Sundays and Cybele

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Sundays and Cybele
Original poster of Sundays and Cybele..jpg
Original French poster 1962
Directed by Serge Bourguignon
Produced by Romain Pinès
Written by Serge Bourguignon
Antoine Tudal
Bernard Eschassériaux
Starring Hardy Krüger
Nicole Courcel
Patricia Gozzi
Distributed by Davis-Royal
Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • 12 November 1962 (1962-11-12)
Running time 110 minutes
Country France
Language French

Sundays and Cybele is a 1962 French film directed by Serge Bourguignon. Its original French title is Les Dimanches de Ville d'Avray (Sundays in Ville d'Avray), referring to the Ville-d'Avray suburb of Paris. The film tells the tragic story of a young orphan girl who is befriended by an innocent but emotionally disabled veteran of the French Indochina War. The film is based on a novel by Bernard Eschasseriaux, who collaborated on the screenplay.


Pierre suffers from amnesia after a war-time accident in which he might have killed a young Vietnamese girl while crash-landing his stricken plane. His nurse-girlfriend Madeleine lives with him on a low-key but potentially romantic basis. Pierre then sees Cybèle, a young girl in distress as she is being dropped off at an orphanage by an obviously unloving father. Eventually, he pretends to be the girl's father, which allows her to get away from the locked orphanage, and he spends time with her every Sunday, for months. Both are lonely, childlike, and in need of a supportive friend.

Pierre tries to keep his relationship with Cybèle a secret, but Madeleine eventually finds out. When she tells Bernard, a doctor who has a romantic interest in her, about the ongoing relationship between Pierre and Cybèle, he believes the girl to be in danger. He notifies the police of the situation, who also misread the intentions of the young man.

Pierre has nothing to give Cybèle for Christmas, so he takes up her earlier joking challenge to bring her the metal rooster on top of a Gothic church near the orphanage. Being a former pilot, he musters the nerve to climb the 300 foot steeple, and uses his knife as a tool to unscrew and bring down the rooster. He approaches the girl, carrying the metal rooster and his knife. However, at this point, the police arrive and shoot him dead to "protect" the child, who they think is in danger.

Cybèle, who had fallen asleep waiting to meet Pierre for their Christmas together in the snow covered park's gazebo, is devastated by witnessing the pointless killing of her friend.



Sundays and Cybele won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1]

Award Category Recipient and nominees Result
Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Won
Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment Maurice Jarre Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Serge Bourguignon
Antoine Tudal
Blue Ribbon Awards Best Foreign Language Film Serge Bourguignon Won
Golden Globes Samuel Goldwyn International Award[2] Nominated
National Board of Review Best Foreign Language Film NBR Award Won

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