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The Clockmaker of St. Paul (1974)

L'horloger de Saint-Paul (original title)
A Watchmaker finds out one day that his son has become a murderer. He tries to understand for whom and why.

Director:

Bertrand Tavernier

Writers:

Georges Simenon (novel), Jean Aurenche | 2 more credits »
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philippe Noiret ... Michel Descombes - un paisible horloger
Jean Rochefort ... Le commissaire Guilboud
Jacques Denis Jacques Denis ... Antoine - un ami de Michel
Yves Afonso ... L'officer de police Bricard
Julien Bertheau ... Edouard - un ami de Michel
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... Costes - un journaliste
Clotilde Joano ... Janine Boitard - une journaliste
Andrée Tainsy Andrée Tainsy ... Madeleine Fourmet - qui a élevé Bernard
William Sabatier William Sabatier ... L'avocat
Cécile Vassort ... Martine - une ouvrière
Sylvain Rougerie Sylvain Rougerie ... Bernard Descombes - le fils de Michel
Christine Pascal Christine Pascal ... Liliane Torrini - la compagne de Bernard
Liza Braconnier Liza Braconnier ... La femme de ménage
Hervé Morel Hervé Morel ... Bricard's assistant
Sacha Bauer Sacha Bauer ... Le juge d'instruction
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Storyline

Michel Descombes is a watchmaker in the district of Saint-Paul, Lyons. He lives quietly, alone with his almost grown-up son, Bernard. One day, the police come and say Bernard murdered a FACTORY OWNER. Superintendent Guiboud asks Michel for help. But Michel realizes how little he knows about his son. He also starts to feel he is unable to blame his son. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...a man who would not compromise

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

28 June 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Clockmaker See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lira Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The little girl on the train at the beginning of the film is Tiffany Tavernier, the filmmaker's daughter. See more »

Crazy Credits

to Jacques Prevert See more »

Connections

Followed by Une semaine de vacances (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Father's Story
24 May 2007 | by zolaaarSee all my reviews

The lonely, simple life of Michel Descombes (Philippe Noiret), a clockmaker who lost his wife years ago, changes when hears that his grown-up son murdered a man and is on the run with his girlfriend. Michel is shocked and questions his upbringing, while a nice police inspector (Jean Rochefort) shows much sympathy for him.

Tavernier's shining debut and co-operation with New Wave veterans Aurenche and Bost brings a novel by Simenon on screen. It's a work of old-fashioned concision that the mechanic of the title would have been more than proud of. It is more a psychological study than a crime drama, because there is next to no outer plot. The happenings are taking place in the head of Michel, the father, masterly played by Philippe Noiret, who suddenly gets confronted with the serious actions of his son. He becomes aware of how little he knows about him, although they used to be together all the time. The focus is less on the murderer nor on the victim, but more on what the catastrophe means for the father of the committer, in a powerful work of authenticity.


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