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The Salamander (1971)

La salamandre (original title)
1:28 | Trailer
Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they're writing a teleplay about a minor but ... See full summary »


Alain Tanner
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bulle Ogier ... Rosemonde
Jean-Luc Bideau ... Pierre
Jacques Denis Jacques Denis ... Paul
Véronique Alain Véronique Alain ... Suzanne
Daniel Stuffel Daniel Stuffel ... Le patron du magasin de chaussures
Marblum Jequier Marblum Jequier ... Lydie - la femme de Paul (as Marblum Jéquier)
Marcel Vidal Marcel Vidal ... L'oncle de Rosemonde
Dominique Catton Dominique Catton ... Roger
Violette Fleury Violette Fleury ... La mère du patron du magasin de chaussures
Mista Préchac Mista Préchac ... La mère de Rosemonde
Pierre Walker Pierre Walker ... L'inspecteur de la Régie
Janine Christoffe Janine Christoffe ... Catherine - une amie de Pierre
Guillaume Chenevière Guillaume Chenevière ... L'inspecteur de police
Claudine Berthet Claudine Berthet ... Zoé - la dactylo
Michel Viala Michel Viala ... Le patron peintre en bâtiment


Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they're writing a teleplay about a minor but curious event in which either her uncle was wounded while cleaning his rifle or she shot him. Pierre is a free-lance journalist hired to write the script; he's short of time so he asks a Bohemian novelist friend, Paul, to help. Pierre wants facts and tracks down Rosemonde for interviews that lead to other explorations; Paul only wants to imagine her and needs little more than her name to do so. But he does meet her, and she entangles him, too. Did she cause the shooting? Is she venomous or innocent? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Savage. Seductive. Sincere. Sweet. Swinging.


Comedy | Drama


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Switzerland | France



Release Date:

27 October 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Salamander See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 38815. See more »


La narratrice: A silent majority is made up of people like you and me, with arms and legs but who from time to time, in the secrecy of a voting booth, vote for prigs and scoundrels.
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Remade as Fourbi (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful film
3 July 2002 | by taylor9885See all my reviews

I have seen only two other films by Tanner, Le Milieu du monde and Jonas..., but I can say that he is one of my favorite directors. This episodic, fascinating work was written by Tanner and John Berger, the left-wing art critic, and it attacks the mania for finding tidy explanations for deviant behavior: if a man cleans his gun and it goes off, wounding him, is it an accident or foul play? If the man's daughter is a strange, half-educated rural girl, should either Pierre or Paul start sleeping with her? What are the employment prospects of a girl who can't fill a plastic casing with sausage out of a machine, and who listens to heavy rock as though there's a message from the cosmos in it?

I fell into the rhythm of this picture very easily. Its critique of life in bourgeois Switzerland is sharp--the visit from the inspector of "civil decency" is very funny. Both Jean-Luc Bideau and Jacques Denis are very good as the two sheepish city guys, and Bulle Ogier always holds your attention as the unsophisticated Rosemonde who just wants to have fun.

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