7.8/10
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Claire's Knee (1970)

Le genou de Claire (original title)
On lakeside summer holiday, a conflicted older man is dared to have a flirt with two beautiful teenage stepsisters despite his betrothal to a diplomat's daughter and the fact that the girls have boyfriends.

Director:

Éric Rohmer

Writer:

Éric Rohmer
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Jerome
Aurora Cornu Aurora Cornu ... Aurora, the novelist
Béatrice Romand ... Laura
Laurence de Monaghan Laurence de Monaghan ... Claire
Michèle Montel Michèle Montel ... Madame Walter
Gérard Falconetti Gérard Falconetti ... Gilles
Fabrice Luchini ... Vincent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sandra Franchina Sandra Franchina
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Storyline

In this talky lighthearted slow-paced melodrama, Jerome, a cultural attache, spends his last summer holidays as a bachelor at Lake Annecy where he meets Aurora, an Italian writer and old friend. She talks him into a flirt with his landlady's teenage daughter, Laura, which he indulges in until he meets and falls for Laura's blonde half-sister Claire and develops a desire to caress her knee. Jerome eventually dares to try his luck with Claire, only to realize that, unlike with Laura, his affections this time are mostly one-sided. Written by Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 February 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Claire's Knee See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films du Losange See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Laurence de Monaghan. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of the boom mic is visible on the ground when Amber and Laura sit in the meadow, and then is seen on her shirt as she stands. See more »

Quotes

Laura: I was born to be unhappy. But no, I won't be unhappy. I'm very happy. I only think of positive things. People are unhappy because they want to be. When I feel down, I think about how there are happy times and that crying does no good anyway. I think about how marvelous it is to be here and how much fun I'm going to have.
Jerome: What do you call having fun?
Laura: Having fun is being alive. For instance, today I'm very happy. Tomorrow I may be sad. So then I make myself think of something else. I concentrate ...
See more »

Connections

Follows La carrière de Suzanne (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, authentic Rohmer film
27 January 2009 | by timmy_501See all my reviews

Eric Rohmer's style never ceases to amaze me: his characters and scenarios always seem realistic but not oppressively so. Furthermore, while on paper his films might sound stagey thanks to his direction they manage to be uniquely cinematic. This film is no exception; it has a tremendous amount of dialogue, perhaps even moreso than other Rohmer films I've seen but it never feels too talky.

The plot of this film revolves around Jerome, a vacationing man who is about to get married. He runs into an old friend who happens to be vacationing with his neighbor's family and he begins spending a lot of time with this family. Before long the neighbor's 16 year old daughter Laura develops a crush on Jerome much to his delight. Rohmer's treatment of his teenage characters is one place where the film really shines: he doesn't portray them as naive innocents or stereotypes but rather as intelligent, unique individuals. After quite a bit of flirtation, Laura realizes that nothing will come of their relationship and moves on. In spite of his lack of attachment to Laura, Jerome has difficulty dealing with her new indifference. He quickly turns his attention to her sister Claire, a girl who has very little interest in him. He seems to see this as a challenge; her perfect figure (particularly her shapely knee) fascinates him to no end.

Ultimately Jerome and the other adults seem more childish than the teenagers in the film: while the younger folk know what they want and react maturely if they don't get it the older folk are indecisive and petty; they want what they can't have. Jerome in particular constantly claims that he doesn't care about looks but he pursues the more attractive Claire even though she doesn't seem nearly as intelligent as her sister. The point here might be that maturity and age don't necessarily go hand in hand or that even the most sophisticated seeming adult can behave as a childish fool.

As usual, the film had some interesting, realistic characters. The film is also one of the best looking I've ever seen, probably in no small part thanks to the efforts of legendary cinematographer Nestor Almendros. Still, I couldn't help but feel that the themes of this film were not expressed as well as those in the very best Rohmer films I've seen. Still quite good and Rohmer is steadily becoming one of my favorite directors.


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