ... Marie
Pierre Brasseur ... Dimanche
Philippe Noiret ... Jérôme
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Julien
Mary Marquet ... Charlotte
Carlos Thompson ... Klopstock


In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1944, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his wife to Paris, where she longs to live, shop, and party. A German outfit is bivouacked at Jérôme and Marie's crumbling château because its commanding officer is pursuing Marie. She's also eyed by a French spy working with the Allies as they plan D-Day. He woos her (posing to the Germans as her brother) and, in his passion, forgets his mission. Heroics come from an unexpected direction, and Marie makes her choice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Romance


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User Reviews

An amusing tale of how a Normandy château outwitted the Nazis
11 February 2017 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film A MATTER OF RESISTANCE is a French film whose original title is LA VIE DE Château. The 23 year-old Catherine Deneuve, having already appeared in 16 feature films by that age, plays the female lead. Her real name was Catherine Dorléac, being the younger of two beautiful sisters who both quickly became screen goddesses. The year after this film was made, her older sister, Francoise Dorléac, died tragically at the age of only 25, and the whole of France was plunged into mourning. Catherine had until then had been regarded as the lesser of the two, and suddenly she was the only one left. These twists of fate affected the French public and French film industry, and no doubt Catherine 'Deneuve' herself most of all, profoundly. Francoise was really very amazing, and the loss of her was traumatic in Europe somewhat as the early death of James Dean was in America: always mourned, never forgotten. Catherine Deneuve later on developed her cool exterior, but in this film she plays a pouting, spoilt spitfire of a young girl with such passion that the ice queen who was to come cannot even be guessed at. In most of her later films, she appears tall. But in fact she is only 5 feet 6 inches, and here her small size is very evident. She is wearing very obvious sixties makeup with all the prominent eye-liner and looking very much a girl of the 1960s. That is rather odd, considering that the action of the film is set in 1944 near the coast of Normandy. No one in 1944 looked like that, but never mind. The film itself, directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (perhaps best known for THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF, 1995), is delightful. It is directed with such a light Gallic touch, and is extremely entertaining and well made. Deneuve plays the daughter of the farm manager who has married a somewhat older man who is lord of the manor and lives in the huge old 18th century Normandy château. He is played with droll confidence by the ever-engaging Philippe Noiret, then aged 36. Of course we are not used to seeing Deneuve and Noiret when young like this, so it takes some adjusting to our expectations. The film is in black and white, or as the French say in reverse: blanc et noir. It is difficult to believe that Noiret, who made 153 films and was such a mainstay of the French cinema, died as long ago as 2006. So time passes and carries all away. Mary Marquet is superb as Noiret's bossy and commanding mother, a gentlewoman of the old school who will take no nonsense from anybody, including obnoxious Nazi soldiers billeting themselves in her house. D Day is coming soon, and the Resistance are active in the vicinity of the château, preparing for American paratroopers to drop onto the chateau's lawn. But the Nazis have planted sharp stakes in the ground for any paratroopers to land on. There are many complications and intrigues, but the film is chiefly concerned with the comical antics of the characters, and even the chief Nazi officer billeted in the house becomes a figure of fun. This is a light-hearted film, and the backdrop of the War is seen more as an inconvenience to the lives of the characters than as a tragedy and a danger to the country, no matter in how many intrigues they may be involved. Much of the film is devoted to a romantic comedy based upon three men all infatuated with the tempestuous Deneuve. It is really a lot of fun.

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French | English | German

Release Date:

25 January 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Matter of Resistance See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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