Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me (1973)

R | 95, 98 or 100 mins | Black comedy | March 1973

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HISTORY

The French title of the film was Une belle fille comme moi , the title of the viewed print. A Girl As Lovely As Me was the film’s English working titles. Although onscreen credits read “introducing” André Dussollier and Anne Kreis, Dussollier had appeared in one previous film. The film contains the following onscreen credit thanking the city of Béziers for its cooperation: "et la ville de Béziers avec nos remerciements."
       The film opens as a library patron asks for the sociology thesis written by “Stanislas Prévine.” The librarian replies that the thesis was never published. The action then flashes back to the year before, to the first meeting of Stanislas and “Camille Bliss.” The part of the film in which Camille relates her crimes to Stanislas is told from her point of view. However, once Stanislas is jailed for murder, the narrative shifts to his point of view.
       According to a Sep 1966 HR news item, Columbia Pictures bought the rights to Henry Farrell’s novel prior to its publication. Although Farrell's novel was published first in the United States by Delacorte Press, the onscreen credits acknowledged Éditions Gallimard, publisher of the French-language version, At that time, Martin Manulis was to produce the the project for Columbia under a multi-picture deal with the studio, and Elliott Baker was hired to write the screenplay. A Feb 1967 HR news item announced that Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso were then writing a screenplay for the film. However, by Aug 1968, a DV news item stated that Gavin Lambert was scripting the film. ... More Less

The French title of the film was Une belle fille comme moi , the title of the viewed print. A Girl As Lovely As Me was the film’s English working titles. Although onscreen credits read “introducing” André Dussollier and Anne Kreis, Dussollier had appeared in one previous film. The film contains the following onscreen credit thanking the city of Béziers for its cooperation: "et la ville de Béziers avec nos remerciements."
       The film opens as a library patron asks for the sociology thesis written by “Stanislas Prévine.” The librarian replies that the thesis was never published. The action then flashes back to the year before, to the first meeting of Stanislas and “Camille Bliss.” The part of the film in which Camille relates her crimes to Stanislas is told from her point of view. However, once Stanislas is jailed for murder, the narrative shifts to his point of view.
       According to a Sep 1966 HR news item, Columbia Pictures bought the rights to Henry Farrell’s novel prior to its publication. Although Farrell's novel was published first in the United States by Delacorte Press, the onscreen credits acknowledged Éditions Gallimard, publisher of the French-language version, At that time, Martin Manulis was to produce the the project for Columbia under a multi-picture deal with the studio, and Elliott Baker was hired to write the screenplay. A Feb 1967 HR news item announced that Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso were then writing a screenplay for the film. However, by Aug 1968, a DV news item stated that Gavin Lambert was scripting the film. Various Sep 1968 HR news items noted that Paul Bogart was to direct and Alexandra Hay had the inside track for the lead.
       According to director François Truffaut’s biography, Truffaut read Farrell’s novel in 1969, at which time the screen rights were owned by Columbia. Intrigued by the novel, Truffaut wrote to Columbia, offering to direct the film. At that time, Columbia had offered the project to Blake Edwards. After Edwards turned down the project, Truffaut struck a co-production deal between Columbia and his company, Les Films du Carrosse. Modern sources add Marcel Berbert, Jean-Loup Dabadie and Jean-François Stévenin to the cast.


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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Apr 1973
p. 4579.
Daily Variety
30 Aug 1968.
---
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 1966.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1966.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1967.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 1968.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1968.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 1973
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jun 1973
View, p. 1.
New York Times
26 Mar 1973
p. 55.
Variety
27 Sep 1972
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Mise en scéne [Dir]
Assistante a la mise en scéne [Asst dir]
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Directeur de la prod [Prod]
Directeur de la prod [Prod]
WRITERS
Adpt et dial
Adpt et dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Image [Photog]
Cadre [Cam op]
Assisté de [Asst cam]
ART DIRECTORS
Décor [Art dir]
FILM EDITORS
Montage [Ed]
Montage [Ed]
COSTUMES
SOUND
Son [Sd]
Mixages [Mixed]
VISUAL EFFECTS
Effets spéciaux [Spec eff]
MAKEUP
Maquillage [Makeup]
PRODUCTION MISC
Directeur de prod [Unit prod mgr]
Régisseur general [Prod mgr]
Administrateur de prod [Prod admin]
Scr girl
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me by Henry Farrell (New York, 1967).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Sam's Song," music by Guy Marchand, lyrics by Jean-Loup Dabadie, adaptation by France-Marie Watkins
"Une belle fille comme moi," music by Jacques Datin, lyrics by Jean-Loup Dabadie, Editions Igloo-Marouani
"J'Attendrai," music by Dino Olivieri, lyrics by Louis Poterat, with authorization of Pathé-Marconi.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Une belle fille comme moi
A Girl As Lovely As Me
Release Date:
March 1973
Premiere Information:
Lyons, France opening: 13 September 1972
New York opening: 25 March 1973
Production Date:
14 February--early May 1972 in Béziers, France
Copyright Claimant:
Les Films Du Carrosse, S.A.
Copyright Date:
25 March 1973
Copyright Number:
LP42788
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
95, 98 or 100
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
France, United States
Language:
French
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While researching his thesis on women criminals, Stanislas Prévine, a gullible young sociologist, visits the local prison to interview subjects for his study. When he asks to see convicted murderess Mrs. Camille Bliss, the matron sneers and calls Camille a tramp who is not worthy of Stanislas’ time. In the interview room, Stanislas sets up his tape recorder and introduces himself to Camille. When Stanislas asks her about her father’s death when she was a child, Camille recalls the incident: Nine-year-old Camille is sitting outside playing her banjo while inside the house, her father screams and curses at her mother. Camille’s drunken father subsequently storms outside, stomps on Camille’s banjo, then climbs into the barn loft. Camille surreptitiously removes the ladder, and when her father, unaware of its absence, steps off the loft looking for the rung of the ladder, he falls to his death. In the present, Camille claims that she did not know her father was in the loft, and that she removed the ladder to wash some windows, but nevertheless was jailed for killing him. When Stanislas asks Camille if she really killed her father, she says she made a "fate-bet" by removing the ladder because if her father lived, he would win the bet and beat her, but if she won, he would die. Camille then continues her story: Incarcerated at a facility for juvenile delinquents, the now pubescent Camille scales the wall to escape and seductively poses on the side of a road trying to hitch a ride from a passing motorist. The cloddish Clovis Bliss gives Camille a ride and drives her home ... +


While researching his thesis on women criminals, Stanislas Prévine, a gullible young sociologist, visits the local prison to interview subjects for his study. When he asks to see convicted murderess Mrs. Camille Bliss, the matron sneers and calls Camille a tramp who is not worthy of Stanislas’ time. In the interview room, Stanislas sets up his tape recorder and introduces himself to Camille. When Stanislas asks her about her father’s death when she was a child, Camille recalls the incident: Nine-year-old Camille is sitting outside playing her banjo while inside the house, her father screams and curses at her mother. Camille’s drunken father subsequently storms outside, stomps on Camille’s banjo, then climbs into the barn loft. Camille surreptitiously removes the ladder, and when her father, unaware of its absence, steps off the loft looking for the rung of the ladder, he falls to his death. In the present, Camille claims that she did not know her father was in the loft, and that she removed the ladder to wash some windows, but nevertheless was jailed for killing him. When Stanislas asks Camille if she really killed her father, she says she made a "fate-bet" by removing the ladder because if her father lived, he would win the bet and beat her, but if she won, he would die. Camille then continues her story: Incarcerated at a facility for juvenile delinquents, the now pubescent Camille scales the wall to escape and seductively poses on the side of a road trying to hitch a ride from a passing motorist. The cloddish Clovis Bliss gives Camille a ride and drives her home to the garage owned by his mother Isobel. Hiding Camille inside his car, Clovis spends the next two weeks sneaking out to the garage to have sex with her. One day, impatient with Clovis’ constant demands for sex and the confinement of the garage, Camille barges into the house and informs the surprised Isobel that Clovis has dishonored her and she is now pregnant with his baby. In the present, Stanislas plays back the tape recorded conversation for his secretary Hélène to transcribe. Stanislas, moved by Camille’s stories of abuse, explains to Hélène that Camille sought out Clovis as compensation for the hostile environment of her childhood. Returning to the prison, Stanislas continues his interview with Camille: Camille, who has heard rumors that Isobel has hidden a hoard of money somewhere in the garage, goes to the cellar, where she fashions a makeshift guillotine above the furnace door, hoping that some day Isobel will look inside the furnace and be decapitated. Deciding to search for the money, Camille pulls Clovis out of bed late one night to ransack the storage room. Hearing noises, Isobel grabs her rifle and begins shooting at them, after which they jump into Clovis’ car and speed off. When the car breaks down outside the Colt Saloon on the road to Paris, Camille decides to leave Clovis, but he insists on following her. In the present, as Hélène, who is also Stanislas’ girl friend, transcribes the tape and she hears Camille teasing Stanislas about his tie, she becomes jealous. Back at the prison, Stanislas bring a gift of nuts and candy to Camille, who then recounts her life, after marrying Clovis, at the Colt Saloon where she worked as a waitress while Clovis tended bar: As Camille delivers drinks she encourages the patrons to stuff tips into her cleavage. Disturbed by his wife’s behavior, Clovis becomes drunk and disorderly, forcing Clovis to turn to the Colt’s star singer, Sam Golden, for help. Instructing Camille to remove her clothes, Sam then loudly plays a recording of race cars zooming as he has sex with Camille. One day, Alphonse, a mute who works at the Colt, approaches Clovis and mimes that Camille is having sex with Sam. Furious, Clovis, toting his rifle, bursts into Sam’s bedroom and finds Sam and Camille in bed together. After the saloon's bouncers throw him out, Clovis runs into the street and is run over by a car. In the present, Helene is listening to the tape when she hears Camille commenting that Stanislas is cute. When Stanislas tries to justify Camille’s behavior in terms of her lack of love, Hélène suggests that maybe Camille is just a tramp. At their next interview, Stanislas is wearing a new tie to please Camille, who continues the story of Clovis’ accident: With Clovis in the hospital recovering, Camille devotes her time to furthering her musical career with Sam. One day, a woman knocks on Sam’s door, barges past Camille, who is dressed in a flimsy slip, and announces that Sam’s real name is Roger and she is his wife Florence. The two women then begin to pummel each other, culminating when Florence chases Camille out of the saloon. Spotting the truck owned by pest exterminator Arthur, Camille seeks refuge inside, easily winning the sympathy of the morally upright Arthur when she lies that her brother is in the hospital. Arthur, who considers himself a true gentleman, offers her money to pay for the hospital bills and invites her to dinner. Camille agrees to have dinner with him, but asks to be dropped off at her apartment so that she can change her clothes. Outside her door, Camille finds Murene, a lawyer who proposes suing the driver responsible for Clovis’ accident. Camille then promptly invites Murene into her bedroom. Soon after, Camille begins to use Arthur, whom she calls the “ant killer,” as a taxi driver to take her on her rounds as she visits Sam and Murene. One day, after Camille has sex with Murene in his office, Murene asks her to sign some blank documents needed for the lawsuit. Later, when Camille seduces Arthur in an attic, he is mortified at his lack of moral rectitude. When Clovis returns home in a wheelchair, Camille hurries to Sam’s, where Florence informs her that Murene is working for her and tricked Camille into signing documents in which she confesses to having an affair with Sam, thus allowing Florence to sue for a large alimony settlement. Crying, Camille finds Arthur hooking up his exterminating machine for a job and lies that her brother wants to have sex with her and her lawyer double-crossed her, then pleads with him to kill them. Horrified, Arthur hands her some money, after which she pretends to depart. Once Arthur has left the site, however, she takes the ignition key for the machine and phones Murene, telling him to meet her at the attic. Clovis follows her there, and just after he bursts into the attic, Murene arrives, leading to a fight in which both men are rendered unconscious. Camille then connects machine, spewing deadly gas into the room, but the next morning when she returns home, she finds that neither man has died, but both are lying unconscious on her bed. When she runs out screaming, Arthur grabs Camille, throws her into the truck and informs her that he has rescued the men and discovered her duplicity. Calling her a criminal, Arthur laments that he has been implicated in her crime and that they must pay for their sins. Stopping at the church, Arthur pulls her onto the roof and announces that they are going to commit suicide together. After Camille suggests that they both close their eyes and jump, Arthur jumps but Camille runs down the stairs into the street. Returning to the present, Camille, who has been jailed for pushing Arthur to his death, claims that she has been unjustly accused. Determined to prove her innocence, Stanislas enlists Hélène in visiting all the photo labs around the church to see if anyone had taken a photograph of the incident. They learn that M. Farrell, a ten-year-old cinema auteur has filmed the scene, and when the boy shows them his footage, it proves that Arthur jumped and therefore Camille is innocent. Freed from jail, Camille uses her notoriety to perform a cabaret act in which she sings while brandishing her wrists locked in handcuffs. Stanislas comes to see her show one night, and the next morning is arrested for killing Clovis. In his cell, Stanislas reads to his cellmate his deposition of the events leading up to the murder: The night that he comes to visit Camille to show her the galleys of his thesis, she invites him into her dressing room, and after pouring him several glasses of champagne, asks him to drive her home. Once inside her apartment, Camille sits him on the bed and is the midst of seducing him when Clovis bursts in with the news that his mother was killed in an accident involving the furnace and that he is now rich. Seeing Stanislas in bed, Clovis charges at him, slamming him through a door. Leaving the now unconscious Stanislas, Clovis pulls out a gun and goes after Camille, who shoots him and then plants the gun on Stanislas. In the present, Camille, dripping in diamonds, comes to the prison to visit Stanislas and after refusing to tell the truth advises him to “look on the bright side.” Later, Stanislas awakens from a dream in which he remembers that Camille had told him how she rigged the furnace in Isobel’s cellar. When Stanislas apprises his lawyer of the new evidence, the lawyer suggests blackmailing Camille into changing her testimony, promising to bring Camille to justice. Some time later, Stanislas is sweeping the prison courtyard when he peers into a room and sees a television broadcast featuring Camille and his lawyer at Isobel’s old garage. Beaming at the lawyer, Camille introduces him as her new friend, agent and advisor, then announces that they are bulldozing the garage to build a new swimming pool for the community. As the lawyer hails Camille as a philanthropist, Stanislas, his bid for freedom thwarted, stumbles numbly around the prison yard. Meanwhile, across the city, Hélène sits on a terrace, typing. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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