Sept morts sur ordonnance

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Sept morts sur ordonnance (English: Seven Deaths by Prescription or Bestial Quartet) is a 1975 French film directed by Jacques Rouffio and starring Michel Piccoli, Gérard Depardieu, Jane Birkin, Marina Vlady, Charles Vanel and Valérie Mairesse.

The film was awarded the César Award for Best Editing, and was nominated for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Writing.


Pierre Losseray is a surgeon at the public hospital in a small provincial town. He has recently suffered a heart attack but has returned to work. He is appreciated by his patients, and is being harassed by Old Brézé, the owner of a nearby medical clinic, who is losing clients and cannot stand competition. In league with his sons and son-in-law, Brézé uses insinuations close to blackmail. Losseray also learns about the story of Doctor Jean-Pierre Berg, another surgeon with a very different lifestyle from Losseray, who was similarly hassled by the same man fifteen years before. He becomes obsessed with it as he discovers what it was about.

Berg had killed his three children, his wife and finally himself, apparently when under such pressure; however the real reason of why he did that remains unclear : he had much charisma, a Boston University diploma, an excellent reputation, a charming wife, and was even about to launch his own private clinic. Losseray, though being constantly bugged by Brézé, gets informations - sometimes contradictory - by bits and pieces, becomes more and more obsessed with it and the Brézé clan, and finally understands what really happened. He eventually shares the same fate as Berg. Seemingly without concern, the Brézé clan continue with their nefarious activities.

A major role is held by Mathy, a psychiatrist who happens to know, because of his social relations, all the clues about the former story, but gives them reluctantly because he wants to be in good terms with everybody.

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