Going Places (1974 film)

Going Places is a 1974 French comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Bertrand Blier, and based on his own novel. Its original title is Les Valseuses, which translates into English as "the waltzers" , a vulgar French slang term for "the testicles".[2] It stars Miou-Miou, Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere.

Going Places
Film poster
Les Valseuses
Directed byBertrand Blier
Produced byPaul Claudon
Screenplay byBertrand Blier
Philippe Dumarçay
Based onLes Valseuses by Bertrand Blier
Music byStéphane Grappelli
CinematographyBruno Nuytten
Edited byKenout Peltier
Release date
20 March 1974
Running time
113 minutes
Box office$42.9 million[1]

It is widely considered one of the most controversial movies in French cinema history due to its vulgarity, depiction of sexual acts, nudity, and moral ambiguity; however, Blier's later acclaim for the rest of his filmography made it a cult film for modern critics.[3][4][5][6] An English-language remake directed, written by and starring John Turturro, which also acts as a spin-off to the cult comedy film The Big Lebowski, started filming in August 2016.


Jean-Claude and Pierrot are young men who travel around France, committing petty crimes and running from the law. After they get in trouble with a hairdresser in Valence for stealing his car, they grab his pistol and kidnap his assistant Marie-Ange, an apathetic girl. When they are bored with unorgasmic Marie-Ange, they decide to find a passionate woman and meet Jeanne Pirolle, a woman in her forties who is just released from prison and had spent ten years in a cell. After a threesome, Jeanne commits suicide and the men return to Marie-Ange. They find Jeanne's son Jacques who had been incarcerated as well. Then, the four consider founding a crime family but at their first crime, an attempted robbery, Jacques commits a revenge killing and the others flee. While on the run, they meet a family having a picnic near Col d'Izoard and the delinquent teenage daughter Jacqueline wants to join them. They take Jacqueline and on learning that she is still a virgin, they decide to deflower her. After dropping Jacqueline, the three ride away aimlessly.



Bertrand Blier based the screenplay on his own novel Les Valseuses, which had been published by éditions Robert Laffont in 1972. The film was produced by CAPAC, UPF and Prodis. Principal photography took place from 16 August to 24 October 1973. Locations were used in Valence, Drôme.[7]


The film premiered in France on 20 March 1974. It was released in the United States on 13 May the same year and the United Kingdom on 23 October 1975. The film had a total of 5,726,031 admissions in France where it was the third highest-grossing film of the year.[8]


Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Despite its occasional charm, its several amusing moments and the touching scenes played by Jeanne Moreau, Going Places is a film of truly cynical decadence. It's also, not incidentally, the most misogynistic movie I can remember; its hatred of women is palpable and embarrassing. ... I came away from Going Places feeling that I'd spent two hours in the company of a filmmaker I would never want to meet."[9] Los Angeles Times' Kevin Thomas wrote in 1990, when the film was re-released in Los Angeles cinemas: "Blier has gone on to a notable and distinctive career, but as worthy (and quirky) as his subsequent films have been, none have packed the punch of his debut film, which he based on his own novel. ... The road/buddy movie was scarcely new 16 years ago, but Blier's strategies in the telling of his sexual odyssey remain fresh, outrageous and inspired." Thomas continued: "Jean-Claude is the precursor of all the earthy, passionate men Depardieu has brought to life on the screen. What's more, Blier is interested more in Jean-Claude and Pierrot as sexual chauvinists than as petty criminals, and as they learn to be more considerate lovers they become more likable. Above all, they embody the sure-fire appeal of all movie anti-heroes, free spirits who live entirely for the moment and at all times follow their impulse."[10]


  1. JP. "Les Valseuses ()". JP's Box-Office (Version Mobile) (in French). Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  2. "Valseuse". Reverso. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  3. "Les Valseuses : tourné en Bourgogne". PATRIMOINE avec les yeux de Francesca. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  4. "Fiche du film". dewaere.online.fr. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  5. "Bertrand Blier livre quelques pépites sur "Les Valseuses"". Europe 1. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. "Bon anniversaire Gérard Depardieu - cinema - Télé 2 semaines". www.programme.tv/news. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  7. "Les Valseuses". bifi.fr (in French). Cinémathèque Française. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  8. "Les Valseuses (1974) - JPBox-Office". www.jpbox-office.com. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  9. Ebert, Roger (1974-05-13). "Going Places". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  10. Thomas, Kevin (1990-08-10). "Movie Review: A Sexual Odyssey in 'Going Places'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
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