Scene of the Crime (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In the woods, a 13-year-old boy is grabbed by an escaped convict and told to bring money later that day. The boy does as he's told, only to be attacked by the convict's partner. A murder ensues, and through happenstance, the murderer and the boy's mother form an alliance. All this takes place in four days during which the boy has his first communion, his separated parents face each other amidst grandmother's hopes they'll reunite, the grandfather just wants to go fishing, the school's chaplain complains about the boy's behavior, and the convicts' shared girlfriend comes, gun in hand, to help them escape to Tangier. The mother's surprising decisions complete the story.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • While collecting flowers for his mother, unmotivated student Thomas (Nicolas Giraudi) is accosted by escaped prisoner Martin (Wadeck Stanczak) who threatens Thomas with bodily harm if he does not return with enough money for the man to buy a train ticket. Thomas goes to several people in his immediate family for the money. His mother Lili (Catherine Deneuve) is a free-spirited single mother who has recently set up ownership and management of a dance bar, and whose separation from Thomas father Maurice (Victor Lanoux) causes confusion and rebellion in the boy. This being the eve of his first communion Thomas is bombarded on all sides by smothering well-wishing sentiments from his grandfather (Jean Bousquet) and his grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) and most particularly from Father Sorbier (Jacques Nolot) who wants the young boy taken out of the private school he attends because of his attitude. Thomas returns later in the day to give Martin some money but is accosted and nearly strangled by Martins partner. Later that evening as Lili closes up the bar she discovers an injured Martin lying in the grass. She takes the younger man to a friends hotel and negotiates for him to stay the night to get better, but discovers that he has indeed escaped from a prison nearby but is oddly fascinated and attracted to he younger mans purity. As Lili and Martin draw closer Martin returns to school but sneaks out late at night to return to Lilis side accidentally confronting Martin who has been followed by yet a third accomplice bent on revenge.

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