Circle of Love (film)

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Circle of Love
LaRonde movieposter.jpg
original film poster
Directed by Roger Vadim
Produced by Raymond Hakim
Robert Hakim
Written by Jean Anouilh
Based on the play by Arthur Schnitzler
Starring Jane Fonda
Anna Karina
Jean-Claude Brialy
Maurice Ronet
Music by Michel Magne
Cinematography Henri Decaë
Distributed by Continental Distributing Inc.
Walter Reader-Sterling Inc (US)[1]
Release dates
  • 16 October 1964 (1964-10-16)
Running time
110 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office 1,078,415 admissions (France)[2]

Circle of Love (Original French title: La ronde) is a 1964 film directed by Roger Vadim and based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1897 play of the same name. The film generated minor controversy due Jane Fonda's involvement, as she was one of the first major American actresses to do a nude scene in a foreign film.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

In 1913, a sentimental Parisian prostitute offers herself freely to a handsome soldier because he resembles her true love.

Seeking to take advantage of all opportunities for lovemaking, the soldier seduces a lonely housemaid and then goes off to make other conquests.

Returning home, the despondent maid allows her employer's son to make love to her. Encouraged by the experience, the young gentleman consummates his desire for a married woman.

Refreshed by the love session, the married woman makes bold overtures to her stuffy husband. Later, he takes a midinette for his mistress, but the ambitious young woman forsakes him for an author she hopes will write a play for her.

Instead, he pursues an established actress with whom he had an affair years before. He has little success, however, for the actress finds satisfaction only with young men, and she has a brief affair with the Count, a young officer.

Following their encounter, the Count embarks on a night of wild revelry. Morning finds him in the flat of the sentimental prostitute, who this time collects a fee for her services. The cycle of love is now complete.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Vadim had just enjoyed a big box office hit with Les Liaisons Dangereuses and this was another adaptation of a classic erotic text. As he later said:

When I make a picture about relations between people, something erotic comes through; I can't help it! But sex has been an inspiration, the greatest inspiration, since art exists. I don't mean pornography. But when I do something I like to go to the end with what I express. It is very difficult in France to talk about anything but sex! Politics, the army, the police, Catholicism - in that order. There is the influence of priests in censorship; no rule forbids you to discuss the church but they will stop you somehow.[4]

During filming Jane Fonda began a romantic relationship with Vadim that went for several years.[5][6]

Catherine Spaak later claimed that Vadim was focused on Jane Fonda during the making of the film so "everyone suffered".[7]

Reception[edit]

The movie was released in the US in a dubbed version which Vadim loathed and inspired him to make his next movie in English and French versions.[8]

One French reviewer said that Jane Fonda had a "French accent a la Laurel et Hardy".[9]

The Guardian praised the colour and production values but added "there is a vulgarity about Vadim's frequent fleshy close ups which compares sadly... with Ophuls' elegant chiaroscuro. Anouilh and Vadim stick closely to Arthur Schnitzler's original but the film is obviously embroidered with imagery of Vadim's creation - a visual superfluity".[10]

Kenneth Tynan in the Observer called it "a masterpiece of colour photography" and "the nearest approach to an organised work of art that M. Vadim has yet directed."[11]

The movie was advertised in New York with a giant eight-storey billboard in Times Square that displayed a naked Jane Fonda. She sued the producers for $3 million to make sure her image was obscured.[12][13]

"To me it was a great big opportunity to do a beautiful comedy and my first costume picture," recalled Fonda. "They ruined it here. [In the US] That awful dubbed English. And that big poster of me, nude! Vadim resented it too."[14] The New York Times called it "a total debacle... a dull, pointless, ineptly acted vulgarisation of a distinguished play with nothing to recommend it beyond some attractive colour photography."[15]

Awards[edit]

The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Censorship[edit]

In 1967, Vadim and five of the film's stars were charged with obscenity in Italy because of the movie.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Circle of Love' to Be Shown New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 26 Feb 1965: 16.
  2. ^ Box office information for Roger Vaim films at Box Office Story
  3. ^ "Jane Fonda Biography". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Vadim Is Frank On, Off Screen Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 July 1965: C8.
  5. ^ Roger Vadim's Newer Waves Have a More Personal Touch: New Wave Originator Plans A New Tack By Kathleen Halton. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 13 Dec 1964: G1.
  6. ^ Fonda: A person of many parts: A restless yawing between extremes By Martin Kasindorf. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 03 Feb 1974: 228.
  7. ^ 'I Am How You Say? A Smart Kid' By REX REED. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 June 1966: 137.
  8. ^ And Vadim 'Created' Jane Fonda By THOMAS QUINN CURTISS. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Jan 1966: X15.
  9. ^ Jane Fonda Is Fracturing 'Em in Paris By Dorothy Kilgallen. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 01 Nov 1964: G6.
  10. ^ review: NEW FILMS IN LONDON Wright, Ian. The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 01 Jan 1965: 7.
  11. ^ The Rattigan Rolls: FILMS Tynan, Kenneth. The Observer (1901- 2003) [London (UK)] 03 Jan 1965: 23.
  12. ^ More to Jane Fonda Than Meets the Eye Haber, Joyce. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Jan 1969: q13.
  13. ^ Drawing of Jane Fonda Is Draped With Canva. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar 1965: 44.
  14. ^ The Importance of Being Jane By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 May 1965: X7.
  15. ^ ' Circle of Love,' Vadim's Remake of 'La Ronde,' at DeMille Archer, Eugene. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 25 Mar 1965: 42.
  16. ^ Roger Vadim, Jane Fonda Face Obscenity Charge Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 26 Apr 1967: b5.

External links[edit]