|Directed by||Joseph Losey|
|Produced by||Alain Delon|
|Written by||Franco Solinas
|Music by||Egisto Macchi
|Edited by||Marie Castro-Vasquez
|27 October 1976 (France)|
|Box office||711,752 admissions (France)|
Paris, January 1942. France is occupied by the Nazis. Robert Klein, apparently apolitical, is a well-to-do art dealer, Roman Catholic and Alsatian by birth, who takes advantage of French Jews who need to sell artworks to raise cash to leave the country. One day, the local Jewish newspaper, addressed to him, is delivered to his home. He learns that another Robert Klein who has been living in Paris, a Jew sought by the police, has had his mail forwarded to him in an apparent attempt to destroy his social reputation and make him a target of official anti-Semitism. He reports this to the police who remain suspicious that he may be reporting this scheme to disguise his own true identity. His own investigations lead him in contradictory directions, to Klein who lives in a slum while having an affair with his concierge and to Klein who visits a palatial country estate where he has seduced an apparently Jewish married woman. When the art dealer cannot locate the other Klein, authorities require him to offer proof of his French heritage. While waiting for the documentation to arrive, he struggles to track down his namesake and learn his motivation. Before he can resolve the situation by either means, he is caught up in the July 1942 roundup of Parisian Jews. He is reunited with Jews who once were his clients as they board boxcars for Germany.
The film offers no clear resolution of its contradictory evidence and blind alleys. According to Vincent Canby, the filmmakers "are not as interested in the workings of the plot as in matters of identity and obsession".
- Alain Delon - Mr. Klein
- Jeanne Moreau - Florence
- Francine Bergé - Nicole
- Juliet Berto - Jeanine
- Massimo Girotti - Charles
- Michael Lonsdale - Pierre
- Magali Clément - Lola
- Jean Bouise - The seller
- Suzanne Flon - The concierge
- Michel Aumont - The civil servant at the prefecture
- Roland Bertin - The journal's editor
- Jean Champion - The coroner
- Étienne Chicot - The policeman
- Pierre Vernier - The policeman
- Gérard Jugnot - The photographer
- Hermine Karagheuz - The working girl
Symbolism and allusions
The relationship of the film with the works of the writer Franz Kafka has often been noted, for example: The Metamorphosis, telling of the brutal and sudden transformation of a man into an insect; The Castle, which describes a search for one's own identity by way of getting to know "the other"; The Trial, which sees an accused man become an outlaw of society.
The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival but lost to Taxi Driver. However, Monsieur Klein did win the César Award for Best Film while Losey won the César Award for Best Director. Alexandre Trauner won the César Award for Best Production Design, and in addition the film was nominated for Césars in four other categories.
- Box office information for film at Box Office Story
- Canby, Vincent (November 7, 1977). "Cool, Elegant 'Mr. Klein' is a Metaphorical Movie". New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "Festival de Cannes: Monsieur Klein". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
- "Awards for Monsieur Klein". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2006-06-16.
- Monsieur Klein at the Internet Movie Database
- Mr. Klein, an article by Christopher Weedman, at Senses of Cinema.
- What Cornelius Gurlitt Could Have Learned from Monsieur Robert Klein, an article by Karen Loew, at Forward.