7.7/10
5,233
42 user 34 critic

Monsieur Hire (1989)

A recluse is accused of murdering a young woman simply because his neighbors think he is strange.

Director:

Patrice Leconte

Writers:

Georges Simenon (novel), Patrice Leconte (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michel Blanc ... Monsieur Hire
Sandrine Bonnaire ... Alice
Luc Thuillier Luc Thuillier ... Emile
André Wilms ... L'inspecteur de police
Eric Bérenger Eric Bérenger ... Le gérant du bowling
Marielle Berthon Marielle Berthon ... Pierrette Bourgeois
Philippe Dormoy Philippe Dormoy ... François
Marie Gaydu Marie Gaydu ... La jeune fille du massage
Michel Morano Michel Morano ... Le chauffeur de taxi
Nora Noël Nora Noël ... La gardienne
Cristiana Réali ... L'adolescente au bowling (as Christina Reali)
Bernard Soufflet Bernard Soufflet ... Le tatoueur
André Bauduin André Bauduin ... Le consommateur de crèpes
Rozeen Landrevie Rozeen Landrevie ... La petite fille au bouquet
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francis Baudet Francis Baudet ... Le locataire sur le palier
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Storyline

Monsieur Hire is a maladjusted, balding, middle-aged man living in France. He doesn't like to talk to people. A young woman is murdered and a police detective suspects M. Hire, just because his neighbors think he is strange. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monsieur Hire See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,417,030
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the film, you can plainly see the stomach of the 'corpse' moving up and down. See more »


Soundtracks

Quatuor en Sol Mineur Op. 25 de Brahms
Music by Johannes Brahms (as Brahms)
Performed by Alexander Balanescu, Kate Musker, Tony Hinnigan, Michael Nyman
Edtions Musicales HACHETTE PREMIERE ET COMPAGNIE - KELLY MUSIC
Copyright © 1989
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic French cinema
18 March 2011 | by benjones-11See all my reviews

Having read some of the negative reviews regarding this film, I think the first thing to make clear here is that there is no point in watching this film if your idea of a perfect movie is Jurassic Park or The Da Vinci Code.

This is a film that focuses not on the story itself, but more on the characters and the emotions that reside within them. The above mentioned films take an idea for a story (a dinosaur filled wildlife park or a mysterious religious secret) and then devise a plot which is by far and away beyond what would ever happen in the real world.

In contrast, Monsieur Hire takes a story in which very little happens: A man is suspected of a murder. The man is a reclusive misfit, devoid of charm or humour, but he harbours a love for a woman he has never even met: a woman he knows only through seeing her from his apartment window. Unlike the aforementioned films, the plot, from beginning to end, can be summarised within just a few sentences. But it is what is behind the plot which makes this movie incredible. It is the notion of love which drives the film.

The acting and directing show passion that is more intense and sexual than anything I have seen, yet it does so without even a hint of what you would expect from a film described as "intense" and "sexual". The intensity of the love shown by the protagonist is beyond anything that one would have seen before, and yet it is far from the purity that one would normally associate with such an emotion. Indeed, it is dark and tense, and due to the questionable character of its object, one is left in turmoil as to whether this love is to be admired, pitied or instead viewed as just desserts for a man of his nature.

Those who have scored this low on the basis that the characters do not conduct themselves in a "believable way" confound me. The whole point of a film is that it takes you away from the everyday scenario. Most movies show you fairly ordinary people involved in extraordinary stories. This one shows you extraordinary characters involved in a story which (in itself) is fairly ordinary. To score this low based on its plot is to criticise Opera for its storyline. The whole point of the opera is its music, and the whole point of this film is its incredible portrayal of emotion. Brilliantly acted, brilliantly directed, and this will haunt you for some time.

If you need your films to be Hollywood factory typecasts then don't watch this. You won't enjoy it. Go and rent out The Expendibles, and leave Monsieur Hire to those who appreciate art when they see it. I'm sorry if that sounds pretentious. I enjoy a cheesy Hollywood flick as much as the next person, but it's sad that there are people who can't see beyond Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis.


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