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The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

Le chagrin et la pitié (original title)
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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Claude Levy: France is the only government in all Europe whose government collaborated. Others signed an armistice or surrendered, but France was the only country to have collaborated and voted laws which were even more racist than the Nuremberg laws, as the French racist criteria were even more demanding than the German racist criteria. It's not something to be proud of.
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Connections

Referenced in Mr. Belvedere: The Contract (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Ça Sent si Bon la France
Music by Louiguy
Lyrics by Jacques Larue
Performed by Maurice Chevalier
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User Reviews

 
masterpiece
22 October 2004 | by zundaysSee all my reviews

A masterpiece in the genre of the documentary. This is a long movie. You've got to have time on your hands, and a little bit of patience to allow Ophüls to unravel all the strands of the French attitude under German occupation. But the journey is worth every minute of your time.

Focusing on the town of Clermont-Ferrand, Ophüls tries to understand what it was to live with German soldiers in your town, an optimistic and collaborating government, an exiled general urging you to resist and underground organizations who used terrorism as their only weapon. Ophüls does not multiply the number of interviewees. He chooses about 15 of them and interviews them long enough that you understand their comments within the context of their personality and outlook. But the most surprising is the variety among the interviewees: a very courageous farmer, a reckless British spy, a British minister, a self-sufficient German general, a doubting German soldier, a chauvinistic bourgeois, a young nobleman attracted by the Nazi theories, a young disillusioned nobleman-philosopher ready to sacrifice his life, a clear-sighted Jewish government representative, a naïve woman, a Communist, a nationalist. You'll be surprised to find out who is the most perceptive of the bunch …


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