End of Desire

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"A one-man woman...and a man of many loves...then...the..."
  • NR
  • 1958
  • 1 hr 26 min
  • 6.7  (349)

End of Desire is a 1958 drama film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Maria Schell, Christian Marquand, and Pascale Petit. Set in a small French village during the 1950s, this captivating film explores the complex dynamics of love, desire, and societal expectations. The story revolves around a young couple, Odette (Maria Schell) and Philippe (Christian Marquand), who are married but find themselves increasingly dissatisfied with their stagnant lives. Odette, a beautiful and educated woman, feels trapped in their traditional rural community, longing for adventure and intellectual stimulation. Philippe, a hardworking but emotionally distant young man, struggles to connect with his wife, who seems to be slipping away from him.

Their lives take an unexpected turn with the arrival of Agnes (Pascale Petit), a charismatic and free-spirited woman who escaped from a mental institution. Agnes is an enigmatic character who challenges the established norms of their conservative village. She introduces Odette to a world of excitement and unconventional ideas, breaking through her monotonous routine and awakening hidden desires.

As Odette becomes fascinated by Agnes, her relationship with Philippe is put to the test. The once-happy couple begins to drift apart, leading to jealousy and resentment. Odette's desire for freer, more exciting experiences conflicts with Philippe's traditional values and their expectations of married life. The film sensitively delves into the complexities of their relationship, dissecting the societal pressures that hinder their personal growth and happiness.

End of Desire masterfully explores the themes of liberation and societal conformity. Clouzot skillfully directs the actors, capturing their emotional turmoil and inner conflicts. Maria Schell delivers a stunning performance as Odette, skillfully portraying her internal struggle between duty and self-discovery. The chemistry between Schell and Marquand is palpable, as they navigate the troubled waters of their deteriorating marriage.

Christian Marquand delivers a nuanced performance as Philippe, grappling with his insecurities and fear of losing Odette. As their relationship deteriorates, Marquand expresses a wide range of emotions, effectively conveying the complexities of his character's journey.

Pascale Petit is captivating as Agnes, the catalyst of change in Odette's life. Petit's character is mysterious and alluring, embodying a sense of chaos and liberation that fascinates both Odette and the audience.

The cinematography of End of Desire is breathtaking, capturing the picturesque French countryside with its beautiful landscapes and idyllic charm. The film's black-and-white visuals provide a timeless quality, emphasizing the timeless struggles of its characters.

The narrative unfolds at a deliberate pace, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the characters' emotional journeys. The dialogue is poignant and thought-provoking, exploring timeless themes that remain relevant even today.

End of Desire is a moving and powerful film that delves into the human condition, challenging societal norms and exploring the profound impact of desire on our lives. With its remarkable performances, compelling story, and striking visuals, this film from 1958 remains a poignant and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (349)