Claude Sautet – L’arme à gauche AKA The Dictator’s Guns (1965)


Jacques Cournot, a freelance skipper, is hired by Mr Hendrix in Santo Domingo, first of all to advise him regarding the acquisition of a sailing boat. After a thorough inspection of a prospective vessel, the “Dragoon”, Cournot reports his positive appraisal to Mr Hendrix and initiates the negotiations with Mrs Osborne, the owner of the craft. Barely a couple of days later, Cournot finds himself in a bind as the police questions him about the exact kind of cruise he was supposed to organize for his principal. For the “Dragoon” is gone; Mr Hendrix has disappeared; Mrs Osborne is not aware of any deal; and the corpses of mysterious individuals, victims of a violent death, are found on the beaches of Santo Domingo.

— Eduardo Casais (IMDB) Continue reading

Claude Sautet – L’arme a gauche AKA Guns for the Dictator (1965)


Whilst staying in the Caribbean, sailor Jacques Cournot, is hired by businessman Hendrix to check out a luxury yacht the latter is planning to buy. Shortly after Cournot gives Hendrix his report, the yacht goes missing, at the same time as a violent storm hits the area. Initially suspected by the police of having stolen the yacht, Cournot is employed by the yacht’s owner, Mrs Osborne, to find it. With the help of a friend who owns a hydroplane, Cournot and Osborne eventually trace the missing yacht, which has run aground offshore. When they board the stranded boat, Cournot and Osborne are surprised to find Hendrix and a band of gunrunners, led by the murderous Morrison. The latter threatens to kill the newcomers unless they help to get the yacht and its cargo of ammunition to the coast… Continue reading

Claude Sautet – Garçon ! AKA Waiter ! (1983)


After a life of emotional and professional upsets, Alex finds himself headwaiter in a chic Parisian restaurant. Well into middle age, divorced but still very much a ladies’ man, he has one great ambition: to open an amusement park by the sea. One day, an old flame, Claire, suddenly re-enters his life. For Alex, the fires of love are easily re-kindled, but Claire has another man in her life… Continue reading

Claude Sautet – Vincent, François, Paul… et les autres AKA Vincent, François, Paul and the Others (1974)


Description: Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who’s blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming Vincent, everyone’s favorite, faces bankruptcy, his mistress leaves him, and his wife, from whom he’s separated, wants a divorce. The strains on the men begin to show particularly in François and Paul’s friendship and in Vincent’s health. A younger man, Jack, becomes attractive to Lucie, François’s wife. Another young friend, the boxer Jean, who’s like a son to Vincent and whose girlfriend is pregnant, has taken a bout with a merciless slugger. Has happiness eluded this circle of friends?

Written by {jhailey} Continue reading

Claude Sautet – Mado [+Extras] (1976)

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Synopsis (possible spoilers):

“Middle-aged businessman, Simon Leotard finds his future in jeopardy when his partner Julien commits suicide after having accumulated a mass of debts. Simon’s unscrupulous business rival Lepidon offers to save him from bankruptcy by buying his company, at a discount rate. Reluctant to fall into Lepidon’s trap, Simon decides to resolve the crisis himself. A prostitute, Mado, provides him with the solution to his problems…”
– IMDb Continue reading

Claude Sautet – Les Choses de la vie aka The Things of Life (1970)

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from AMG

After laboring in obscurity for several years, French filmmaker Claude Sautet finally struck a responsive chord with moviegoers in Les Choses de la Vie. The plot isn’t much: the hero, businessman Michel Piccoli, must choose between his wife and his mistress, two women whom he loves with equal fervor. It is what Sautet does with the material that lifts the film above the ordinary. The director puts the central character’s plight in context with his ongoing concerns over his job, his income, and his relationship with his family. In Choses de la Vie Sautet has nothing but the warmest feelings for his characters, which results in more three-dimensionality that might normally be expected in so banal a plotline. Continue reading

Claude Sautet – Une histoire simple AKA A simple story (1978)


Nominated for an Academy Award, Claude Sautet’s ‘A Simple Story’
(Une Histoire Simple) examines the behavior of its characters as
dictated by their environment. Romy Schneider plays Marie, a
fortysomething working woman whose tiresome existence has
prompted her to inaugurate an affair. Marie eventually parts with her
lover, aborting the pregnancy resulting from her liaison. She pauses
long enough to take stock of her current situation, and to muse on its
possible outcome. Though exuding star quality throughout, Romy
Schneider is thoroughly believable as the essentially ordinary,
nonspectacular heroine. Her behavior is not that of a wealthy
play-actress but a genuine bourgeois woman emotionally hemmed in
by her social strata. [Hal Erickson] Continue reading