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The Story of Adele H

The Story of Adele H

A Feature film by François Truffaut

Produced by Les Artistes Associés

Release in France : 08/10/1975


    The film tells the story of beautiful Adèle Hugo, the second daughter of Victor Hugo, who is devastated by the accidental death of her elder sister Léopoldine Hugo. Hugo is living in exile on the island of Guernsey where Adèle meets and is seized by an obsessive and unrequited love for a British officer, Lieutenant Pinson (Robinson). She follows him to Halifax, Nova Scotia, under the assumed name of Miss Lewly. While in Halifax, he rejects her, but she communicates to her parents, via letter, that she has married him. Her father urges her to return home, but she destroys Pinson's hope of happiness by claiming to his actual fiancee's father, a judge, that Pinson is married to her. She follows him to Barbados, West Indies, when he is posted and assumes the name of Mrs. Pinson, her clothes now torn. By the time he catches up with Adèle, she does not acknowledge or recognize him. Returned to Paris, the Third Republic now established, she is placed in an asylum by her father. She dies in Paris in 1915, in her 85th year.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Actors (15)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Executive Producer :

    Les Artistes Associés

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    mk2 films

    Co-production :

    Les Films du Carrosse

    French distribution :

    Les Artistes Associés

    International releases (3)

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    The Story of Adele H. (also L'Histoire d'Adèle H.) is a 1975 French film which tells the story of the real-life Adèle Hugo, the daughter of writer Victor Hugo, whose obsessive unrequited love for a naval officer led to her downfall. The film, told in French and English, is based on her diaries. It stars Isabelle Adjani, Bruce Robinson and Sylvia Marriott.

    The film was adapted by Jean Gruault, Frances Vernor Guille, Suzanne Schiffman and François Truffaut, with English adaptation by Jan Dawson. It was directed by Truffaut.

    Director's comments
    About the film, Truffaut wrote:
    "In writing the script of L'Enfant sauvage based on the memoirs of Dr Jean Itard, we discovered, Jean Gruault and myself, the enormous pleasure of writing historical fiction based on real events, without inventing anything and without altering documented facts. If it is difficult to construct an unanimistic intrigue involving a dozen characters whose paths entwine, it is almost as difficult to write an animistic film focusing on a single person. I believe that it was this solitary aspect which attracted me most to this project; having produced love stories involving two and three people, I wanted to attempt to create a passionate experience involving a character where the passion was one-way only."[citation needed]

    Film locations
    Many of the exterior scenes were shot on location in St Peter Port, Guernsey, and many of the film extras were well-known locals. Both Sir Raymond Falla and Sir Cecil de Sausmarez were, at the time, prominent island politicians. Scenes set in Halifax were mainly interiors created in a house in Guernsey and the external scenes were also shot in Guernsey. They were not filmed in Halifax.

    Critical response
    The film was given a very positive review by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker. " After a two-year break to read and to write, François Truffaut has come back to moviemaking with new assurance, new elation. The Story of Adèle H. is a musical, lilting film with a tidal pull to it. It's about a woman who is destroyed by her passion for a man who is indifferent to her - a woman who realizes herself in self-destruction...This picture is so totally concentrated on one character that it's a phenomenon: we become as much absorbed in Adèle as she is in Lieutenant Pinson. And our absorption extends from the character to a larger view of the nature of neurotically willed romanticism. The subject of the movie is the self-destructive love that everyone has experienced in one form or another. Adèle is a riveting, great character because she goes all the way with it...Only nineteen when the film was can't take your eyes off Isabelle Adjani. You can perceive why Truffaut, who had worked on the Adèle Hugo material off and on for six years, has said that he wouldn't have made this 'musical composition for one instrument' without Adjani...She's right for the role, in the way that the young Jennifer Jones was for Bernadette: you believe her capable of anything, because you can't see yet what she is...Adèle H. is a feat of sustained acuteness, a grand-scale comedy about unrequited love, and it's Truffaut's most passionate work." The film was a modest financial success in France where it gained 752,160 Admissions.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Photos (7)

    Full credits (13)

    Adaptation :

    Frances Vernor Guille

    Director of Photography :

    Nestor Almendros

    Assistant Operators :

    Florent Bazin, Dominique Le Rigoleur, Jean-Claude Rivière

    Editors :

    Martine Barraqué, Yann Dedet

    Continuity supervisor :

    Christine Pellé

    Music Composer :

    Maurice Jaubert

    Technical details

    Feature film

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    Themes :

    History, Literature

    Production language :

    French, English

    Production country :


    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

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    French release :


    Runtime :

    1 h 36 min

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    Posters (2)


    Festival Selections (3)

    Academy Awards - 1976

    Academy Awards (United States, 1976)


    Nomination for Best Actress in Leading Role : Isabelle Adjani


    French Syndicate of Cinema Critics - 1976

    French Syndicate of Cinema Critics (1976)


    French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Price