6.6/10
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16 user 2 critic

Act of Love (1953)

Un acte d'amour (original title)
Approved | | Drama, War, Romance | 17 December 1953 (USA)
A former soldier on holiday in the French Riviera recalls his time in France during WWII, and his love for a French peasant woman.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Alfred Hayes (novel), Irwin Shaw (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Robert Teller
Dany Robin ... Lise Gudayec / Madame Teller
Gabrielle Dorziat ... Adèle Lacaud
Barbara Laage ... Nina
Fernand Ledoux ... Fernand Lacaud
Robert Strauss ... Sgt. Johnny Blackwood
Marthe Mercadier ... La fille de la terrasse
George Mathews ... Henderson
Richard Benedict ... Pete
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Le sergent anglais
Sydney Chaplin ... Un soldat
Brigitte Bardot ... Mimi
Nedd Willard Nedd Willard
Serge Reggiani ... Claude Lacaud
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Storyline

A former soldier on holiday in the French Riviera recalls his time in France during WWII, and his love for a French peasant woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WANTED for desertion! WANTED for questioning!...WANTING only each other!

Genres:

Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Act of Love See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM Print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas also did the French language version's dialogue. See more »

Quotes

Adèle Lacaud: Oh, Army. None of them are human!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Greatest Mysteries: Smithsonian (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

A Surprise Jewel!
19 July 2004 | by Enrique-Sanchez-56See all my reviews

Many things about this movie are charming and have a wistful quality that brings you into its story.

First of all, and I offer my apologies to the absorbing performances, to me the most fascinating aspect of this film is the location; PARIS. But not just any Paris. This is a during and post-WWII Paris. Although released an amazing 8 years after the end of the war, much of the charm of a Paris which lingers in our hearts is still there. This is not travelogue picture with dancing Americans to a Rodgers score. There is a very true-to-life depiction of, what I call, the most elegant city in the world.

This movie tempts us to fall in love again with Paris. All politics aside, please. We see a Paris which many a serviceman or woman probably fell in love with during the war. We see the sights in and around Paris, there are some views of Fontainebleau just outside of the city which make me want to go back and suffer the awful Summer heat inside of it again just to see the gorgeous architecture there.

Second, I liked this story because it ran true. It has few Hollywood formulas -- even to the end it tempts us to see stories like these as they really were. Some happy, some not so. Another reviewer complained about "pidgin French - English" which was heard throughout the movie. I must say that whatever it was, it did not offend my ears and I have friends who live in Paris and have similar accents when they speak English. The accents did bother me -- and neither did the French without subtitles. I do remember a time when Americans knew more about the French language and were proud of it. I still am.

Yet, all through this we have a love story which develops and then unravels due to bureaucratic entanglements.

Finally, if you must see this for one reason, see it for the story and the deft performances. Kirk Douglas, it seems, never made a bad picture - or at least he never gave a bad performance. Every one was absorbing - brought you in, gave you permission to involve yourself with the situations in them. This is not exception. It is a low-key performance, true. But it is no less absorbing than anything he ever did.

Of course there was gorgeous Dany Robin as Kirk Douglas's love interest. Her portrayal of a shy, innocent French girl was perfect considering she was voted "nastiest French actress" that same year. She had a fabulous French career and worked with many famous directors, including Litvak, who also directed "Sorry, Wrong Number", "The Snake Pit" and "Anastasia".

I recommend this to those viewers who still have a little romance in their hearts - but walk with a dose of reality down every turn of their adventures.


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