8.2/10
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34 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.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Marie
... Alexandre
Françoise Lebrun ... Veronika
Isabelle Weingarten ... Gilberte
Jacques Renard ... Alexandre's Friend
Jean-Noël Picq ... Offenbach's Fan
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Storyline

In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre, who is idle and chauvinist, spends his days reading, drinking and shagging women. After flirting with his former affair, Gilberte, who tells him that she will marry soon her boyfriend, Alexandre meets the Laenne Hospital nurse Veronika Osterwald and they schedule a date. Alexandre learns that Veronika is a promiscuous woman that loves to shag and introduces her to Marie. They have a threesome and Alexandre has a crush on Veronika. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

17 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Mother and the Whore  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is based on the real-life relationship between director Jean Eustache and actress Francoise Lebrun (who plays Veronika). 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

Veronika: Why shouldn't women be able to say they want to fuck?
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Connections

References Spirits of the Dead (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Amants de Paris
Written by Eddy Marnay and Léo Ferré
Performed by Édith Piaf
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User Reviews

The beginning of a new French film
11 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

I put off reviewing it for quite a while; I just couldn't come to terms with its rejection of the New Wave. Eustache has given us the talkiest movie ever, if you except those marathon Rivette films from the same period (I survived a showing of Out One: Spectre).

The camera doesn't move: it is parked in front of the actors in cafes and restaurants. The close camera placement forces us to concentrate on the conversations, which are monologues by Alexandre interspersed with explosions from Veronika. The romantic word-spinning from Alexandre is of this ilk: "The day I stop suffering, I'll have become someone else," or "In May 1968 a whole cafe was crying. It was beautiful. A tear gas bomb had exploded... a crack in reality had opened up," or most poetically, "I don't do anything, I let time do it." The retorts from Veronika are sometimes astonishing in their savagery: "Watch out, you'll push in my Tampax."; "I've screwed the maximum of Jews and Arabs."; (serving tea)"I like the feel of a prick against my ass, even if it's soft. One sugar or two?" It's as if a Proust character somehow left his drawing room to go slumming with a woman out of L-F Celine's Death on the Installment Plan.

This film ought to be seen by anyone interested in French film of that period--the 70's--but be aware of the static, slow-moving nature of the work.


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