Directed by: Jean Renoir
Finally released in 1946, ten years after it was shot, Jean Renoir's Partie de campagne was hailed was an "unfinished masterpiece". Since then, his masterly adaptation of a Maupassant story has grown in reputation to the point where it has become Renoir's best-loved film. On an idyllic country picnic, a young girl leaves her family and fiance for a while, and succumbs to an all-too-brief romance.
Shot on location on the banks of two small tributaries of the Seine, Renoir's sensuous tribute to the countryside - and to the river - has seldom been surpassed. In its bittersweet lyricism, its tenderness and poetic feel for nature, its tolerant satire of bourgeois conventions and its poignant sense of the transience of innocence and love, Partie de campagne seems to distil the essence of all that is most personal of Renoir's art.
- Renoir meets Maupassant:up where they belong.
Unfinished,this is a one of Renoir's most remarkable work.As far as Guy DE Maupassant is concerned,only Max OPhuls's "le plaisir"(1951) and Christian-Jaque's "Boule de Suif" (1950)equal it.
This is apparently a very simple story:a couple of bourgeois (Jane Marken and Gabriello) ,their daughter (Sylvia Bataille) and her less-than-handsome husband leave for a day in the country (title).There the young girl meets love ,short-lived happiness.
Beneath the placid surface,tragedy emerges.The beautiful landscape,the simmering water,the whispering grass,the swings which seem to reach for a pure sky,the small fish you savor in the guinguettes down by the river,the thrill of it all!The young girl's longing for true love is harder to endure in such a peaceful paradise.This is one of these rare movies in which you experiment happiness tinged with an infinite sadness.
A whole sequence is missing:a card explains the events which were not filmed.Sylvia Bataille's last line(to the man she fell in love with) will make you cry out:"I've been thinking of it every day".Woman has always been sacrificed in Maupassant's work.At a running time of 40 minutes,a lot of people claim it for Renoir's best though.I do.Claude Renoir marvelously conveys Maupassant's depictions with his pictures.
- I saw this film as a child and it made a profound impression on me.
My prep school could hardly be described as being particularly sophisticated or advanced regarding the arts but at some point I benefited from a projected showing of Renoir's Une Partie de Campagne and the beautiful, romantic, sentimental and sad imagery and story got under my skin and has remained there ever since. I probably saw it when I was nine years old and I am now thirty five. I haven't seen it since but I can still see moments and sequences clearly in my minds eye. Certainly a child is a blank canvas and liable to be more influenced by something than an adult - I am just glad that amongst all the rubbish I was exposed to, someone thought fit to show something this beautiful to me at that moment.
This short film is, in fact, just a part of a movie that Jean Renoir didn't finish. It shows the central part of the project. In the nineteen century, it shows a city family on a vacation on the countryside. A young peasant fell in love with the girl of the family, who was to marry an old man. This is a very beautiful movie, with poetry, charm and wonderful natural settings. At the end of the movie, we saw the original finale when the young woman, now marry to the old man, came back to the countryside where she once find true love. Simplicity at it's peak
Sylvia Bataille ... Henriette
Georges D'Arnoux ... Henri (as Georges Saint-Saens)
Jane Marken ... Madame Dufour (as Jeanne Marken)
André Gabriello ... Monsieur Dufour (as Gabriello)
Jacques B. Brunius ... Rodolphe (as Jacques Borel)
Paul Temps ... Anatole
Gabrielle Fontan ... La grand' mère / Grandmother
Jean Renoir ... Père Poulain / Uncle Poulain
Marguerite Renoir ... La servante / Waitress
Release Date:8 May 1946 (USA)
Also Known As:A Day in the Country
Filming Locations:Bords du Loing, Montigny-sur-Loing, Seine-et-Marne, France
Sound Mix:Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color:Black and White