7.3/10
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Violette (1978)

Violette Nozière (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 7 October 1978 (USA)
In an interwar France struggling with profound social and political change, 18-year-old Violette Noziere rebels against the constraints of her claustrophobic, working-class (and possibly incestuous) family, with troubling consequences.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Odile Barski (scenario), Hervé Bromberger (scenario) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Violette Nozière
Stéphane Audran ... Germaine Nozière
Jean Carmet ... Baptiste Nozière
Jean-François Garreaud Jean-François Garreaud ... Jean Dabin
Guy Hoffmann Guy Hoffmann ... Le juge / Judge
Jean Dalmain Jean Dalmain ... Émile
Lisa Langlois ... Maddy
François Maistre François Maistre ... Monsieur Mayeul
Philippe Procot Philippe Procot ... Me Vésine-Larue
Bernard Alane ... Le fils Pinguet
Mario David ... Le directeur de la prison / Prison director
Henri-Jacques Huet Henri-Jacques Huet ... Le commissaire Guillaume / Commissioner Guilleaume
Fabrice Luchini ... Camus, l'étudiant
Greg Germain Greg Germain ... Le musicien noir (as Grégory Germain)
Zoé Chauveau Zoé Chauveau ... Zoé
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Storyline

In an interwar France struggling with profound social and political change, 18-year-old Violette Noziere rebels against the constraints of her claustrophobic, working-class (and possibly incestuous) family, with troubling consequences.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of an Extraordinary Crime

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Canada

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Violette See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,360,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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 first time that director Claude Chabrol worked with actress Isabelle Huppert. They would later work together on: Story of Women (1988), Madame Bovary (1991), La Cérémonie (1995), The Swindle (1997), Merci pour le Chocolat (2000), and Comedy of Power (2006). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sodankylä ikuisesti: Valon draama (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Où sont mes Amants ?
Music by Charlys
Lyrics by Maurice Vandair
Performed by Fréhel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
VIOLETTE (Claude Chabrol, 1978) ***
27 June 2010 | by MARIO GAUCISee all my reviews

Being one of two among Chabrol's own personal favorites (the other is LES BONNES FEMMES [1960]), I reserved its viewing on the director's 80th birthday. However, while certainly beautifully made and acted, I found myself not sharing Chabrol's enthusiasm for the film (though I did not go so far as to slap a measly ** to it as Leonard Maltin did!). In fact, it is also inferior to the later STORY OF WOMEN (1988) – which this fairly resembles (being similarly based on a factual cause celebre), particularly in its latter stages.

Incidentally, the film seems to have been made as part of a two-picture deal (along with BLOOD RELATIVES [1978]) between France and Canada. Anyway, it led 23-year old Isabelle Huppert (though the character she plays is actually only supposed to be either 14 or 18, depending on the sources!), an award winner at Cannes, towards acquiring the well-deserved status of her country's premiere actress she retains to this day.

Chabrol tackled melodrama only occasionally and seldom with success: on the one side, we can cite THE BREACH (1970) and the afore-mentioned STORY OF WOMEN (also with Huppert) and, among those that did not work out quite as well as had been anticipated, one can name – alongside the film under review – the somewhat unnecessary adaptation of MADAME BOVARY (1991; in which Huppert had the title role yet again). The problem here lies with the story itself (to escape her stifling petit bourgeois existence, a girl – whose promiscuity had already given her syphilis – poisons both her parents), which is simply not all that interesting…and, stretched to slightly over two hours, the effect rings even more hollow!

Still, to redress the balance, the film is imbued with the director's customary exactitude of period detail (it is set in the 1930s) and characterization (even if the protagonist hardly arouses our sympathy throughout, especially when accusing her late father of incestuous conduct to justify her own actions!) – but also unusually featuring a handful of quirky interpolated flashbacks. The strong supporting cast includes such Chabrol fixtures as Stephane Audran (at 45, heading definitely towards middle-aged roles though here she is still able to express her sexuality), Jean Carmet (by far his largest role for this director), Mario David and Bernadette Lafont (appearing towards the end as Violette's cellmate), as well as Francois Maistre (a Luis Bunuel regular) and Fabrice Luchini.


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