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Thérèse (1986)

The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent. Her devotion to Jesus and her concept of "the ... See full summary »


Alain Cavalier

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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Mouchet ... Thérèse
Hélène Alexandridis Hélène Alexandridis ... Lucie
Aurore Prieto Aurore Prieto ... Céline
Clémence Massart-Weit Clémence Massart-Weit ... Prioress (as Clémence Massart)
Sylvie Habault Sylvie Habault ... Pauline
Nathalie Bernart Nathalie Bernart ... Aimes
Mona Heftre Mona Heftre ... Marie - une religiause (as Ghislaine Mona)
Beatrice De Vigan Beatrice De Vigan ... Singer
Jean Pélégri Jean Pélégri ... The father
Pierre Baillot Pierre Baillot
Pierre Maintigneux Pierre Maintigneux ... Convent Doctor
Jean Pieuchot Jean Pieuchot ... The Bishop
Guy Faucon Guy Faucon ... Aimee's Fiancé
Armand Meppiel Armand Meppiel ... The Pope
Joël Lefrançois ... The Young Doctor


The life of little St. Therese of Lisieux, depicted in minimalist vignettes. Therese and her sisters are all nuns in a Carmelite convent. Her devotion to Jesus and her concept of "the little way" to God are shown clearly, using plain modern language. A sense of angelic simplicity comes across without fancy lights, choirs, or showy miracles. Written by Molly Malloy

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Release Date:

17 December 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thérèse See more »

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Did You Know?


Awards: Silver Hugo (Chicago Film Festival, 1986); and KRO Film Prijs (Rotterdam Film Festival, 1986). See more »


Version of Procès au Vatican (1952) See more »


Execepts from works by Jacques Offenbach and Gabriel Fauré
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User Reviews

Whispers behind these walls.
13 December 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Arguably the best movie dealing with religion since Maurice Cloche's "Monsieur Vincent".Ste Therese de Lisieux is one of the most popular saints of all time.I saw statues of her in Hungarian churches and elsewhere.Alain Cavalier makes his comeback with this work.His best are earlier movies like "le combat de l'île" and "l'insoumis'.But "Therese" does not seem to come from the director of those two former works.Bresson's shadow hangs over all the movie,but ,if Cavalier's work is as austere and stripped of embellishment as "le journal d'un curé de campagne" auteur,he lets some sunshine in these thick walls.These foolish things,that make a life worthwhile turn up at every corner of the screenplay:the lobster -it's the devil !,a little nun says-the nuns dancing and sipping Champagne,the nun's former fiancé who always loves her . More than a linear story,we attend vignettes of everyday life in the cloister.No music at all,which is a very good idea.No sensationalism,no pathos,it's the simple life of humble Therese whose face is beaming all along the movie and whose short life was totally devoted to Jesus,and thus was not that much sad.At 80 or more,some people are still looking for their way.

Catherine Mouchet does not play the part:she is Therese.But this role left its mark so deeply on her career that it was very hard for her to find a follow-up. So far,she did not.

Cavalier made his movie from a completely impartial standpoint.He shows us the dark side of this convent life: -Give her morphin,the doctors says!as Therese develops tuberculosis

-Our saviour didn't have any ,a nun answers.

-But he only suffered for a few hours!

-He's STILL suffering when he sees our poor world.

If you are looking for something different,for something which maybe will make you see the others differently,take a chance on this movie.

NB:After the critically-acclaimed "Thérèse" ,Jean Delannoy tried to jump onto the bandwagon and made a "Bernadette" who got unanimous thumbs down

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