12 user 43 critic

That Most Important Thing: Love (1975)

L'important c'est d'aimer (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | April 1977 (USA)
Servais Mont, a photographer, meets Nadine Chevalier who earns her money starring in cheap soft-core movies. Trying to help her, he borrows the money from the loan sharks to finance the ... See full summary »


Andrzej Zulawski


Christopher Frank (novel), Christopher Frank (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Romy Schneider ... Nadine Chevalier
Fabio Testi ... Servais Mont
Jacques Dutronc ... Jacques Chevalier
Claude Dauphin ... Mazelli
Roger Blin Roger Blin ... Le père de Servais
Gabrielle Doulcet Gabrielle Doulcet ... Madame Mazelli
Michel Robin ... Raymond Lapade
Guy Mairesse Guy Mairesse ... Laurent Messala
Katia Tchenko ... Myriam
Nicoletta Machiavelli ... Luce
Klaus Kinski ... Karl-Heinz Zimmer
Paul Bisciglia ... L'assistant-metteur en scène
Henri Coutet Henri Coutet ... Le père de Jacques (scenes deleted)
Sylvain Levignac Sylvain Levignac ... Le premier homme dans la brasserie (as Sylvain)
Andrée Tainsy Andrée Tainsy ... La mère de Jacques (scenes deleted) (as Andree Tainsy)


Servais Mont, a photographer, meets Nadine Chevalier who earns her money starring in cheap soft-core movies. Trying to help her, he borrows the money from the loan sharks to finance the theatrical production of 'Richard III' and gives Nadine a part. Nadine is torn apart between Servais, for whom she is falling in love, and her husband Jacques, to whom she has moral obligations. Written by Yuri German <blsidt1@imf.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Romy Schneider considered this movie her best work. See more »


Nadine Chevalier: I'm dubbing Jane Fonda.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Italian video version excludes some violent and explicit erotic scenes and runs 105 min. See more »


Featured in Klaus Kinski - Ich bin kein Schauspieler (2000) See more »

User Reviews

Love isn't all that is there
18 November 2010 | by angry127See all my reviews

This film is a little more complex than the title suggests. Love is only one of the elements of the picture.

In fact, I would say most of the movie is spent on producing "art" that you are not proud of. This theme is throughout the movie. You get the impression that it is being bolted into your nerves like a physical trauma bolts in disdain.

We also deal with the end of youth and how we cope with it. The film is indeed extremely raw. The scenes are meant to be honest and to the point. We get very little sidestepping when it comes to the point of scenes. Perhaps the actors will discuss things in a roundabout way, but the theme slices through each scene like a scimitar.

On the subject of love. This is very important to the movie as well. Even though there are virtually no signs of it til the very end, there is a longing for it. And that is what most good romances are about. Sydney Pollock once said something to the effect of, the interesting part of a Romance Film is the longing for the connection between the characters. You can have a couple of slow motion scenes of them waltzing through the park and feeding each other fruits, but that isn't what drives the story and the film. Perhaps that is why this film is so good.

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France | Italy | West Germany



Release Date:

April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'important c'est d'aimer See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,370, 16 July 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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