Archive of films Bonjour Tristesse / Bonjour Tristesse

USA / United Kingdom
1958, 94 min

Section: Tribute to Otto Preminger
Year: 2016

In his adaptation of the Françoise Sagan bestseller, which won Preminger enthusiastic praise from the adherents of the French New Wave, Jean Seberg plays the frivolous Cécile, who spends the summer on the French Riviera with her aging playboy father (David Niven) in conspiratorial intimacy. But with the arrival of old family friend Anne (Deborah Kerr), things start getting out of hand.


One of Otto Preminger’s numerous unusual ideas, revolutionary for the time, was organizing a national casting call to fill the title role of his adaptation of the Bernard Shaw play Saint Joan. In September 1956 a lissome, 17-year-old Iowan named Jean Seberg made her way to the audition in Chicago, clearly destined to play Joan of Arc. Despite a rather faltering start by the ethereal newcomer, during the shoot Preminger approached the future muse of French “New-Wavers” everywhere with an offer to star in his next picture, an adaptation of Françoise Sagan’s bestseller Bonjour Tristesse. An aging playboy named Raymond (David Niven) is spending time on the sundrenched French Riviera with his adolescent daughter, the frivolous beauty Cécile (Jean Seberg). Their conspiratorial intimacy, unruffled by the presence of Raymond’s current lover Elsa, is disturbed by the arrival of Anne (Deborah Kerr), an old family friend. Cécile refuses to admit to herself that the successful fashion designer could be anything more to her father than just a good acquaintance. Wrapped in a veil of melancholy while drifting through aimless nights of disaffected Parisian partying as portrayed in the story’s stark black-and-white frame, Cécile tells of the fatal interruption that occurred the past summer, a sharply contrasting visual passage that quite literally shines before the viewer’s eyes in rich, sense-provoking colors.

Karel Och


Park Circus Limited
15 Woodside Crescent, G37UL, Glasgow
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 141 332 2175
Fax: +44 141 332 2133
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Tribute to Otto Preminger
Director: Otto Preminger
Screenplay: Arthur Laurents podle stejnojmenného románu / based on the novel of the same name by Françoise Sagan
Dir. of Photography: Georges Périnal
Music: Georges Auric
Editor: Helga Cranston
Art Director: Roger Furse, Raymond Simm
Producer: Otto Preminger
Production: Wheel Productions
Cast: Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Jean Seberg, Mylène Demongeot, Geoffrey Horne, Juliette Gréco
Sales: Park Circus Limited

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