8.0/10
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37 user 38 critic

The Mother and the Whore (1973)

La maman et la putain (original title)
The chauvinist Alexandre balances relationships with several women, including the maternal Marie and the sexually liberated Veronika, in the post-1968 intellectual scene of Paris.

Director:

Jean Eustache

Writer:

Jean Eustache (scenario and dialogue)
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Alexandre
Bernadette Lafont ... Marie / Alexandre's girlfriend
Françoise Lebrun ... Veronika / Alexandre's girlfriend
Isabelle Weingarten Isabelle Weingarten ... Gilberte / Alexandre's ex-girlfriend
Jacques Renard Jacques Renard ... Alexandre's Friend
Jean-Noël Picq Jean-Noël Picq ... Offenbach's Fan
Learn more

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Storyline

In Paris, Alexandre, an unemployed young man with memories of the May 1968 events in France, attempts to persuade his former love, Gilberte, to marry him. Gilberte opts to instead marry another man. Alexandre is involved with a live-in girlfriend called Marie, and is interested in films such as The Working Class Goes to Heaven. One day, after an unsuccessful reconciliation with Gilberte at the highly popular Les Deux Magots café, he meets Veronika, a Polish French twenty-something nurse. In the midst of the sexual revolution, Veronika is highly promiscuous, and begins to make advances on Alexandre. During the summer of 1972, Alexandre and Marie are nude in bed in their apartment when Veronika visits. Marie lets her in and Veronika insults both of them, but acknowledges she is not pure herself. The three begin a ménage à trois and sleep in the same bed, with Veronika assuring Alexandre she and Marie both love him, and telling him to be more happy with his situation and life. Although ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Eustache wrote the role of Alexandre specifically for Jean-Pierre Leaud. See more »

Goofs

While reading the book of Gestapo at his friend's home, Alexandre is holding a cigarette in his right hand in the close-up. In the next shot he is only holding the book. See more »

Quotes

Alexandre: My thing is boredom. As the heretical sect of which Borges speaks, I think. And residents whose essential equality boredom. No faith or enthusiasm, but boredom, emptiness.
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Connections

References Modern Times (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n
Written by Bruno Balz, Michael Jary and Ralph Benatzky
Performed by Zarah Leander
See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the most moving films of the "past" century
30 January 2005 | by catdoducSee all my reviews

La Maman et la Putain has to be watched as a movie that is both related to the time it was released (post-68) and eternal in many respects. True, the actors don't "act" ... True, they talk a lot... But what they talk about is just what makes life worth living... or dying. The very long monologue spoken by Françoise Lebrun is perhaps the most accurate and moving text that was ever written about womanhood, manhood and love. Not easy to translate accurately, though. This movie is a statement about the difficulty of being a man and a woman (or two women in this case). And IMHO, Jean Pierre Léaud is one of the greatest French actors.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 May 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mother and the Whore See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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