On 9 January 1836, Pierre Lacenaire goes to the guillotine, a murderer and a thief. He gives Allard, a police inspector, his life story, written while awaiting execution. He also asks ... See full summary »

Director:

Francis Girod

Writers:

Georges Conchon (scenario), Francis Girod (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Auteuil ... Pierre-François Lacenaire
Jean Poiret ... Allard
Jacques Weber ... Jacques Arago
François Périer ... Le père de Lacenaire
Geneviève Casile Geneviève Casile ... La mère de Lacenaire
Jean Davy Jean Davy ... Alphonse Damoiseau
Jacques Duby Jacques Duby ... Marmignat
Paul Le Person Paul Le Person ... Vigouroux
Maïwenn ... Hermine (as Maïwenn Le Besco)
Jacques Sereys Jacques Sereys ... Pertuizet
Rufus ... Canler
Gérard Desarthe Gérard Desarthe ... Professeur Tonnelier
Jean-Damien Barbin Jean-Damien Barbin ... Baton
Marie-Armelle Deguy Marie-Armelle Deguy ... Princesse Ida
Samuel Labarthe ... L'abbé de Lusignan
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Storyline

On 9 January 1836, Pierre Lacenaire goes to the guillotine, a murderer and a thief. He gives Allard, a police inspector, his life story, written while awaiting execution. He also asks Allard to care for Hermine, a lass to whom he has been guardian for more than ten years. In flashbacks, from the prison as Lacenaire writes, from Allard's study as he and Hermine read, and from other readers' memory after the book is published, we see Lacenaire's childhood as he stands up to bullies, including priests, his youthful thieving, his first murder, his brief army career, his seduction of a princess, and his affair with Avril, a young man who dies beside him. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

19 December 1990 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Elegant Criminal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The investment by the Club des Investisseurs, comprised of Credit Lyonnais, Credit Agricole, Credit National, Worms, Epargne de France, Caisse des Depots and Sodete, was guaranteed by the French government's Institut pour le Financement du Cinema et des Industries Culturelles (IFCIC). See more »

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User Reviews

 
a hard sell on this side of the Atlantic
15 November 2010 | by Michael NeumannSee all my reviews

The improbable hero of this unusual French import is Pierre Lacenaire, a gentleman scoundrel whose flamboyant manner, articulate wit, and polite but profound contempt for a society he found hypocritical earned him many admirers, including the police detective responsible for sending him to the guillotine in 1836. The film might have been a leisurely, lightweight period comedy with little relevance outside its native country were it not for the eccentric (and sometimes dangerous) charm of its protagonist, shown arguing the case against himself with crowd pleasing panache during the final, farcical courtroom trial, demanding a death sentence to secure his own immortality. The film itself is equally playful and unpredictable, camouflaging its modest budget behind a curious leapfrog structure and several unexpected gestures too surprising not to be true. If Lacenaire were alive today he would likely regard it as the fulfillment of a dream come true: to see his entire life transformed into theatre.


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