7.6/10
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The Eighth Day (1996)

Le huitième jour (original title)
An unusual and wonderful friendship develops between a busy but unhappy salesman and a resident of a mental asylum.

Director:

Jaco Van Dormael
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Auteuil ... Harry
Pascal Duquenne ... Georges
Miou-Miou ... Julie
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Le directeur de la banque
Isabelle Sadoyan Isabelle Sadoyan ... la mère de Georges
Michele Maes Michele Maes ... Nathalie (as Michèle Maes)
Fabienne Loriaux Fabienne Loriaux ... la soeur de Georges - Fabienne
Alice van Dormael Alice van Dormael ... Alice
Juliette Van Dormael ... Juliette
Marie-Pierre Meinzel Marie-Pierre Meinzel ... La vendeuse du magasin du chaussures
Sabrina Leurquin Sabrina Leurquin ... La serveuse du snack
Laszlo Harmati Laszlo Harmati ... Luis Mariano
Alain Bougnet Alain Bougnet
Magali Cote Magali Cote
Jean Désert Jean Désert
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Storyline

Georges has Down's syndrome, living at a mental-institution. Harry is a busy businessman, giving lectures for young aspiring salesmen. He is successful in his business life, but his social life is a disaster since his wife left him and took their two children with her. This weekend his children came by train to meet him, but Harry, working as always, forgot to pick them up. Neither his wife nor his children want to see him again and he is driving around on the country roads, anguished and angry. He almost runs over Georges, on the run from the institution since everybody else went home with their parents except him, whose mother is dead. Harry tries to get rid of Georges but he won't leave his new friend. Eventually a special friendship forms between the two of them, a friendship which makes Harry a different person. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | UK

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,397, 9 March 1997

Gross USA:

$416,401

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,031,984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pascal Duquenne has Down syndrome, like his character Georges. See more »

Quotes

[lying on the grass in the sun]
Harry: We should get going.
Georges: Just one more minute.
Harry: Okay.
[they lie down for a minute more]
Harry: [looks at his watch] Okay, it's over.
Georges: A nice minute, for us.
See more »


Soundtracks

Qui sait, Qui sait, qui Sait (Quizás, Quizás, Quizáz)
Music by Osvaldo Farrés
Lyrics by Jacques Larue (French version)
Performed by Luis Mariano
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User Reviews

 
I laughed through my tears!
11 September 1999 | by raymond-15See all my reviews

Everyone we meet influences our thinking, modifies our ways, a little bit of that person rubs off onto us. "The Eighth Day" takes up this theme (Compare "Rainmaker"). In this film Harry (Daniel Auteuil) a businessman expert in sales psychology meets up with Georges (Pascal Duquenne), a Down's Syndrome child on the run. Winning performances from both these actors give this film its main strength. The opening sequence is excellent where Georges relates his theory on the creation of the world and in the closing scene we discover what God created on the eighth day. There are some moments in the story that are very frustrating for Harry. For example, Georges who is completely uninhibited demands a pair of expensive shoes and hasn't enough money. It's the kind of scene where you laugh through your tears. I liked the scene where the Down's Syndrome group on a trip to the Art Gallery escape on a bus and gate-crash the Paradis fun park. The most humorous of all the embarrassments is the scene where Harry and Georges pass a horse-float on the highway and, looking back, Georges gives the driver a rude salute. But there are some gentle scenes as well, especially the impressive use of close-ups of hands - hands feeling the sun,wind and rain, hands reaching up, hands reaching out and clasping in love and friendship. This is true cinema which touches the heart. There are very moving scenes where Georges proposes to Nathalie, where Georges cradles Harry's head in his arms, where Georges keeps calling for his dear Mom, where Georges teaches Harry to laugh..I felt there was a profound message in the film that life is beautiful- the very presence of grass (Did you know it cries when you cut it?), the trees overhead, the song of birds, the little insects - all nature's miraculous creatures. They are all there to be enjoyed if we but lie back (like Harry and Georges) look around us and listen......A beautiful film.


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