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The Lover (1992)

L'amant (original title)
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In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.

Writers:

Marguerite Duras (based on the novel), Gérard Brach (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,846 ( 164)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane March ... The Young Girl
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... The Chinaman
Frédérique Meininger ... The Mother
Arnaud Giovaninetti Arnaud Giovaninetti ... The Elder Brother
Melvil Poupaud ... The Younger Brother
Lisa Faulkner ... Helene Lagonelle
Xiem Mang Xiem Mang ... The Chinaman's Father
Philippe Le Dem Philippe Le Dem ... The French Teacher
Ann Schaufuss Ann Schaufuss ... Anne-Marie Stretter
Quach Van An Quach Van An ... The Driver
Tania Torrens Tania Torrens ... The Principal
Raymonde Heudeline Raymonde Heudeline ... The Writer (end)
Yvonne Wingerter Yvonne Wingerter ... The Writer (beginning)
Do Minh Vien Do Minh Vien ... The Young Boy
Hélène Patarot ... The Assistant Mistress
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Storyline

It is French Colonial Vietnam in 1929. A young French girl from a family that is having some monetary difficulties is returning to boarding school. She is alone on public transportation when she catches the eye of a wealthy Chinese businessman. He offers her a ride into town in the back of his chauffeured sedan, and sparks fly. Can the torrid affair that ensues between them overcome the class restrictions and social mores of that time? Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. Written by Cal Lott <cal.lott@gsb.uchicago.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave her innocence, her passion, her body. The one thing she couldn't give was her love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R on appeal for graphic and explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK | Vietnam

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lover See more »

Filming Locations:

Vietnam See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$181,147, 30 October 1992, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,899,194
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (unrated)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane March denied that she and Tony Ka Fai Leung actually made love. (March: "I never had sex with Tony on or off the set. It's as simple as that.") All the sex scenes were done with careful choreography and body doubles. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud falsely implied the sex was real to boost publicity for the film, thus the sex-crazed English tabloid press trumpeted the rumor on its front pages for days, making life so miserable for March and her family that she got physically sick and had a nervous breakdown. March then fled to the Seychelles to escape. Annaud later stated the sex was not real, "At first I was flattered people believed [the sex]. But after that... I stopped doing press in Britain. Of course they didn't have sex." See more »

Goofs

Her lover smokes filtered cigarettes in 1929. They were not invented until the mid-'30s and not in common use until the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Very early in my life, it was too late. At eighteen it was already too late. At eighteen I aged. This aging was brutal. This aging, I saw it spread over my features, one by one. Instead of being frightened by it, I saw this aging of my face with the same sort of interest I might have taken for example in the reading of a book. That new face I kept it. It's kept the same contours, but its matter is destroyed. I have a destroyed face. Let me tell you again: I'm fifteen and a half. ...
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Alternate Versions

Available on video in two versions: the 103 min. R-rated cut and a much more explicit 115 min. unrated cut. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in 92 Legendary La Rose Noire (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in B minor Opus 69 No. 2
Written by Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Performed by Howard Shelley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece
7 February 2005 | by uruguayita_mimosaSee all my reviews

I have seen this movie in 1992. I was quite young, in fact I was 16 and when I heard about it something inside me make a noise. It seemed to be an amazing story, a girl of my age having a lover... I said Wow. And one afternoon I left my English class and I went to the movies. It was quite a desert. It was amazing, wonderful, marvelous, a gem. This story is well written and incredibly well performed with this exquisite Tomy Leung, an unknown actor to me at those times. The scene of the car, when Tomy Leung's finger barely touching Jane March's and the contrast with the one they are arriving to the Bording School with the grip of those hands. And her breath showing her arouse.

The love of those people who cannot break the rules of the world they were living, the prejudices, the society but that at least they could enjoy a period of exquisite love, tenderness, passion, experiences that one person could never forget. For me it is unforgettable, I have seen this movie nearly 20 times and I have recommended all of those I think they deserve a piece of joy.


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