Archive of films The Truth / La vérité

France / Italy
1960, 127 min

Section: Treasures from the Film Archives
Year: 2010

Young Dominique (the excellent Brigitte Bardot) is on trial for murdering her ex-boyfriend Gilbert. Conservative authorities use the trial as a pillory for the loose morals of Parisian youth living on the left bank of the Seine. The Golden Globe-winning courtroom drama from the renowned French director (The Wages of Fear, Diabolique) will be presented as a newly restored print.


Synopsis

Young Dominique is on trial for murdering her ex-boyfriend Gilbert. The devil-may-care young woman was quite literally obsessed with the young musician, and she couldn’t take the fact that he preferred her more conservative sister. The routine court hearing handling the purported crime of passion soon begins to pillory the woman’s loose morals, not to mention the bohemian lifestyle adopted by the young generation on the left bank of the Seine in the early 1960s. In this courtroom drama, which Clouzot cowrote with his wife Véra, the much admired French filmmaker returned to his favorite theme of jealousy and its influence on an individual’s psyche. He placed the attractive Dominique (one of Brigitte Bardot’s strongest roles) at the center of the action and at the mercy of the contemptuous gaze of the middle class. Clouzot astutely deconstructed the myth of the seductive minx with defiantly pouting lips, and demonstrated the actress’s undeniable talent. The Truth, presented in a new print restored by Sony/Columbia studios, was one of the biggest French box office hits of its era, winning a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and an Oscar nomination in the same category.

About the director

Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907, Niort – 1977, Paris) is considered one of the most important French directors. Before shooting his feature debut The Murderer Lives at Number 21 in 1942, he worked as a screenwriter and lived in Berlin for a short time working on French versions of German films. He shot another crime film during WWII, also a critical and popular success, entitled The Raven (Le corbeau). Sticking to the same genre, he next came out with Quay of the Goldsmiths (Quai des Orfèvres), which brought him Best Director at the Venice IFF. Two films shot at the beginning of the 1950s guaranteed Clouzot’s place in the history of the thriller genre: The Wages of Fear was awarded at Berlin and Cannes, while many feel that Diabolique put him on par with Alfred Hitchcock. 1964 saw one of the most mysterious twists in the history of cinematography: Clouzot’s unfinished film L’enfer.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Treasures from the Film Archives
   
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Screenplay: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Simone Drieu, Michèle Perrein, Jérôme Géronimi, Christiane Rochefort, Véra Clouzot
Dir. of Photography: Armand Thirard
Editor: Albert Jurgenson
Producer: Raoul Lévy
Production: Han Productions, C.E.I.A.P.
Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Charles Vanel, Sami Frey, Marie-Josée Nat, Louis Seigner, Jacques Perrin
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