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". It stars Miou-Miou, Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere.
|Directed by||Bertrand Blier|
|Produced by||Paul Claudon|
|Screenplay by||Bertrand Blier |
|Based on||Les Valseuses by Bertrand Blier|
|Music by||Stéphane Grappelli|
|Edited by||Kenout Peltier|
|20 March 1974|
|Box office||$42.9 million|
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. 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.
- Gérard Depardieu as Jean-Claude
- Miou-Miou as Marie-Ange
- Patrick Dewaere as Pierrot
- Brigitte Fossey as The woman on the train
- Dominique Davray as Ursula / Suzanne
- Isabelle Huppert as Jacqueline
- Jacques Rispal as The watchman
- Jeanne Moreau as Jeanne Pirolle
- Sylvie Joly as Owner of the stolen car
- Gérard Jugnot as The holiday maker
- Thierry Lhermitte as The doorman
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.
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.
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." 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."
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