Three Seats for the 26th

Last updated
Three Places for the 26th
Directed by Jacques Demy assisted by Patrice Martineau
Produced by Claude Berri and Pierre Grunstein
Written byJacques Demy
Starring Yves Montand
Mathilda May
Françoise Fabian
Music by Michel Legrand
Cinematography Jean Penzer
Edited by Sabine Mamou
Running time
116 minutes
Country France
LanguageFrench

Three Seats for the 26th (French : Trois places pour le 26) is a 1988 romantic musical film, scripted and directed by Jacques Demy to music by Michel Legrand. Set in Marseille, it shows the singer and actor Yves Montand returning to the city where he grew up and looking up old friends, including his first love Mylène, who had been a prostitute and is now the wife of a jailed baron. The purpose of his visit is to rehearse a stage musical based on his life, where the female lead he falls in love with is Marion, the daughter Mylène had after they parted. It was Demy's last picture.

Contents

Plot

The film opens with the famous singer and actor Yves Montand arriving in Marseille, where he grew up, to rehearse a new musical based on his life. From his years as an unknown, including the loss of his first great love, the show moves on to his artistic and amorous links with great stars like Édith Piaf and Marilyn Monroe.

In his free time he looks up old friends, hoping in particular to find Mylène, his first love who worked as a prostitute. At his hotel, a card is left by the Baroness de Lambert, who asks to see him. While in his dressing room, he is entranced by a fan called Marion, who asks him for three seats on the 26th so that she and the two girls she works with can attend the sold-out opening night. Though trained in acting, song and dance, she works in a perfume shop.

When the leading lady has to leave the cast because of pregnancy, Marion volunteers and is hired. When Yves rings up the mysterious baroness, he recognises from her voice that she is Mylène and the two have a tender reunion in the bar where they first met. She is living with the daughter she had after they parted but will lose her home, since her husband has been sent to prison for five years.

The opening is a great success and the show is booked to run in Paris. Marion spends the night with Yves and, as they talk about each other's lives over breakfast, she realises that she is his daughter. Unshaken in her love for him, she goes home to get her mother. The two women he has loved most in his life then join Yves on the train to Paris.

Cast

Reception

For the reviewer of Le Monde, after the dark tragic passion of Une chambre en ville Demy returns with this final film to love as the supreme force in his art. Love in this case not only surmounts the age gap between Montand and his unknown daughter Marion but also survives the discovery that the two have unknowingly committed incest. Her sexual power over Montand is not idealised or ambiguous but in a bold and surprising fashion goes hand in hand with the feelings the two have for each other. Strong though her hold over Montand seems, her still very attractive mother exerts an even greater pull. [1]

Notes and references

  1. French Trois places pour le 26 at Le Monde.fr

Related Research Articles

Simone Signoret French actress

Simone Signoret was a German-born French actress. She has received various accolades, including an Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, a César Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, in addition to nominations for two Golden Globe Awards.

Édith Piaf French singer

Édith Piaf was a French singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars.

Yves Montand French-Italian actor and singer

Ivo Livi, better known as Yves Montand, was an Italian-French actor and singer.

<i>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</i> 1964 film by Jacques Demy

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a 1964 musical romantic drama film written and directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo. The music was composed by Michel Legrand. The film dialogue is entirely sung as recitative, including casual conversation, and is sung-through, or through-composed like some operas and stage musicals.

Emmanuelle Béart French actress

Emmanuelle Béart is a French film actress, who has appeared in over 60 film and television productions since 1972. An eight-time César Award nominee, she won the César Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1986 film Manon des Sources. Her other film roles include La Belle Noiseuse (1991), A Heart in Winter (1992), Nelly and Mr. Arnaud (1995), Mission: Impossible (1996) and 8 Women (2002).

Jacques Demy French film director

Jacques Demy was a French director, lyricist, and screenwriter. He appeared in the wake of the French New Wave alongside contemporaries like Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. Demy's films are celebrated for their visual style. Demy's style drew upon diverse sources such as classic Hollywood musicals, the documentary realism of his French New Wave colleagues, fairy tales, jazz, Japanese manga, and the opera. His films contain overlapping continuity, lush musical scores and motifs like teenage love, labor rights, incest, and the intersection between dreams and reality. He is best known for the two musicals he directed in the mid-1960s: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967).

Marguerite Monnot

Marguerite Monnot was a French songwriter and composer best known for having written many of the songs performed by Édith Piaf and for the music in the stage musical Irma La Douce.

Claude Sautet

Claude Sautet was a French film director and screenwriter.

Lambert Wilson

Lambert Wilson is a French actor, singer and activist. He is best known internationally for his portrayal of The Merovingian in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

"C'est si bon" is a French popular song composed in 1947 by Henri Betti with the lyrics by André Hornez. The English lyrics were written in 1949 by Jerry Seelen. The song is also adapted in several languages.

<i>The Crucible</i> (1957 film) 1957 film by Raymond Rouleau

The Crucible is a 1957 joint Franco-East German film production directed by Raymond Rouleau with a screenplay adapted by Jean-Paul Sartre from the 1953 play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller.

<i>Lets Make Love</i> 1960 film by George Cukor

Let's Make Love is a 1960 American musical comedy film made by 20th Century Fox in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope. It was directed by George Cukor and produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by Norman Krasna, Hal Kanter, and Arthur Miller. It starred Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand, and Tony Randall. It would be Monroe's last musical film performance.

<i>The War Is Over</i> (1966 film) 1966 French film directed by Alain Resnais

The War is Over is a French drama film about a leftist in Franco's Spain, directed by Alain Resnais and starring Yves Montand, Ingrid Thulin, and Geneviève Bujold. Joseph Losey directed a sequel, Roads to the South.

California (Mylène Farmer song) 1996 single by Mylène Farmer

"California" is a 1995 song recorded by the French artist Mylène Farmer. It was the third single from her fourth studio album, Anamorphosée, and was released on 26 March 1996. The song marked her only collaboration with American movie screenwriter and director Abel Ferrara, who directed the very expensive music video in which Farmer appears both as a bourgeois woman and a prostitute. A tribute to California, the song is generally deemed one of Farmer's signature songs and has been performed during most of the singer's subsequent tours. It has met with relative success in France and Belgium, and became one of her hits in Russia.

Laurent Marie Guespin-Malet is a French actor, and the twin brother of actor Pierre Malet.

<i>Tous les Matins du Monde</i> 1991 French film directed by Alain Corneau

Tous les matins du monde is a 1991 French film based on the book of the same name by Pascal Quignard. Set during the reign of Louis XIV, the film shows the musician, Marin Marais, looking back on his young life when he was briefly a pupil of Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, and features much music of the period, especially that for the viola da gamba. The title of the film is explained towards the end of the film; « Tous les matins du monde sont sans retour » spoken by Marais in chapter XXVI of Quignard's novel when he learns of the death of Madeleine.

Olivier Ducastel is a French film director, screenwriter and sound editor who currently works in collaboration with partner Jacques Martineau.

Summer Tour 2016

The Summer Tour 2016 was the eleventh concert tour by Canadian singer Celine Dion. It was organized to support Dion's French-language studio album, Encore un soir, released on 26 August 2016. It was Dion's first tour since the Sans attendre Tour in 2013. With 28 shows, it was also her biggest Francophone tour since the D'eux Tour in 1995–96. The show began in Antwerp, Belgium on 20 June 2016 and concluded on 31 August 2016 in Trois-Rivières, Québec. The Summer Tour 2016 grossed $56 million.

<i>Nelly</i> (2016 film) 2016 film by Anne Émond

Nelly is a 2016 Canadian biographical-drama film directed by Anne Émond and starring Mylène Mackay as Nelly Arcan, an award-winning Canadian author and former sex worker who committed suicide in 2009. The film is based on some of Arcan's own writings, including her book Putain.

"What Can I Do?" is a French popular song composed in 1947 by Henri Betti with the lyrics by Édith Piaf. The English lyrics were written in 1949 by Harold Rome.