Synopsis: Gervaise Macquart, a young lame laundress, is left by her lover Auguste Lantier with two boys... She manages to make it, and a few years later she marries Coupeau, a roofer. After working very hard a few more years, she succeeds in buying her own laundry (her dream)... But Coupeau starts to drink after having fallen from a roof, and Lantier shows up... A faithful adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "L'Assomoir", depicting the fatal degeneration of a family of workers, mainly because of alcohol.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): René Clément
Production: Corona Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 2 nominations.
116 min






Morning came

and he still hadn't returned.

He'd been out all night.

It was the first time.

I was so proud to have

the handsomest guy around,

me, the gimp.

Already up, Gervaise?

Coming to the washhouse?

I 'll save you a spot.

Is Lantier still asleep?

Yes, he's a bit tired.

She's still there.

She's not afraid to catch cold.

She's patient.

It's yours if you promise

to go home with it.

- Dare me?

- Dare you.

I don't give a damn.

- Bye, Virginie.

- Have a nice trip!

- I salute you, Mr. Boche.

- I return the salute.

Like you turn out a coat.

Like you turn the ladies' heads.

Go ahead, she's gone.

Don't you think

that's going too far?

- Why? I like flowers.

- Go on, you rascal.

There you are!

- Where'd you spend the night?

- What night?

You were with that whore next door!

Take that back.

You're picky!

Who were you with?

- Why don't you shut up?

- You dare come in with a flower!

Girls who sleep

with the whole neighborhood!

Nice girls!


Shut them up or I'm leaving!

If it weren't for them...

Poor babies!

And your reputation!

- Fine.

Listen, I'll tell you -

I'll kill her!

With my bare hands if I have to!

And me too?

Oh, no. Not you.


See? You're all worked up.

Why? You didn't sleep?

What did I do to you?

Keep scrubbing!

- It's filthy!

- I do my best.

- Got money for lunch?

- How could l?

By stealing?

- Take this to the pawnshop.

- Again?


I can't, I'm going to the washhouse.

Why not say so?

I'll hock it, then.


you'll bring back lunch?

Not at the cheese shop,

we owe them for last week.

Buy bread and some chops.

Breaded chops?


And a bottle of wine.

- Red?

- Of course.


It was all right, once again.

All he had to do was smile at me

and I'd end up saying, "Fine".

They'll be clean, mutton chop.

Hey, Gervaise!

I saved you a spot!

That's kind of you!

You should've soaked those.

I swear, those kids

with their sooty backsides!

Get some soapy water.

Don't worry,

just hot water will do fine.

You know your stuff! You were

a laundress back home, weren't you?

Yes, from the age of 10.

Been in Paris long?

- Two months.

- Been married long?

We're not married.

No shame in that!

It's for the best.

He's not nice enough

to want to be his wife.

What's his profession?

- I'll get a bucket of hot water.

- Me too.


Hello, Gervaise.

It's his first birthday.

He's teething.

What's his profession?


Or it was.

Since we've been in Paris,

he doesn't do much of anything.

So he's not nice?

Oh, not nice...

It's been eight years.

You can't ask much from a man.


- Why do you say that?

- No reason.

Come on, why'd you say that?

I thought you had.

I was just repeating it.

What about those

two girls at your house?

Adle and Virginie?

Gervaise, what are you imagining?

No need to imagine.

I know!

- What do you know?

- It's either Adle or Virginie!

Nonsense! He might pinch them

on the stairs, but...

On the stairs?

What's he doing on the stairs?


I just said "on the stairs,"

Iike I'd say "on the street."

I said "on the stairs"

because it's my job to wash them.

- Looking for someone?

- My mommy.

- Who is she?

- My name's Etienne Lantier.

- Charles!

- What?

Two kids looking for their mother.

I'll announce it.

"Two kids are

looking for their mother!"

- Why'd you bring me the key?

- Daddy left.

Yes, to buy lunch.

- He told you to get me?

- Daddy left.

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Émile Zola

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (; French: []; 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Gervaise" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <>.

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