Betty Blue

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This article is about the film. For the model, see Betty Blue (model).
Betty Blue
Betty blue ver2.jpg
Simulation of the Italian-language film poster
Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix
Produced by Jean-Jacques Beineix
Written by Jean-Jacques Beineix
Philippe Djian (novel)
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography Jean-François Robin
Edited by Monique Prim
Distributed by Gaumont
Release dates
  • 7 November 1986 (1986-11-07)
Running time
120 minutes (185 minutes - Director's cut 2004)
Country France
Language French
Box office $2,016,851 (USA) [1]

Betty Blue is a 1986 French film. Its original French title is 37° 2 le matin, meaning "37.2°C in the morning". The film was directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix and stars Béatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade. It is based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Philippe Djian. The film had 3,632,326 admissions and was the eighth highest grossing film of the year in France.[2]

The film received both a BAFTA and Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1986,[3] as well as winning a César Award for Best Poster. In 1992 it was awarded the Golden Space Needle of the Seattle International Film Festival.

In 2005 a director's cut was issued, with about an hour of extra footage.


Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a 34-year-old failed writer, now making a living as a handyman for a community of beach houses at Gruissan. He meets Betty (Béatrice Dalle), a volatile and impulsive young woman, and the two begin a passionate affair, living in his shack on the beach. After a row with him, she finds the manuscript of a novel he once wrote and decides he is a genius. However, after another argument with his boss, she empties the shack and burns it down. The two decamp to the outskirts of Paris, where her friend Lisa (Consuelo de Haviland) has a small hotel. There they find work in the pizzeria of Lisa's friend Eddy (Gérard Darmon), but a fight erupts in which Betty stabs a customer with a fork. Back at the hotel, she laboriously types out Zorg's novel and submits it to various publishers. Though Zorg hides the rejection letters she finds one and, going to the publisher's house, slashes his face. Zorg induces him to drop charges.

Eddy's mother dies and the friends go to the funeral in Marvejols. There, Eddy asks Zorg and Betty if they will live in the dead woman's house and look after her piano shop. Zorg enjoys the quiet provincial life and makes friends with the grocer Bob (Jacques Mathou) and his sex-starved wife Annie (Clémentine Célarié), but Betty is unhappy. One day Zorg finds a collection of pills she is taking and, during a row, she punches out a window. Happiness seems on the horizon when a home test suggests Betty is pregnant, but a lab test is negative and she sinks into depression.

One day Zorg comes home to find blood all over the place and Betty gone. Bob tells him she has gouged out an eye and is in hospital. Rushing there, Zorg finds her under heavy sedation and a doctor tells him she will need prolonged treatment. Going home, he discovers an acceptance letter from a publisher. On his next visit to the hospital, he finds Betty restrained: he becomes agitated, and is thrown out. Returning in disguise, he whispers his farewells and, to save her further agony, smothers her with a pillow. Going home, he sits down to start his next book.


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