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The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

Le chagrin et la pitié (original title)
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2:01 | Trailer
An in-depth exploration of the various reactions by the French people to the Vichy government's acceptance of Nazi invasion.

Director:

Marcel Ophüls
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Bidault Georges Bidault ... Himself
Matthäus Bleibinger Matthäus Bleibinger ... Himself - Wehrmacht Soldier in the Auvergne (as Mathaus Bleibinger)
Charles Braun Charles Braun
Maurice Buckmaster Maurice Buckmaster ... Himself - Former Head of the British Underground
Emile Coulaudon Emile Coulaudon ... Himself - Former Head of the Auvergne Maquis
Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie ... Himself - Founder of the Liberation Movement
René de Chambrun René de Chambrun ... Himself - International Lawyer (as Count René de Chambrun)
Christian de la Mazière ... Himself - Aristocratic Former Nazi
Darquier de Pellepoix Darquier de Pellepoix ... Himself - Handshake with Heydrich (archive footage)
Jacques Doriot Jacques Doriot ... Himself - Head of the French Popular Party, 1942 (archive footage)
R. Du Jonchay R. Du Jonchay ... Himself - Head of the Resistance Movement (as Colonel R. du Jonchay)
Jacques Duclos Jacques Duclos ... Himself - Former Secretary of the Clandestine Communist Party
Anthony Eden ... (as Lord Avon)
Sgt. Evans Sgt. Evans
Marcel Fouche-Degliame Marcel Fouche-Degliame ... Himself - Director of the Combat Movement (as Marcel Degliame-Fouche)
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Storyline

From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Important Fact Film Ever Made See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

French | German | English

Release Date:

25 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sorrow and the Pity See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Originally intended for French television but broadcasters refused to show it arguing the documentary depicted occupied France as exclusively populated by traitors. See more »

Quotes

Georges Bidault: Some people are resistants by nature. In other words, some people are naturally headstrong. Others on the contrary, try to adapt to the circumstances, and get what they can out of it. If you are a resistant over everything and nothing, you're exaggerating. But if you accept everything, you're lying.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Holocaust Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ça Fait d'Excellents Français
Music by Georges Van Parys
Lyrics by Jean Boyer
Performed by Maurice Chevalier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stunning, enlightening and unforgettable!
22 November 2001 | by Mrs.MikeSee all my reviews

If you are a movie buff, you have probably gotten the impression from the bulk of movies about WWII that the French populace as a whole fought bravely to resist the Nazi Occupation. "The Sorrow and the Pity" makes it clear that such was not the case. This stunning documentary includes interviews from people from all shades of the spectrum politically, philosophically and socially. The interviewers did a great job of coaxing the truth from these people by being friendly rather than confrontational. Some of the most amazing footage is from German newsreels, with the ghastly "pure race" prejudices being illustrated with a very sarcastic commentary on some of the French prisoners of war. I think that every high school student in The United States should see this film so that they understand that you can't always just " go along to get long". Of course, with the average high school student's attention span, it would have to be shown in shorter installments. This film is completely worthwhile and never boring!


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