Sog.: Jacques Deray. Scen.: Jean-Claude Carrière, Jacques Deray. F.: Jean-Jacques Tarbès. M.: Paul Cayatte. Scgf.: Paul Laffargue. Mus.: Michel Legrand. Int.: Alain Delon (Jean-Paul Leroy), Romy Schneider (Marianne Leroy), Maurice Ronet (Harry Lannier), Jane Birkin (Pénélope Lannier), Paul Crauchet (l’ispettore Lévêque), Steve Eckardt (Fred), Suzy Jaspard (Emilie), Maddly Bamy (la ragazza che danza). Prod.: Gérard Beytout per SNC – Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie, Tritone Cinematografica. DCP. Col.
Above all it is a love story, about a relationship in crisis. There are two couples: one comprised of two lovers; the other of a father and daughter. For three days they play at loving and lying, and the three days concludes with a murder… I decide to ask Jean-Claude Carrière, the regular writer of Pierre Étaix, Buñuel and Louis Malle, to handle the screenplay. Who better than him, I say to myself, to translate the ambiguities of the characters into what is basically a chamber piece? … My gaze on Romy is insistent and the shots featuring her are often long, with an almost imposing character.
Jacques Deray, J’ai connu une belle époque, Christian Pirot, Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire 2003
‘It’s all in the look,’ one might say. And that is a reasonable definition of Jacques Deray’s style: a style in keeping with the fashion of the day. And, personally, I approve of that style, because it curbs the excesses of the verbal arts. We must acknowledge, however, that it is not easy to tell a story merely through the exchange of looks, reducing the exchange of words to the strictly essential. Here is an honest account of what I saw. In the somewhat sad and tired eyes of Alain Delon, alias Jean-Paul, nonchalance and torment exist at the same time, amorousness and disappointment, guardedness and vivacity, intensity even, with flashes of ill humour. The cunning eyes of Romy Schneider as Marianne are impassioned and flirtatious, then irritated and vexed by memories, imprudent yet aware of the consequences, uneasy, moody, anxious and finally, wide open in astonishment and discontent. The eyes of Maurice Ronet, playing – with rare mastery – the proud Harry. We read in his eyes a sense of mocking, scathing superiority, an irritating arrogance, until they signal the awakening of his paternal conscience. The eyes of Jane Birkin, the diffident visitor, expressing little concern for her father, and scant interest in Schneider, glance fleetingly towards Alain Delon, secretly excited that he looks at her the same way.
Louis Chauvet, “Le Figaro”, 3 February 1969