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The Story of Adele H (1975)

L'histoire d'Adèle H. (original title)
Adèle Hugo's unrequited love for a lieutenant.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (screenplay), Jean Gruault (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Isabelle Adjani ... Adèle Hugo
Bruce Robinson ... Lt Albert Pinson
Sylvia Marriott ... Mrs. Saunders
Joseph Blatchley Joseph Blatchley ... Mr. Whistler
Ivry Gitlis Ivry Gitlis ... Hypnotist
Louise Bourdet Louise Bourdet ... Victor Hugo's servant
Cecil De Sausmarez Cecil De Sausmarez ... Mr. Lenoir
Ruben Dorey Ruben Dorey ... Mr. Saunders
Clive Gillingham Clive Gillingham ... Keaton
Roger Martin Roger Martin ... Doctor Murdock
M. White M. White ... Colonel White (as Mr White)
Madame Louise Madame Louise ... Madame Baa
Jean-Pierre Leursse Jean-Pierre Leursse ... Black penpusher
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Storyline

Halifax, 1863. A young woman, Miss Lewly, comes to Halifax to search for Lt Pinson, with whom she is madly in love. Actually, she is Adèle Hugo, the second daughter of the great French literary figure and statesman. The Lt Pinson does not answer to her love and makes her understand it is hopeless. But as her obsession grows she keeps chasing and harassing him. This film about passionate yet obsessive love and self-destruction is based upon the real diary of Adèle Hugo. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

8 October 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Adele H See more »

Filming Locations:

Channel Islands See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,206, 25 April 1999

Gross USA:

$509

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$509
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1988, Isabelle Adjani played the title role in Camille Claudel (1988), playing another historical character who suffered from schizophrenia. A major scene in that movie depicts the announcement of the death of Victor Hugo, Adele Hugo's father. See more »

Goofs

The hypnotist has a plant in the audience pretending to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which was not set up until a decade after the story's setting of 1863 See more »

Quotes

Adèle Hugo: You are so handsome, Albert. You deserve to have all the women on Earth.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A rich girl's blues
2 April 2016 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

The real story of Adèle Hugo, Victor Hugo's youngest daughter, played by a yet-to-be 20-year-old Isabelle Adjani, whose one-sided infatuation to a British officer, Lieutenant Albert Pinson (Robinson), drives her to leave her family and come to Halifax alone, where he is stationed, only to be subjected to more stern rejection from Pinson, eventually she loses her sanity in Barbados and is sent back to her father, she lives until 1915 at the age of 85.

Truffaut strong-willedly mines into the absurdity and irrationality of unrequited love evinced from Adèle's own diaries, and beats about the bush about Adèle's mental faculties at then, as at first viewers may get a vague idea that she is a congenital liar and her obsession could be completely derived from her imagination. But soon Pinson's visit clears the suspicion, he actually did be romantically linked with her, but presently he doesn't want anything to do with her, but he never gives an explanation, another sly bullet-dodging of revealing the speculative truth, since, understandably, you can not find that in one's own diaries. So, Adèle's torment, is simultaneously inflicted by Pinson's heartless rebuff and by her own deep-rooted delusion, it always takes two to tango, that's where lies the frustrating perverseness of the little destructive thing called love.

The film is Adjani's star-making vehicle, she harrowingly lays bare Adèle's severely troubled soul on top of her ethereal beauty, and marvelously characterizes her vulnerability and paranoia, which are much beyond her age and experiences, and she laudably earns an Oscar nomination for her prowess. Credits should also be given to Bruce Robinson's portrayal of the obnoxiously uppity, narcissistic and self-serving Albert Pinson, who can mercilessly spurn Adjani's Adèle, a nonpareil belle who only wants to be loved by him, it is a rather surreal and idealistic role, and Robinson indeed makes a dent of his own effort notwithstanding that the movie has never focused on him, it is purely a showcase for the young Adjani.

Adèle's tragedy is a rich kid's blues, living under the shadow of her world-known father and sibling rivalry, she pestered by the incubus of her late sister Léopoldine's drowning accident, and quintessentially, her relentless pursuit of love and marriage is a desperate attempt to imitate Léopoldine's short but fulfilled life, in Adèle's recount, the husband of Léopoldine voluntarily dies with her, that is something she needs to possess, to prove her own worth, after all, it is not about Pinson at all, which is emphatically captured by the final encounter between them.

Like the illusionist (Gitlis) in the picture, our world is populated with deceptions and play-actings, and THE STORY OF ADELE H (it must be where Noah Baumbach's FRANCES HA 2012 gets its titular inspiration), further vouches for Truffaut's will power to debunk the ugly truth in his works, only this time, let it get brutally emotional under a often sombre palette from the one-and-only Néstor Almendros and incited by a compelling tour-de-force from Ms. Adjani.


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