At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at...
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Stanislas Previne is a young sociologist, preparing a thesis on criminal women. He meets in prison Camille Bliss to interview her. Camille is accused to have murdered her lover Arthur and ... See full summary »
Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
Claude Massoulier is murdered while hunting at the same place than Julien Vercel, an estate agent that knew him and whose fingerprints are found on Massoulier's car. As the police discovers... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at the house where she lives with her mother and her sister Muriel, for whom she intends Claude. During these holidays, Claude, Ann and Muriel become very close and he gradually falls in love with Muriel. But both families lay down a one-year-long separation without any contact before agreeing to the marriage. So Claude goes back to Paris when he has many love affairs before sending Muriel a break-off letter...Written by
According to a radio interview, actress Kika Markham [Ann], during filming, introduced director François Truffaut to her parents, who both worked in the English theater and cinema worlds and to whom she had remained quite close. Truffaut, whose own parents had neglected him, got along so famously with Markham's parents that he cast her father, David Markham, in the role of a palmist in the brief scene in which he reads the two sisters' fortunes. However, when he tells her, while reading her palm "Ah, but there's great danger here... you should take care of yourself," her father's performance so disturbed Markham that her look of distress in the film was real. She would come to interpret this scene as an omen of her later ill-starred marriage to actor Corin Redgrave. See more »
Off shore electricity pylons are shown, which would not have existed in that period. See more »
I must ask you to stay with our friend, Mr. Flint. That's his house there.
[points to Mr. Flint's house]
I also want to say this: If Anne's prediction comes true, if one day a stronger feeling grows between you and Muriel, and you both deign to recognise it, I'll not be against it, personally. Though, I have my doubts about international messages.
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Originally released at 108 minutes. In 1984 director Francois Truffaut added outtake footage. This re-released Director's Cut is 132 minutes long. See more »
there are two things that held this film back from being a truffaut masterpiece: the voice over and jean pierre leaud.
the voice over is overused in this film and is hardly effective in many cases. the voice over always sound rushed, hasty and monotonous, it hardly treats the story sensitively and it sounds like truffaut (the one doing the voice over) is trying to say it as fast as he can so he can move on to something else in the story. the problem is he uses the voice over to explain complex emotions of the characters and he could have used someone else to do the voice over with more expression and pace. this brings me to my second problem with the film. the voice over is often explaining the complex emotions of leaud's character, claude, while leaud wears the same expression of confusion and dismay throughout the film. he says his lines in that same quiet, shy voice for most of the film and looks uncomfortable and timid in the role. my suspicion is that truffaut used voice over to compensate for leaud's lack of acting ability. leaud is thoroughly miscast as claude, a complex character who is at the center of the love triangle.
but somehow, the film does pull together and is a very moving story about what happens when three people distrust their instincts and refuse to make decisions about their feelings for one another. anne and claude hide their intention of committing to each other behind this french idea of "free love" that neither really buys into. muriel is a very religious woman who treads very carefully with claude because of his ideas on love and sex and has some very strong guilty feelings about her sexual desire. claude...well according to the voice over, he prefers to love them from afar than to choose between them. he wants both women, but knows he can't so he subconsciously refuse to choose between them and just go back and forth between the two when the relationship with one becomes difficult.
anne and muriel are similar to other truffaut heroines. anne is more forgiving and nurturing and patient, very much like Julie from day for night. muriel is the unstable passionate one who could sacrifice her sanity for a man, very much like catherine from jules and jim or adele H. they're both well acted by kika markham and stacey tendeter, and they're the ones who carry this film. the photography wasn't as lush as i expected it to be, but it has enough eye candy for those who love costume dramas with nice houses and gardens. the voice over and the dialogue are very well written and is poetic without sounding trite most of the time.
the film could have been a masterpiece of truffaut if he'd got someone else to do the voice over and got a more competent actor for claude. the film compensates for these weaknesses with superb writing and good performances from the rest of the cast.
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