- January 17, 1959
- 1 hr 33 min
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Director Claude Chabrol's debut feature film, while embodying qualities of France's "classic" cinema, is still looked on as the first incarnation of the French New Wave. The low budget, the cast of then-largely-unknowns and the brutally honest treatment were traits heralding the advent of a revolutionary film movement that would soon sweep the nation's cinemas and then the world. Recuperating from illness, Francois (Jean-Claude Brialy) returns to his hometown only to find it dying on the vine and his best friend, the previously promising and handsome, Serge (Gerald Blain), a now-dissolute alcoholic in a stagnant marriage. Chabrol looks at both the differences and the doppleganger similarities between Francois and Serge, and creates a simple, but rigorous psychological landscape, much as he would do in his later thrillers.