6.9/10
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At the Top of the Stairs (1983)

En haut des marches (original title)
Suzanne's husband was a collaborator during WW2 and he was denounced by his own family at the Liberation ,a family who took advantage of him during the occupation.

Director:

Paul Vecchiali

Writers:

Michel Delahaye (dialogue collaborator), Cécile Clairval (dialogue collaborator) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danielle Darrieux ... Françoise Canavaggia
Hélène Surgère ... Suzanne
Françoise Lebrun ... Michèle
Nicolas Silberg Nicolas Silberg ... Le commissaire
Sonia Saviange ... Catherine
Denise Farchy Denise Farchy ... Madame Altiani
Max Naldini Max Naldini ... Charles
Michel Delahaye ... Le Nantais
Gisèle Pascal ... Rose (as Giselle Pascal)
Micheline Presle ... Mathilde
Myriam Mézières Myriam Mézières ... Gisèle
Bénédict Beaugé Bénédict Beaugé
Paulette Bouvet Paulette Bouvet
Jean-Claude Guiguet Jean-Claude Guiguet ... Pierre-Henri
Béatrice Bruno Béatrice Bruno
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Storyline

Suzanne's husband was a collaborator during WW2 and he was denounced by his own family at the Liberation ,a family who took advantage of him during the dark days of the occupation. In 1963,the lady comes back to Toulon after years of exile ;then begins a long walk in space and time ,in which she remembers (no flashbacks,but De Gaulle's and Pétain's speeches ,a class where she used to be a schoolteacher and where she had to teach the "moral doctrine " of the Marechal..). Written by dbdumonteil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France | Switzerland

Language:

French

Release Date:

12 October 1983 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

At the Top of the Stairs See more »

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?

Soundtracks

Troisième Concerto Brandebourgeois
(Brandenburgisches Konzert No. 3)
by Johann Sebastian Bach (as Jean-Sébastien Bach)
édition Turnabout
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User Reviews

 
Toulon Ou Le Temps D'Un Retour
27 September 2013 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Ambitious ,not always palatable for the mainstream audience (hence the commercial failure),"En Haut Des Marches" is a demanding work and one of Danielle Darrieux's most interesting parts (and she starred in many important movies)

Suzanne's husband was a collaborator during WW2 and he was turned in by his own family at the Liberation ,a family who took advantage of him during the dark days of the occupation.

In 1963,the lady comes back to Toulon after years of exile ;then begins a long walk in space and time ,in which she remembers (no flashbacks,but De Gaulle's and Pétain's speeches ,a class where she used to be a schoolteacher and where she had to teach the "moral doctrine " of the Marechal..).

Imaginary events run into each others and into reality: she kills her family to avenge her husband and there is a questioning by a detective and a trial during which she is defended by her goddaughter (and former pupil).These scenes are the most convincing in the whole movie,and all their conversations always come up against the same question:"what could I do?I did not know about the concentration camps ,the final solution...."And although she does not utter these worlds we feel that Suzanne is about to shout :"you can't understand ,even with your history books,you were not in my shoes at THAT time ,and it's easy to live a politically correct lawyer's life!"

Influenced by early Alain Resnais,Paul Vecchiali opts for a fragmented narration which might repel some viewers ;but those who will accompany Darrieux in her strange trip will be rewarded.


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