Le Sourire (1994) from ICMS

The story of Le Sourire deals with a doctor (Jean-Pierre Marielle) who runs a mental asylum with his estranged and bossy wife. He is having health problems and decides to take a break, so he goes on some kind of Tour de France and on a train he meets Emmanuelle Seigner, who has frequent nose-bleeds. They decide to travel along together and we see how their relationship develops and eventually dies. During their journeys they end up in a traveling strip show joint, run by Richard Bohringer (father of Romane). It is in that establishment where an astounding number of nude scenes take place, as always seems to be the case when Jean-Pierre Marielle is in a movie. This excellent and prolific French actor is one lucky dude. He somehow always ends up in the presence of many naked well-known French actresses. It may be interesting to know that he is playing a role in The Da Vinci Code, so he'll soon be recognized by international audiences as well. 

It is a mystery to me that Le Sourire is still not available on DVD anywhere in the world, not even in France, as far as I know. It's an Eldorado for celebrity nudity lovers and it's a good movie as well. It was written and directed by Claude Miller, who recently performed the same two functions in La Petite Lili. Marielle and Emmanuelle Seigner were excellent in their roles, while the other actors weren't too shabby either. The characters in this somewhat out-of-reality story could be persons of flesh and blood and managed to hold my attention even in a dubbed version from German TV, despite the fact that the movie is too contemplative in some parts.  

There is no DVD info currently available



More than 13 minutes of nudity. If I counted correctly we have 10 actresses completely in the buff with only 4 of them unidentified.

Emmanuelle Seigner, director Roman Polanski's wife, in an excellent triple B performance. Her sister Mathilde as well, equally nude. Then 4 more actresses, all stark naked: NoŽlla Dussart, now a children's show host, Jeanne Savary, Catherine Mongodin and Nathalie Cardone. 4 unknown performers are also as naked as a jaybird.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major English-language reviews on file

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.8/10, which seems to underrate it.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C+.

Return to the Movie House home page