7.4/10
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One Deadly Summer (1983)

L'été meurtrier (original title)
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Oozing sensuality, a young woman arrives in a small town and gets married to the local mechanic. Was it love at first sight? What links her enigmatic presence to the family's piano? Is it curiosity or is it something far more sinister?

Director:

Jean Becker

Writers:

Sébastien Japrisot (based on the novel by), Sébastien Japrisot (adaptation)
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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Adjani ... Eliane Wieck dite 'Elle'
Alain Souchon ... Fiorimonto 'Florimond' Montecciari - dit 'Pin-Pon'
Suzanne Flon ... Nine dite 'Cognata'
Jenny Clève ... Madame Montecciari - la mère de Pin Pon
Maria Machado ... Paula Wieck Devigne dite 'Eva Braun' - la mère d'Eliane
Evelyne Didi ... Mademoiselle Dieu, 'Calamité', la maîtresse d'école de 'Elle'
Jean Gaven ... Leballech - le patron de la scierie
François Cluzet ... Mickey
Manuel Gélin Manuel Gélin ... Boubou
Roger Carel ... Henri dit 'Henri IV'
Michel Galabru ... Gabriel Devigne - le père d'Eliane
Marie-Pierre Casey Marie-Pierre Casey ... Mademoiselle Tussaud - la garde-malade
Cécile Vassort ... Josette
Edith Scob ... La doctoresse
Virginie Vignon Virginie Vignon ... Lou Lou Lou
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Storyline

Oozing sensuality, the seductively alluring, Eliane Wieck, arrives with her demure German mother and her disabled father in a rural southern French town, in a frilled dress and with a small suitcase in her hand. Pin-Pon, a car mechanic and volunteer firefighter, instantly falls for the charms of the mysterious newcomer--and before long--they get married. However, was it love at first sight for Eliane, too? What links her enigmatic presence to the family's old and dust-covered mechanical piano in the barn? It seems that the stage is set; but, what drives the cryptic young woman? Is it hungry curiosity or is it something far more sinister? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 May 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

One Deadly Summer See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Isabelle Adjani originally turned down the part of Elle which was then proposed by Jean Becker to Valérie Kaprisky who accepted. Later, after reading the book from Sébastien Japrisot (which the movie is based upon), Isabelle Adjani came back on her decision and finally got the part. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

La Madelon
Music by Camille Robert (as C.Robert)
Lyrics by Louis Bousquet (as L.Bousquet)
Ed. L.Bousquet
See more »

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User Reviews

Aussi sur que je suis vivante, je riverai son ame
12 January 1999 | by stryker-5See all my reviews

It is high summer in the south of France. and one family's peace is about to be disturbed by Eliane, a young woman with revenge on her mind.

Isabelle Adjani was 28 and already a star when she played Eliane, the scheming minx who dominates the film. Eliane is a wild child, disturbed, bitchy and alluring by turns. She has in mind a grand plan of revenge against the people whom she holds responsible for the rape of her mother. However, events take an unexpected turn ...

This is a story saturated in, and powered by, sex. Eliane is obsessed by the violent rape of her mother back in 1955, the very incident which spawned her. In a real sense, her whole existence is given meaning by the rape. She is an extremely attractive girl, and she uses sex to get what she wants, and particularly to advance her designs of vengeance.

Pin Pon (Alain Souchon) is a decent, simple man. His family, the Montecciari, are proud of their Italian descent. In their barn stands the barrel organ which played "Roses of Picardy" during the rape, and this Italian organ-grinder's instrument becomes for Eliane the symbol of her sense of injustice. She schemes to entrap Pin Pon into marrying her, in order to get close to the family's bosom.

From the early scene in which Pin Pon emerges from under a car on a mechanic's trolley to find himself looking up Eliane's tiny diaphanous skirt, we know that he is an innocent dupe and that she is a pouting, dangerous little madam. It quickly becomes obvious that she is also unstable. Her behaviour in the restaurant embarrasses Pin Pon and her relationship with her mother is difficult and quasi-sexual. At times she regresses into a child-like vulnerability, and at others she is wantonly malicious and unruly.

The narration of the story switches between the characters in a natural and convincing way. Eliane's relationship with the deaf Costagna (Suzanne Flon) is sensitively portrayed. Eliane is the only one whom the deaf woman can understand, because she whispers. The deaf old fool sees more clearly than the others what Eliane is about.

To manipulate Pin Pon into marriage, Eliane pretends to be 'expecting'. Once again, sex is being used to avenge sex, the product of the unlooked-for pregnancy is exploiting her own imaginary pregnancy to settle the score. She takes particular delight in antagonising Pin Pon's stiff, correct mother (Jenny Cleve). The wedding is marred when Eliane unaccountably vanishes - another slight inflicted on the Montecciari, and a mirroring of the baby's 'disappearance'.

The key to the complex plot is Eliane's traumatic relationship with her father, played by Michel Galabru. Just as Eliane is not really an expectant mother, so M. Devigne is not really a father. There is a sexual element in the bond of affection, at least in Eliane's unbalanced mind, and a colossal burden of guilt.

If the men in the truck hadn't taken a wrong turning on that November night in 1955, or if the German girl hadn't been displaced by the war, or the Italians hadn't chosen to settle in the Vaucluse ... There is a sense in which the accidental intermingling of nationalities has caused this disruption in the life of the sleepy provencal village. And now, twenty years on, the potent mixture is reaching critical mass.


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