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The Return of Martin Guerre (1982)

Le retour de Martin Guerre (original title)
In medieval France, some villagers challenge a man's claim of identity when he (as he says) returns home from some time in the army.


Daniel Vigne

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... Arnaud de Tihl
Nathalie Baye ... Bertrande de Rols
Maurice Barrier ... Uncle Pierre Guerre
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ... Martin Guerre
Isabelle Sadoyan Isabelle Sadoyan ... Catherine Boëre
Rose Thiéry Rose Thiéry ... Raimonde de Rols
Chantal Deruaz Chantal Deruaz ... Jeanne
Maurice Jacquemont Maurice Jacquemont ... Judge Rieux
Roger Planchon ... Jean de Coras
Francis Arnaud Francis Arnaud
Philippe Babin Philippe Babin ... Jacques
Axel Bogousslavsky Axel Bogousslavsky
Valérie Chassigneux Valérie Chassigneux ... Guillemette
Neige Dolsky Neige Dolsky
Adrien Duquesne Adrien Duquesne ... Sanxi Guerre


During the middle of the 16th century, Martin Guerre returns to his village in southwestern France, after being away in the war for almost a decade. The villagers who knew him as a young man suspect he is not Martin, but he seems to know all about his friends, his family and his wife, even the most unusual things. Is this man really Martin Guerre? Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

26 August 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of Martin Guerre See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$261,868, 28 August 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,382,482, 11 December 1983
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was originally announced in 1967 by British producer Joseph Janni . Stanley Mann was scripting. See more »


Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

The real thing
25 July 2004 | by missmarmiteSee all my reviews

After about thirteen or fourteen years I finally was able to see this film again, this time in French with subtitles, not dubbed into German. There was nothing wrong with the German version, the film certainly didn't fail to impress me so much, that I declared this film to be the best Gérard Depardieu has ever done. I think I still have the same opinion, although meanwhile it ties with Les Misérables.

Now today I watched it again. I couldn't remember anything really, just parts of scenes and what happened at the end, of course. But then everything came back. The music suddenly seemed familiar, the village, the faces. I still was surprised to see Tcheky Karyo's name in the credits at the end, because I missed him completely, while I recognized Dominique Pinon at once, much younger of course. Again I stood in awe of the costumes and the village scenery. Everything was so convincing and realistic. As if someone had done a time travel and brought back a video. After The Name of the Rose this is the best period film till now. In the art department. But also certainly in acting, writing and directing.

Gérard Depardieu and Nathalie Baye deliver performances which are outstanding. Every acting student should watch them, they are masters of their profession. They show emotions which are almost palpable, you feel with them, certainly towards the end, but also during the rest of the time. The script offered them "only" great parts and they created lives out of the printed words. Every gesture, every movement, every look fits and connects the viewer with the story. As if you're in the story, not watching it. There is no doubt whatsoever that this story is real. Even if history should have been a bit different (which I don't know), the story in the film feels real.

And I just want to add that everyone who calls M. Depardieu ugly or anything like it, is not only extremely rude but obviously not receptive to any kind of charisma and aura. With actors (as with people in general, right?) looks are not important. Whoever thinks that, should switch from watching films to watching models. There he can get empty beauty.

My recommendation is: watch this film. You can hardly spend an evening in a better way. 10 out of 10.

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