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One Deadly Summer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One Deadly Summer
Ete meurtrier.jpg
Film poster
Directed byJean Becker
Written byJean Becker
Sébastien Japrisot
Produced byChristine Beyout
StarringIsabelle Adjani
Alain Souchon
Suzanne Flon
François Cluzet
CinematographyÉtienne Becker
Music byGeorges Delerue
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (U.S.)
Release date
  • 11 May 1983 (1983-05-11)
Running time
130 minutes

One Deadly Summer (French: L'Été meurtrier) is a 1983 French drama film directed by Jean Becker, and adapted by Sébastien Japrisot from his 1977 novel. Isabelle Adjani won a César award for her performance in this film. The film was a massive hit in France gaining 5,137,040 admissions and was the 2nd highest-grossing film of the year.[1]


In this tragic tale of misunderstanding, obsession, and increasing madness, Eliane ("Elle"), a beautiful young woman (Isabelle Adjani) settles into a small town in the south of France with her introverted mother (Maria Machado) and physically handicapped father, and soon becomes the subject of wild speculation because of her aloofness and at the same time, her obvious sexuality. The young woman is actually caught up in the desire to avenge the long-ago rape of her mother by three men who had arrived at her isolated house in a van which contained an old piano which they were delivering.

A shy car mechanic (Alain Souchon) becomes enamored of her, and the woman suddenly sees him in a different light when she learns that his father, now dead, was an Italian immigrant who had owned and tried unsuccessfully to pawn the piano. Intent on taking action against the mechanic's family to right the wrong suffered by her mother, the daughter begins to lose her grip on sanity when she finds out that the men she suspects of the rape are actually innocent. In fact, her father had long ago exacted his own vengeance on the real culprits. This knowledge pushes her over the edge, and she has to be institutionalized. Meanwhile, the young mechanic misunderstands what happened and that leads to tragedy; he tracks down and kills the innocent men Elle had suspected of raping her mother, believing them to be responsible for Elle's current condition.


  • Isabelle Adjani as Eliane Wieck, known as "Elle"; she is known by her German mother's maiden name rather than by the surname of her father (Gabriel Devigne), because she was born as the result of her mother being raped by strangers. However, Gabriel subsequently comes to accept Eliane and brings her up as his child.
  • Alain Souchon as Fiorimonto "Florimond" Montecciari, known as "Pin-Pon"; he is a volunteer firefighter and "pin pon" is an onomatopoeiac version of a firetruck siren.
  • Suzanne Flon as Nine, known as "Cognata"
  • Jenny Clève as Madame Montecciari, the mother of "Pin Pon"
  • Maria Machado as Paula Wieck Devigne, the mother of Elle
  • Evelyne Didi as Calamité
  • Jean Gaven as Leballech, the boss of the sawmill
  • François Cluzet as Mickey
  • Manuel Gélin as Boubou
  • Roger Carel as Henri, known as "Henri IV"
  • Michel Galabru as Gabriel Devigne, the father of Elle
  • Martin Lamotte as Georges Massigne
  • Marie-Pierre Casey as Mademoiselle Tussaud, the home nurse
  • Cécile Vassort as Josette
  • Édith Scob as La doctoresse
  • Maïwenn Le Besco as 'Elle' as a child


The film was shot in the villages around Gordes: Saint Saturnin d'Apt, Murs, and Villars.[2]


The original music was written by Georges Delerue.[3] Yves Montand sings his Trois petites notes de musique, a song that was originally performed by Cora Vaucaire in The Long Absence.


The film was a massive hit in France gaining 5,137,040 admissions and was the 2nd highest-grossing film of the year.[1] It received four César awards.

The film received mixed reviews from English-speaking critics. Variety said that "often questionable in matters of credibility and wobbly in its dramatic conception, pic is nonetheless fairly engrossing, thanks to Isabelle Adjani, astonishing in the central role."[4] The New Times remarked that Adjani "looks smashing in a series of flimsy little dresses" but "the plot... is less complicated than devious."[5] Time Out said the film was "directed with verve," and though it "rarely departs from the commercial mainstream, but within those conventions it operates with assurance, subtlety and plenty of surprises."[6]


César Awards, France, 1984



  1. ^ a b "L\'Ete meurtrier (1983) - JPBox-Office". Retrieved 2019-09-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Docteur Japrisot et Mister Rossi -". Repères méditerranéens. Retrieved 2019-09-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^'ete-meurtrier/r/113961560/
  4. ^ Variety Staff (1983-01-01). "One Deadly Summer". Variety. Retrieved 2019-09-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (1984-07-20). "'Deadly Summer'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  6. ^ "One Deadly Summer 1983 Film review". Time Out London. Retrieved 2019-09-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

This page was last edited on 27 April 2022, at 19:48
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