Franz (1971)


Introduction

Franz is a 1971 Belgian-French film directed by Jacques Brel.

Not to be confused with Frantz (2016).

Outline

The story takes place in a Belgian seaside town, at a boarding house for convalescing civil servants. The six male residents’ lives change dramatically when two women arrive. Catherine is a lively, sexually liberated woman willing to kiss, dance, and sleep with the men. Leonie is reserved, formal, and conservative. Leonie finds herself attracted to Leon, a Belgian who was a mercenary in Katanga in 1964, He was wounded and carries psychological scars of war. The other men play practical jokes on Leon, some of them cruel. As Leon courts Leonie, his mother brings him emotional distress as do his memories of war. The unlikely pair struggle to get past these obstacles.

Cast

  • Jacques Brel – Leon.
  • Barbara – Leonie.
  • Danièle Évenou – Catherine.
  • Fernand Fabre – Antoine.
  • Louis Navarre – Armond.
  • Ceel – Pascal.
  • Serge Sauvion – Serge.
  • François Cadet – Jules.
  • Luc Poret – Henri.
  • Jacques Provins – Grosjean.
  • Catherine Bady – Madame Grosjean.

Trivia

  • At a time, producer Michel Ardan considered replacing Brel as a director by Édouard Molinaro.
    • He also contemplated hiring Annie Girardot to play Léonie.
  • Three friends of Jacques Brel’s have bit parts in the films, namely Franz Jacobs (whose first name became the title of the film), Georges Pasquier (aka “Jojo”) and Edouard Caillau.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Jacques Brel.
  • Producer(s): Michel Arden.
  • Writer(s): Paul Andreota and Jacques Brel.
  • Music: Jacques Brel and Francois Rauber.
  • Cinematography: Alain Levent.
  • Editor(s): Marie-Therese Pernet, Jacqueline Thiedot, and Denise Vindevogel.
  • Production: Cine Vog Films, Elan Films, Les Productions Belles Rives, and Showking Films.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Elan Film (1972) (Belgium) (theatrical).
    • Welcome Communication & Distribution (France) (VHS).
  • Release Date: 07 February 1972 (France).
  • Running Time: 91 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: France and Germany.
  • Language: French and German.

Video Link

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