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Les bons débarras (1980)

A woman is overwhelmed with having to deal with her emotionally unstable daughter, mentally-challenged brother and two suitors while simultaneously trying to run her small firewood business.


Francis Mankiewicz
8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Laurier ... Manon
Marie Tifo ... Michelle
Germain Houde ... Guy
Louise Marleau ... Mrs. Viau-Vachon
Roger Lebel ... Maurice
Gilbert Sicotte ... Gaetan
Serge Thériault ... Lucien
Jean Pierre Bergeron ... Fernand
Léo Ilial ... Samaritain (as Leo Ilial)
Madeleine Chartrand ... Girl at the bar
Louise Rinfret ... Girl at the bar
Eric Beauséjour Eric Beauséjour ... Cousin
JP Duplessis ... Cousin (as Jean-Pierre Duplessis)
Marcella Fajardo Marcella Fajardo ... Cousin
Marie Laurier Marie Laurier ... Cousin


Set in a small rural town in the Quebec Laurentians, Michelle lives in an isolated house with her mentally-challenged brother Guy and her 13 year old daughter Manon. Together the three of them survive by running a small firewood business and performing other odd jobs. Michelle is frustrated with living in poverty and being the center of several people who demand her affection; her brother is like a second child who lives in his own world, his romantic obsession with their wealthy client Madame Viau-Vachon being an exercise in futility. Maurice, the local police chief, is her lover and Gaetan, a mechanic and family friend, would like to be. Most demanding of all is her daughter, who has an unhealthy emotional dependence on her. Precocious and uninterested in school, Manon is jealous of her Mother's suitors and angry at being left home to do chores and care for Guy. When an event occurs that threatens the emotional dynamic between Manon and her mother, she becomes obsessed with removing... Written by pr1mal_1

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Did You Know?


In a 2003 poll in La Presse, Les Bons Débarras was named the greatest of all Quebec films. See more »


Il Pastor Fido
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User Reviews

A poetic masterpiece !
16 August 2001 | by CinemaquebecoisSee all my reviews

For those of you who don't know Rejean Ducharme, he is an enigmatic writer from Québec (no one has ever seen him publicly), and LES BONS DÉBARRAS is his only official screenplay (notice that LÉOLO, another great Quebec film, by the late Jean-Claude Lauzon, was freely inspired by the first book of Ducharme).

Rarely have we seen dialogues so powerfull and a cast so truely touch by the emotions they play. Marie Tifo and a young Charlotte Laurier are brilliant. After seeing this film, you will compare every child actor with Charlotte who delivers nothing less that the best performance from a child, period. Gilbert Sicotte is also excellent.

And less not forget the discreet but touching direction by Francis Mankiewicz.

This is the best Québécois movie because it is the most human and poetic one of all.


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Release Date:

12 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Riddance See more »

Filming Locations:

Saint-Jerome, Quebec, Canada See more »


Box Office


CAD632,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Productions Prisma See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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