Le Grand Amour

Synopsis: Pierre married Florence, the only daughter of a small industrialist. 15 years later, he is the boss, but his middle-class life worries him a lot. When a new young and lovely secretary comes, he starts dreaming.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Pierre Étaix
Production: Criterion Collection
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
87 min
1 View

The hours pass

And I wait for you

With a beating heart

The hours pass

And I wait for you

With a beating heart

It's just a long journey

To the land of infidelity

Go on, you'll come back wiser

With more maturity

I wait for you, while others

Can enjoy tender days

Love is a countdown

I love you and always will

I wait for you

It had all started badly.

Oh, yes...

very badly indeed.

In those days, I remember -

this was four or five years back -

I'd just finished

my military service,

and when I came home,

I met Irne...

waiting for me at the station,

right where she'd seen me off

18 months earlier.

Sweet Irne!

So I'd just finished

my military service,

and when I came home,

I met Irne

waiting for me at the station,

right where she'd seen me off

18 months earlier...

with Martine.

Charming Martine!

Irne, Martine, and I

had known each other a long time.

We were inseparable

childhood friends.

We lived in the provinces,

in the same city...

all three of us.

Depending on the days

and their moods,

I'd go out with Martine,

or I'd go out with Irne.

Sometimes I'd even go out with both,

especially on Sundays.

We'd go dancing together.

We'd take walks

when the weather was nice.

I remember...

there was also -

what was her name again?


She was nice, Thrse.

She was very sweet,

and from a good family.

Her father was a notary

and regional councillor.

Her mother did watercolors.

They'd given her

an excellent education -

Latin, piano, sewing.

They'd taught her everything.

In those days,

when I knew her,

she'd just finished

her schooling at the convent.

But quickly,

too quickly, she went bad.

But when I think about it,

I could just as well

have married Martine.

Why not?

Martine... or Irne.

And even lots of others.


who would become my wife,

I first met on the terrace

of the Caf de Paris.

No, that's not right.

It wasn't on the terrace,

but inside

the Caf de Paris.

Not so.

I know what I'm saying.

It was on the terrace.

What am I talking about!

It wasn't the terrace...

Make up your mind!

The terrace is the terrace.

Inside is inside.

I'm starting to get -

It's hot.

Let's go sit on the terrace.

Yes, on the terrace.

After that, obviously,

Florence and I

saw each other again.

We'd meet as if by chance...

as chance would have it.

So, without realizing it,

we began going out together.

More and more often,

almost on a daily basis.

It easily becomes a habit.


Then one thing

leads to another, like it or not.

You never know

how these things happen...

but they happen.

For Florence and me,

it all happened so fast.

I didn't even realize.

One fine day in spring,

Florence suddenly decided

to invite me to her home.

She got it into her head

to have me meet her parents.

An obsession.

And I said all right, of course...

totally unsuspecting.


Go in.


Pleased to meet you.


Pleased to meet you.

Mr. and Mrs. Girard

were utterly charming people.

I should have known.

My grandmother.

Florence adored her parents,

especially her mother.

And her parents adored her.

There were pictures of her

all over the house.

Is that you?

You studied dance?

- A little.

- I like dance.

Will you have a drink?

I declined all drink and smoke,

as if I had no faults.

This might amuse you, children.

Shall we?

You'd think I was trying hard

to make a good impression.

I succeeded only too well.

- Who's this little girl?

- That's Papa.

That's cousin Elisa.

Your grandmother's goddaughter.

And that's her husband...

who's up there in the frame.

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Pierre Étaix

Pierre Étaix (French: [etɛks]; 23 November 1928 – 14 October 2016) was a French clown, comedian and filmmaker. Étaix made a series of short- and feature-length films in the 1960s, many of them co-written by influential screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. He won an Academy Award for best live action short film in 1963. Due to a legal dispute with a distribution company, his films were unavailable from the 1970s until 2009.As an actor, assistant director and gag writer, Étaix worked with the likes of Jacques Tati, Robert Bresson, Nagisa Oshima, Otar Iosseliani and Jerry Lewis, the last of whom cast the comedian in his unreleased film The Day the Clown Cried. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Le Grand Amour" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 24 Aug. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/le_grand_amour_9254>.

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