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César and Rosalie (1972)

César et Rosalie (original title)
Cesar is in love with Rosalie. But Rosalie isn't making it easy for him, especially when her old flame enters the picture.


Claude Sautet


Jean-Loup Dabadie (scenario), Claude Sautet (scenario) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Yves Montand ... César
Romy Schneider ... Rosalie
Sami Frey ... David
Bernard Le Coq Bernard Le Coq ... Michel
Eva Maria Meineke ... Lucie Artigues (as Eva-Maria Meineke)
Henri-Jacques Huet Henri-Jacques Huet ... Marcel
Isabelle Huppert ... Marite
Gisela Hahn ... Carla
Betty Beckers Betty Beckers ... Madeleine
Hervé Sand Hervé Sand ... Georges
Jacques Dhéry Jacques Dhéry ... Henri Harrieu
Pippo Merisi Pippo Merisi ... Albert
Carlo Nell Carlo Nell ... Jérôme
Carole Lixon Carole Lixon ... Louise
Dimitri Petricenko Dimitri Petricenko ... Simon


Rosalie is amicably divorced, dividing her time between her mother's house, with her siblings and small daughter, and César's. He's self made, a scrap iron king, outgoing, amiable, in love with her. Enter David, an artist and Rosalie's flame before her marriage. In a quiet, brooding way, he seeks to reclaim Rosalie. César's jealous outbursts and attempts at cunning backfire and send Rosalie into David's arms. César keeps trying: he buys Rosalie's childhood seaside vacation home as a gift, wins her back, then must ask David to join them so Rosalie will be happy. When Rosalie discovers César and David's complicity, she again asserts her freedom, leaving the men alone together. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Would you do as Rosalie did? See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Vittorio Gassman was considered for the role of César and Gérard Depardieu for the role of David. Catherine Deneuve turned down the part of Rosalie because of her pregnancy. See more »


Featured in Montand à la rencontre de Pagnol (1986) See more »


César Court Chez Antoine
Written and Performed by Philippe Sarde Et Orchestre
See more »

User Reviews

CESAR AND ROSALIE plays up a liberal-minded homeostasis, which archly transcends our insularity concerning gender roles
13 January 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

French filmmaker Claude Sautet's sixth feature, the title refers to an unmarried couple, César (Montand) is a successful scrap merchant and Rosalie (Schneider), a divorcée who maintains an amicable relation with her ex, Antoine (Orsini), a painter. But the unbidden return of David (Frey), Rosalie's first love, casts a shadow in the status quo, inaugurated by a foolhardy competition of speed.

Rosalie becomes oscillating between César and David, a quintessential dilemma of choosing between the one she loves the most and the one loves her the most, any inconspicuous outward sign can alter her inner decision in a trice, and through the portrayal of a magnificent Romy Schneider, viewers is well-disposed to forgive Rosalie's caprice, being a beautiful woman, her trumping card is her absolute freedom, refusing to be mired down in any insalubrious compromise, whether when she is fed up with César's vulgarity and petty maneuver or the time she finds herself marginalized in their ménage-à-trois tryout.

David and Rosalie are on the same frequency, they understand each other's feelings, and their rapport has a pure and consonant quality that everyone hanks after with his/her partner, but on the other hand, Rosalie and César's relation is more prosaic and realistic, because of the money factor, an amour-fou César is very much disposed to splurge on all his money just to please her, to buy a painting from Antoine, to recompense the damage he has wreaked on David's studio (incidentally, David is a graphic artist), to buy back Rosalie's family holiday house on the island of Noirmoutier, those costly gestures irrefutably soften Rosalie's resolution, hardly can any woman resist a man's testament of love like that, not to mention Yves Montand imparts eloquent panache into César's almost innocuous single-mindedness, and even evokes an air of sympathy in the long run in spite of his unbearable machismo

David is the more ambiguous type, he loves Rosalie but not necessarily wants her, Sami Frey's well-bouffant handsomeness makes him fittingly inscrutable but in fact, he is not dissimilar to Rosalie, has his own volition cannot be violated. To set the film apart from other crops dealing with the love-triangle quagmire, Sautet and his co-scriptwriters go out on a limb to envision a scenario where an equilibrium between the nouveau riche and the artist is miraculously established in the third act (which, ill-fatedly, received a rushed collection of montages in company with a voiceover from Michel Piccoli), contradicts any malignant foreknowledge in terms of its ultimate fallout. Exuberantly tarted up by its retro-flair and throbbing dynamism, plus a beneficent coda, CESAR AND ROSALIE bewitchingly contends against the volatile drama in its center but also plays up a liberal-minded homeostasis, which archly transcends our insularity concerning gender roles and delivers us from the usual deluge of hokum, that is a real blessing.

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France | Italy | West Germany



Release Date:

27 October 1972 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

César and Rosalie See more »


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Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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