7.3/10
2,288
14 user 38 critic

Les Cousins (1959)

Les cousins (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 23 November 1959 (USA)
A pair of cousins share a flat, but animosity begins to build between the two when a woman gets involved.

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Claude Chabrol (scenario), Paul Gégauff (dialogue)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Le Beau Serge (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After long absence, a man returns to his hometown only to find his best friend has become an alcoholic.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michèle Méritz
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Four Parisian women navigate the world of romance and daily life looking to fulfill their dreams but often find real-life to be inescapable.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Clotilde Joano, Stéphane Audran
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

André Mercier, a journalist known as Albin Mercier, is a failed, embittered writer. Sent to cover an event in Germany, he gets to know Andreas Hartmann, another writer who, for his part, ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Jacques Charrier, Stéphane Audran, Walther Reyer
Leda (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wealthy wine grower has trouble with his wife, his children, his best friend, and his mistress across the way, who is murdered.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Madeleine Robinson, Antonella Lualdi, Jean-Paul Belmondo
Les Biches (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Architect Paul Thomas insinuates himself into the relationship of two bisexual women living in a St. Tropez villa with tragic consequences.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacqueline Sassard, Stéphane Audran
The Breach (1970)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Helene Regnier's husband Charles, who is mentally ill, injures their son Michel in a rage. Charles moves back in with his wealthy and manipulative parents, who blame Helene for their son's ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Michel Bouquet
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man begins to believe his wife is cheating on him.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Maurice Ronet
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Charles Masson, an advertising executive, is having an affair with Laura, the wife of his best friend, the architect François Tellier. Charles strangles Laura when one of their S&M games ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Celia, Marina Ninchi, Michel Bouquet
Bluebeard (1963)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Follows a family-man who meets women through lonely hearts ads.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Michèle Morgan, Danielle Darrieux, Hildegard Knef
Certificate: GP Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man asserts himself within the life of an actress he believes is somehow responsible for his son's death.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Michel Duchaussoy, Caroline Cellier, Jean Yanne
Red Wedding (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lucienne Delamare and Pierre Maury are having an affair. Lucienne's husband Paul is the mayor, and a French deputy. Pierre's wife Clotilde has been weak and sickly for years. Lucienne's ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Michel Piccoli, Claude Piéplu
Ophélia (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After the death of his father, the weirdo Yvan Lesurf believes his mother Claudia Lesurf and his uncle Adrien Lesurf have poisoned him since they got married to each other. Completely ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Alida Valli, Claude Cerval, André Jocelyn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Blain ... Charles
Jean-Claude Brialy ... Paul Thomas
Juliette Mayniel ... Florence
Guy Decomble Guy Decomble ... Le libraire
Geneviève Cluny Geneviève Cluny ... Geneviève
Michèle Méritz ... Yvonne
Corrado Guarducci Corrado Guarducci ... Italian Count Minerva
Stéphane Audran ... Françoise
Paul Bisciglia Paul Bisciglia ... Marc
Jeanne Pérez Jeanne Pérez ... La femme de ménage
Françoise Vatel Françoise Vatel ... Martine
André Chanal André Chanal
Gilbert Edard
Clara Gansard Clara Gansard
Jean-Louis Maury Jean-Louis Maury ... Un étudiant joueur de bridge
Edit

Storyline

Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with other idles, while Charles is a plodding, naive and honest man. He fell in love with Florence, one of Paul's acquaintances. But how will Paul react to that attempt to build a real love relationship ? One of the major New Wave films. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

23 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cousins See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

FRF6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film that director Claude Chabrol and screenwriter Paul Gégauff would collaborate together on. Gégauff would go on to script over a dozen of Chabrol's films. See more »

Quotes

Le libraire: Young people! If only all our problems were so trivial.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les Feuilles Mortes (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

La chevauchée des Walkyries (extrait de La Walkyrie)
Music by Richard Wagner
Performed by Wiener Philharmoniker (as Orhcestre Philharmonique de Vienne)
Conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch
Disque DECCA
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Chabrol plays Russian roulette with the French New Wave and wins
25 June 2000 | by jameswtraversSee all my reviews

Les Cousins is definitively part of the French New Wave of the late 1950s. Whilst slightly more polished than the films of his contemporaries (notably Godard and Truffaut), Chabrol's film bubbles with an insurgence of new cinematographic techniques and fresh acting talent. The sense of newness is reinforced by presence of so many young actors, dressed elegantly in tuxedos and evening dresses, but acting somewhat delinquently for the most part. The film appears almost like the christening party for the birth of a new era in French cinema.

Both the direction and photography are of a high calibre and capture very well the changing mood of the central character, Charles. The film starts cheerfully and optimistically with the young man's arrival in Paris. Like him, we are enchanted by the bright lights, the wide boulevards and the historic monuments. But then, little by little, the mood changes to ennui and disappointment when the shallowness of the Paris jet set is revealed. Finally, a much darker mood prevails as Charles' best efforts to succeed are brutally crushed by a combination of circumstances, partly of his own making but largely as a result of the hand of fate. This ability to alter the mood of the film so subtly and effectively is one of Chabrol's great skills as a director and is used to far greater effect in some of his subsequent thrillers.

Both of the two central characters, Charles and Paul, are played admirably by Gérard Blain and Jean-Claude Brialy. Blain manages to capture the innocence of the outsider and offers a sympathetic and memorable performance. Brialy seems to revel in his role as the extravagant city student, hosting his parties with the gusto of a true bon-vivant, whilst exhibiting a more complicated and sensitive persona in his conversations with the characters Charles and Florence.

Both actors were used by Chabrol in an earlier film, Le Beau Serge, which, in some ways, is the mirror image of Les Cousins. In Le Beau Serge, Brialy played a city boy who returns to his home in a provincial town where he met up wih a childhood friend played by Blain. Brialy's character was the outsider and ultimately he was destroyed by his alien surroundings. In Les Cousins, the situation is cleverly reversed. Here, Blain's character is a country boy who joins Brialy in the city of Paris. It is Blain's character who is now the outsider, and who is finally destroyed by his unfamiliar environment. It is interesting to watch the two films back-to-back, to note the similarities and compare the differences. Both films seem to side with the outsider and condemn the society that rejects him, although it is perhaps disappointing that, in both cases, that the outsider is destroyed without having any significant impact on the society that crushed him. At least, in Le Beau Serge, the victim's fate was sealed by an altruistic desire to do some good for the community that rejected him, whereas in Les Cousins, the victim brought his destruction on himself by trying to attack the society he felt so repulsive.

Les Cousins lacks the emotional intensity of Le Beau Serge and appears in some places a little too stage-managed. (The ending is particularly stagy, but it works perfectly to the film's advantage.) On the plus side, Les Cousins benefits from a far superior musical score, a more interesting set of characters, and some impressive location filming in Paris. It is an engaging and accessible film which still appears fresh and vibrant.


28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed