The Blood of Others (film)

The Blood of Others (French: "Le sang des autres") is a 1984 film directed by Claude Chabrol. It is based on the 1945 novel The Blood of Others by Simone de Beauvoir. The film was originally made as a three-hour television mini-series and then recut down 40 minutes for a theatrical release.[1]

The Blood of Others
VHS cover
Based onThe Blood of Others by
Simone de Beauvoir
Screenplay byBrian Moore
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Music by
  • Matthieu Chabrol
  • François Dompierre
Country of origin
  • France
  • Canada
  • United States
Original language(s)
  • English
  • German
CinematographyRichard Ciupka
  • Monique Fardoulis
  • Yves Langlois
Running time135 minutes
Production company(s)
  • SuperChannel
  • CTV Television Network
  • Téléfilm Canada
  • Antenne-2
  • Filmax
  • Films A2
  • HBO Premiere Films
DistributorMGM Television
Original release2 May 1984 (1984-05-02)


In Nazi occupied France, Jean Blomart sits by a bed in which his lover Hélène lies dying. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about both characters and their relationship to each other. As a young man filled with guilt about his privileged middle-class life, Jean joins the Communist Party and breaks from his family, determined to make his own way in life. After the death of a friend in a political protest, for which he feels guilty, Jean quits the Party and concentrates on trade union activities. Hélène is a young designer who works in her family's confectionery shop and is dissatisfied with her conventional romance with her fiance Paul. She contrives to meet Jean, and although he initially rejects her, they form a relationship after she has an abortion following a reckless liaison with another man. Jean tells Hélène he loves her even though he believes he does not. He proposes to her and she accepts.

When France enters World War II, Jean, conceding the need for violent conflict to effect change, becomes a soldier. Hélène intervenes against his will to arrange a safe posting for him. Angry with her, Jean breaks their relationship. As the German forces advance towards Paris, Hélène flees and witnesses the suffering of other refugees. Returning to Paris, she briefly takes up with a German who could advance her career, but soon sees what her countrymen are suffering. She also witnesses the roundup of Jews. Securing the safety of her Jewish friend Yvonne leads Hélène back to Jean, who has become a leader in a Resistance group. She is moved to join the group. Jean has reconnected with his father with the common goal to liberate France from Germany. His mother, however, is less impressed by the lives lost to the Resistance.

Hélène is shot in a resistance activity and during Jean's night vigil at her side, he examines his love for Hélène and the wider consequences of his actions. As morning dawns, Hélène dies and Jean decides to continue with acts of resistance.

Principal cast

Jodie FosterHélène Bertrand
Michael OntkeanJean Blomart
Sam NeillDieter Bergman
Lambert WilsonPaul
Stéphane AudranGigi
Alexandra StewartMadeleine
Jean-François BalmerArnaud
John VernonCharles
Michel RobinRaoul
Jean-Pierre AumontM. Blomart
Jean-Yves BertelootCoutant Repentigny
Didier BourdonThe Second Soldier
Artus de Penguern

Critical reception

From Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews, who gave the film a C-:

A poorly done adaptation of Simone de Beauvoir's 1945 novel about the growth and self-sacrifice of a selfish American during the German Occupation of Paris. Claude Chabrol has no feel or interest for the Occupation subject matter, being more of a satirist of the bourgeois he seems like a fish out of water in this venture. His uninspired filming of this routine story and his plodding direction makes this dreary film one of his biggest bombs. If that wasn't bad enough, all the main actors are miscast.[2]


  • "C'était écrit"

Composed by Jacques Stern
Lyrics by Jack Meskill
Performed by Maurice Chevalier

  • "Ménilmontant"

Written and performed by Charles Trenet

  • "À Paris dans chaque Faubourg"

Composed by Maurice Jaubert
Lyrics by René Clair
Performed by Lys Gauty


  1. "Claude Chabrol's - The Blood of Others - Le Sang des autres". Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  2. Dennis Schwartz (2002-01-17). "bloodofothers". Retrieved 2011-11-01.
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