7.8/10
4,295
25 user 31 critic

My American Uncle (1980)

Mon oncle d'Amérique (original title)
The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.

Director:

Alain Resnais

Writers:

Jean Gruault (scenario and dialogue), Henri Laborit (writings)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... René Ragueneau
Nicole Garcia ... Janine Garnier
Roger Pierre ... Jean Le Gall
Nelly Borgeaud ... Arlette Le Gall
Pierre Arditi ... Zambeaux, le représentant de la direction générale à Paris
Gérard Darrieu Gérard Darrieu ... Léon Veestrate
Philippe Laudenbach ... Michel Aubert
Marie Dubois ... Thérèse Ragueneau
Henri Laborit Henri Laborit ... Himself
Bernard Malaterre Bernard Malaterre ... Le père de Jean
Laurence Roy Laurence Roy ... La mère de Jean
Alexandre Rignault ... Le grand-père de Jean / Jean's Grandfather
Véronique Silver Véronique Silver ... La mère de Janine
Jean Lescot Jean Lescot ... Le père de Janine
Geneviève Mnich Geneviève Mnich ... La mère de René
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Storyline

Prof. Henri Laborit uses the stories of the lives of three people to discuss behaviorist theories of survival, combat, rewards and punishment, and anxiety. René is a technical manager at a textile factory and must face the anxiety caused by corporate downsizing. Janine is a self-educated actress/stylist who learns that the wife of her lover is dying and must decide to let them reunite. Jean is a controversial career-climbing writer/politician at a crossroads in life. Written by Dragomir R. Radev <radev@cs.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mi tío de América See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,465
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Henri Laborit: We have already said that we are nothing but others. A boy in the wild, abandoned far from other people, will not grow up to be a man. He'll never know how to walk or talk. He'll behave like a little animal. Through language, man has been able to pass on to succeeding generations, all the experience that has accumulated over millions of years. The time is long past when a person could ensure his own survival. He needs others in order to live.
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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece!
22 January 2004 | by Stephan-StrekerSee all my reviews

Professor Henri Laborit is one of the geniuses of the previous century. And Alain Resnais directed a movie faithful to the scientist's work.

We could say about Mon oncle d'Amérique that it's a totally original film. It's impossible to compare it to any of the other movies in the history.

This piece of art shows in a very elegant and clever way how we human beings behave. It's as brilliant as deeply moving.

Definitely a must-see that reminds us why we used to admire Gérard Depardieu. The use of the archive footage of Danielle Darrieux, Jean Gabin, and Jean Marais are very touching in the middle of a movie that seems to be cold and demonstrative but that is not.

Watch this masterpiece ASAP. You'll never regret it.


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