The Truth (1960 film)

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The Truth (La Vérité)
Verite.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Produced by Raoul Lévy
Written by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Véra Clouzot
Simone Drieu
Jérôme Géronimi
Michèle Perrein
Christiane Rochefort
Starring Brigitte Bardot
Charles Vanel
Paul Meurisse
Cinematography Armand Thirard
Edited by Albert Jurgenson
Production
company
C. E. I. A. P.
Han Productions
Ina Production
Distributed by Kingsley-International Pictures (US)
Release dates
2 November 1960 (France)
26 June 1961 (US)
Running time
130 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office 5,694,993 admissions (France)[1]

The Truth (French: La Vérité) is a 1960 French film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Brigitte Bardot. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2]

Plot[edit]

Dominique Marceau is a young Frenchwoman on trial for killing her lover, Gilbert.

The prosecuting attorney, Eparvier, claims it was an act of premeditated murder that warrants the death penalty. The defense attorney, Guérin, maintains that it was an act of passion and not punishable by death.

During the course of the trial, we see the events that led up to the crime. Dominque's parents let her move to Paris after she tried to kill herself when they initially refused. She had been living on the Paris Left Bank with her violinist sister Anne, partying and sleeping with men.

She meets Gilbert, her sister's boyfriend, a music student. Dominique seduces Gilbert and he falls for her and proposed but she turns him down. They live together for a time but Dominique struggles with domesticity and Gilbert is constantly worried she will cheat on him. Eventually they break up.

Over time Dominique becomes a prostitute while Gilbert becomes a famous conductor. Gilbert and Anne become engaged. Dominique realises that Gilbert was the only man she ever loved and they sleep together. However he kicks her out the next day.

She tries to kill herself to prove her love but when he mocks her she shoots him. She then attempts suicide but is found and rescued by the police.

At the end of the trial, Dominque realises the jury is unconvinced that her love for Gilbert was real. She returns to her prison cell and slashes her wrists with a piece of broken mirror.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Yves Montand was originally meant to star.[3]

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Pierre Cassell and Jean Louis Trintignant were all considered for the lead role - Trintignant was Bardot's choice - before Clouzot decided to go with Sami Frey.[4]

Philippe Leroy-Beaulieu, one of the male leads, was fired during shooting. It was rumoured this was done because he had an affair with Bardot. Leroy-Beaulieu then sued the producer for damages of 300,000 francs. Charrier had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalised for two months. Vera Clouzot had a nervous breakdown in July. In August Clouzot had a heart attack and filming was suspended for a week.[5] Also Bardot's secretary of four years sold secrets about her to the press.[4]

During filming, Bardot had an affair with Sammi Frey which resulting in her braking up with her then husband Jacques Charrier. In September 1960 Bardot had an argument with Charrier and then attempted suicide by slashing her wrist. (Charrier had earlier attempted suicide himself.) [6][7]

Reception[edit]

In the words of the New York Times "probably no film in recent years - at least in France - has been subjected to so much advance attention. Two years in the planning, six months in the shooting, sets sealed to the press, and all culminating in the suicide attempt of the drama's star, Brigitte Bardot. The public had been told that Clouzot was turning B.B. into a real actress."[8]

The film was a massive box office hit in France, Bardot's biggest ever success at the box office.[1]

Critical Reception[edit]

The Los Angeles Times called the film "an amazing picture, a tour de force from all concerned. It is at once immoral, amoral and strangely moral."[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  2. ^ "The 33rd Academy Awards (1961) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  3. ^ Monroe, Bardot--Such Is Yves' Work Louella Parsons:. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 24 Mar 1960: B10.
  4. ^ a b Barnett Singer, Brigitte Bardot: A Biography, MacFarland 2006 p 58-64 accessed 30 December 2014
  5. ^ Brigitte: Bardot By MAURICE ZOLOTO. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 09 Oct 1960: AW8.
  6. ^ BRIGITTE BARDOT TRIES VILLA HIDEOUT SUICIDE: Reported Out of Danger Incomplete Source Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Sep 1960: 1.
  7. ^ Brigitte Tries to End Her Life: Latest Love Spat Depresses Her Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 30 Sep 1960: 5.
  8. ^ REFLECTIONS ON THE PARISIAN SCREEN SCENE By CYNTHIA GRENIER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 20 Nov 1960: X9.
  9. ^ Bardot Film: Immoral, Amoral, Moral Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Mar 1961: l3.

External links[edit]