Thérèse Raquin (1953 film)

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Thérèse Raquin
Therese Raquin (1953 film).jpg
Directed by Marcel Carné
Written byMarcel Carné
Charles Spaak
Based on Thérèse Raquin
by Émile Zola
Produced by Raymond Hakim
Robert Hakim
Starring Simone Signoret
Raf Vallone
Jacques Duby
Cinematography Roger Hubert
Edited by Marthe Gottie
Suzanne Rondeau
Henri Rust
Music by Maurice Thiriet
Paris Film Productions
Lux Film
Distributed byLux Film
Release date
  • 6 November 1953 (1953-11-06)
Running time
102 minutes
Language French

Thérèse Raquin (also The Adultress) is a 1953 French-Italian drama film directed by Marcel Carné and starring Simone Signoret, Raf Vallone and Jacques Duby. [1] The story is loosely based on the 1867 novel of the same title by Émile Zola but with the setting updated to 1953. [2] It was shot at the Neuilly Studios in Paris and on location in Lyon. The film's sets were designed by the art director Paul Bertrand. It was screened at the 14th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion.



Thérèse, an orphan, has been brought up by her widowed aunt in a dingy backstreet shop in Lyon and married to her sickly first cousin Camille. Into their stifling existence comes Laurent, a lively Italian truck driver. He is immediately struck by Thérèse, who succumbs to him but will not abandon her husband and aunt. Once aware of the relationship, Camille and his mother plot to get rid of Thérèse.

Their plan is that Camille will take her to Paris and hand her over to another aunt, but Laurent climbs onto the train and, his temper overcoming him, pushes Camille out in the dark at full speed. He then slips out at the next stop and Thérèse maintains to the police that she was asleep in her compartment the whole time. The news of Camille's death gives his mother a stroke that leaves her speechless, cared for by Thérèse who warns Laurent to stay away and not attract police attention.

However there was another man asleep in Thérèse's compartment on the train and, when he sees the newspaper reports, comes down to Lyon and asks for half a million francs to stay silent. Aware that Thérèse and Laurent might kill him rather than pay, he leaves a letter with the maid in his hotel, asking her to post it to the police if he does not return. The pair manage to find 400,000 francs, which he accepts and gives them a signed receipt but, on leaving, he is knocked over by a lorry and dies. The film ends as the maid takes his letter to the post.



The Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa cited Thérèse Raquin as one of his 100 favorite films. [3]

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  1. Hayward p. 244
  2. Goble p. 979
  3. Thomas-Mason, Lee. "From Stanley Kubrick to Martin Scorsese: Akira Kurosawa once named his top 100 favourite films of all time". Far Out Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2023.