5 user 13 critic

Scene of the Crime (1986)

Le lieu du crime (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | May 1987 (USA)
2:35 | Trailer
In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ... See full summary »


André Téchiné
3 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Catherine Deneuve ... Lili Ravenel
Danielle Darrieux ... La grand-mère
Wadeck Stanczak ... Martin
Nicolas Giraudi Nicolas Giraudi ... Thomas
Jean-Claude Adelin Jean-Claude Adelin ... Luc
Jean Bousquet ... Le grand-père
Michel Grimaud Michel Grimaud ... Roger, le serveur
Philippe Landoulsi Philippe Landoulsi ... L'inspecteur
Claire Nebout Claire Nebout ... Alice
Jacques Nolot ... Le Père Sorbier
Victor Lanoux ... Maurice


In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ensues, and through happenstance, the murderer and the boy's mother form an alliance. All this takes place in four days during which the boy has his first communion, his separated parents face each other amidst grandmother's hopes they'll reunite, the grandfather just wants to go fishing, the school's chaplain complains about the boy's behavior, and the convicts' shared girlfriend comes, gun in hand, to help them escape to Tangier. The mother's surprising decisions complete the story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film underwent an HD restoration in 2018 by Eclair, with the support of Arte France's cinema unit and MK2 Films. See more »


When Thomas first tries on his suit that "itches", his top shirt button is undone. But when he undresses in his room shortly after that, he undoes that button too. See more »

Alternate Versions

Video version runs 74 minutes. See more »


Featured in Danielle Darrieux: Il est poli d'être gai! (2019) See more »


La voix du printemps (Frühlingsstimmen)
Music by Johann Strauss
Performed by Tiroler Symphonie Orchester Innsbruck (as Orchestre Symphonique d'Innsbruck)
See more »

User Reviews

A poignant and tense film worth watching
27 May 2016 | by KobusAdAstraSee all my reviews

Thomas, a young teenager ably played by Nicolaus Giraudi, is from a troubled background. His parents are divorcing; he has problems at school and has a reputation that he tells fibs and is not to be trusted. Picking flowers for his grandmother, he stumbles upon an escaped convict, Martin (Wadeck Stanczak). Martin convinces Thomas to bring him money. Thomas complies and when he delivers the money is assaulted by Martin's accomplice, another escaped convict. Martin helps Thomas escape.

Thomas's mother Lili (Catherine Deneuve) runs a club on the lake. After a violent altercation between Martin and his accomplice, an injured Martin goes to the club where he meets Lili. She feels attracted to him and decides to help Martin.

The film is full of nuances. The dynamics between Thomas and his parents, and his grandparents and parents is cleverly and in an understated manner brought to our attention. A good example of that is the strained atmosphere and undercurrents at the grand luncheon held to celebrate Thomas's first communion.

The soundtrack is outstanding too. In one of the scenes in the woods where suspense is reaching breaking point, André Téchiné uses the sound of cicadas and crickets building up to a crescendo to accentuate the tension. A very clever technique indeed.

Cinematography is of the highest quality too.

If there is one thing I will remember, it is the quality of the performances; they all are really good. Special mention must be made of the commanding performances by Catherine Deneuve, and by Danielle Darrieux who plays Thomas's grandmother.

I score this film a high 8/10.

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Release Date:

May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scene of the Crime See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

T. Films, Films A2 See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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