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 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 »


Jacques Chevalier: J'ai rêvé de toi. Tu me versais du Coca-Cola dans l'oreille... Une vilaine mort, croyez-moi !
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Referenced in All About My Mother (1999) See more »

User Reviews

Love is pain.
3 August 2004 | by audrius-darguzisSee all my reviews

A very simple, and (thus) extremely powerful film. And, sadly, underrated. It's a mind-opening experience. It doesn't say anything new or different on the subject, its simplicity and consistence shows loud and clear that...love is nothing but pain, but it's the only thing worth fighting (living; feeling pain) for; the only thing that sets you free. When Schneider's personage finds an earlier repulsive photograph dying in his desolated apartment you get to feel that now she cannot not love him... A very sincere, believable, touching film resembling real life and real love. Every actor's work is praise-worth, and worth the film's title. They knew what each of them were talking about. And no wonder Kinski took part in this. (The mood of this film is somehow similar to Last Tango in Paris.) You can almost feel wounded along with these 'people' that are being thrashed by love.

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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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