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Love Me Strangely (1971)

Un beau monstre (original title)
R | | Drama | March 1976 (USA)
Alain Revent, a seductive and refined man, derives a peculiar satisfaction from debasing his wives. The first, driven to the brink of despair, throws herself out of a window. Enlisting the help of an equally perverse casual acquaintance, Dino, the "handsome brute" proceeds to emotionally torture his second wife, Nathalie. The sadistic plan is picked up on by Officer Leroy who suspects the truth. ... See full summary »

Director:

Sergio Gobbi

Writers:

Dominique Fabre (novel), Sergio Gobbi (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virna Lisi ... Nathalie Revent
Helmut Berger ... Alain Revent
Charles Aznavour ... L'inspecteur Leroy
Alain Noury Alain Noury ... Dino
Françoise Brion ... Jacqueline
Edith Scob ... Sylvie Revent
Marc Cassot ... Vincent
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Le commissaire Dedru
Henri Crémieux ... Le professeur Richet - un psychiatre
André Chanu André Chanu ... Le docteur Schwartz
Jacques Castelot Jacques Castelot
Georges Berthomieu Georges Berthomieu ... Le toxicologue
Guy Marly Guy Marly ... Le chimiste
Michel Peyrelon Michel Peyrelon ... Le maître d'hôtel
Robert Le Béal Robert Le Béal ... Le juge
Edit

Storyline

Alain Revent, a seductive and refined man, derives a peculiar satisfaction from debasing his wives. The first, driven to the brink of despair, throws herself out of a window. Enlisting the help of an equally perverse casual acquaintance, Dino, the "handsome brute" proceeds to emotionally torture his second wife, Nathalie. The sadistic plan is picked up on by Officer Leroy who suspects the truth. Will he be able to snatch the unfortunate woman from the evil Alain's clutches? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

March 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Me Strangely See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 37299 delivered on 9-2-1971. See more »

Soundtracks

Un Nouvel Amour
Written and Performed by Georges Garvarentz Et Son Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting psychological melodrama, not quite horror
1 September 2014 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

This glossy, starry melodrama, which seldom seems to settle on just what kind of it wants to be, stars Visconti muse Helmut Berger as a wealthy man who willfully drives one wife to suicide, then seduces the equally beautiful blonde neighbor (Virna Lisi) who witnessed that death. He then proceeds to sadistically wear at her mental and physical health, just as he'd done before. The late shift from making Berger an insidious playboy schemer to a vulnerable, damaged victim of his upbringing doesn't work very well, nor can we accept Lisi's return toward adoration of her new husband despite all her preceding abuse and stubborn resistance to it.

Despite that, and a weak ending, this is an interesting quasi-giallo that makes good use of Berger's inherent ambiguity as a screen presence. At first we're meant to understand he's a playboy predator toward women, but it gradually (and more credibly) emerges that his sexuality is very different from the guise he assumes publicly, and which he abuses in private by manipulating women whose attentions flatter him.

So here we have Helmut Berger as a handsome, neurotic, attention-needy gay man trying to convince the world that he's a he-man. (Not that gay men can't be macho, but Berger would have a very hard time suggesting that.) You don't need to reach far to grasp the real-life parallels. You could call this movie homophobic, in its eventual psychological emphasis on a closet case who acts out his frustrations via misogyny. But the movie doesn't succumb to the blunt anti-gay stereotyping typical of the era.

Lesser roles are filled by the lies of Edith Scob, Charles Anzavour, Alain Noury, so this is an instance of major talent being expended (wasted?) on sorta-junky material. It's neither a good movie or a bad one--just an above-average European commercial effort that ultimately doesn't rise far enough above to be memorable.


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