La Chienne

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La Chienne
La chienne.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Jean Renoir
Produced by Pierre Braunberger & Roger Richebé (for Les Etablissement Branuberger-Richebé), Charles David (production manager)
Written by Jean Renoir (based on the novel by Georges de La Fouchardière)
Starring Michel Simon
Janie Marèze
Georges Flament
Roger Gaillard (fr)
Cinematography Theodor Sparkuhl
Distributed by Gaumont
Release dates
November 19, 1931
Running time
91 min.
Country France
Language French

La Chienne (1931) is a French film by director Jean Renoir. It is the second sound film by the director and the twelfth of his career.

The literal English translation of the film's title is "The Bitch", although the movie was never released under this title. It is often referred to in English as Isn't Life a Bitch?

It was remade by Fritz Lang in the United States as Scarlet Street (1945).


Maurice (Michel Simon) is a married cashier who meets Lulu (Janie Marèze), a streetwalker. Their chance meeting results in Maurice falling in love with Lulu. She, however, is in love with her boyfriend-pimp, Dédé (Georges Flamant). Together, Dédé and Lulu plot ways to get Maurice to give cash to Lulu, mostly at the urging of Dédé.

Cast (in credits order)[edit]

Production and aftermath[edit]

In the film Michel Simon falls in love with Janie Marèse, and he did off-screen as well, while Marèse fell for Georges Flamant, who plays the pimp. Renoir and producer Pierre Braunberger had encouraged the relationship between Flamant and Marèse in order to get the fullest conviction into their performances - (Flamant was a professional criminal but an amateur actor). After the film had been completed Flamant, who could barely drive, took Marèse for a drive, crashed the car and she was killed. At the funeral Michel Simon fainted and had to be supported as he walked past the grave. He threatened Renoir with a gun, saying that the death of Marèse was all his fault. "Kill me if you like", responded Renoir, "but I have made the film".[1]


  1. ^ Richard Boston Boudu Saved from Drowning, 1994, London: BFI (FIlm Classics series), p.37-38

External links[edit]