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Conjugal Duty (1995)

L'amour conjugal (original title)
The story of a fallen noble who marries a strange woman in the reign of Louis the Thirteenth.


Benoît Barbier


Pascal Quignard (book)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sami Frey ... Nathan Le Cerf
Caroline Silhol Caroline Silhol ... Marthe de Lairac (as Caroline Sihol)
Pierre Richard ... Squirrat
Mathieu Carrière ... Anchire
François Marthouret François Marthouret ... Hairon
Michel Robin ... Abraham Vivien
André Marcon ... L'officier chez Squirrat
Marc Hadjadj Marc Hadjadj ... Lochon
Yves Pignot Yves Pignot ... Bleuzet
Elise Caron Elise Caron ... Madame Hairon
Patrick Massieu Patrick Massieu ... Gaillac
Sarah Bromberg Sarah Bromberg ... Madame Squirrat
Michel Winogradoff Michel Winogradoff ... Evêque de Suze
Yvette Petit Yvette Petit ... Madame Gaillac
Jean-Yves Chilot Jean-Yves Chilot ... Le médecin
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Seventeenth century:After losing his wife and his children ,Nathan Le Cerf enlists to fight in Italy.But he clashes with his superior, Angire, who forces him to fight a duel .Now ,an edict of king Louis the Thirteenth forbade the duels:he is sentenced to death.He escapes, takes refuge in a painter's place ,and falls in love with a ruined young aristocrat, Marthe De Lairic.He wants to take revenge on Angire . Written by dbdumonteil

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Back to the seventeenth century....
29 April 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

But no return to swashbuckler style which was trendy in France un the 1955-1965 years.King Louis the thirteen's reign does not interest that much the scriptwriters,and since "les trois mousquetaires " and one ersatz "le capitan" circa 1960,it's virtually forgotten.

"L'amour conjugal" has nothing to do with swashbucklers ;there are historical allusions,notably the duels which were forbidden by Louis the thirteen's minister,Cardinal de Richelieu and a war ,but which one?Probably the Thirty Years war.But actually ,this is the story of a fallen noble (Samy Frey),who marries a strange woman (Caroline Sihol ).This is a work for highbrows fond of mental masturbation.Most of the action takes place in the nature and the historical context is quickly forgotten .The tempo is very slow and the characters are not very endearing.It seems that the director's ambitions were greater than his skills and you often yawn your head off."L'amour conjugal" has reasons that reason does not know :this love can blossom only when a ritual -vengeance -is accomplished for both of them.A short epilogue ,taking place seven years later ,seems to show that the couple has finally found peace of mind.In fact this story could happen nowadays: was the seventeenth century more bestial,more violent and more ruthless than ours?So why this era?

It's a joy to see Matthieu Carrière but his part is so small that it does not do him justice.

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Release Date:

6 September 1995 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Conjugal Duty See more »

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