La Chamade (film)

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La Chamade
La Chamade Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlain Cavalier
Produced byMaria Rosaria
Written byAlain Cavalier
Françoise Sagan
StarringCatherine Deneuve
Michel Piccoli
Roger Van Hool
Music byMaurice Leroux
CinematographyPierre Lhomme
Edited byPierre Gillette
Distributed byLes Artistes Associés (United Artists)
Release date
  • 30 October 1968 (1968-10-30) (France)
  • 27 July 1969 (1969-07-27) (USA)
Running time
103 minutes
Box office$5,836,932[1]

La Chamade (English: Heartbeat) is a 1968 French romantic drama film written and directed by Alain Cavalier and starring Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, and Roger Van Hool. Based on the 1965 novel La Chamade by Françoise Sagan, the film is about a beautiful woman who is mistress to a rich, good-hearted businessman who provides for all her material needs, but for whom she has no true love. When she meets a charming young man her own age, Antoine, she falls in love. He finds her a menial job in a publisher's, but she can't or won't hold it down. Soon she becomes pregnant with his child. But Charles helps her through her crisis by funding her abortion (against the wishes of Antoine, who nevertheless accepts, even though he planned on moving out of his charming bachelor flat, the three of them into a soulless concrete block, money being short. In the aftermath, her feelings for the younger Antoine fade. Eventually, she returns to the good-hearted businessman who has patiently waited for her.[2] La Chamade was filmed on location in Paris and Nice.[3] Seen again on Arte February 8, 2017.


Lucile is the mistress to a wealthy businessman Charles, who provides her the luxury lifestyle. Meanwhile, Antoine is the lover of a wealthy woman. Lucile met Antoine for the first time during a game, and Lucile was attracted to him at first sight. They begin an affair and eventually move in together, but Lucile cannot bear the life of a working class. She quits the job Antoine found for her. She pretends to go to work in the morning and only to return home after a few bus stop, or she just wanders around when Antoine goes to work. Soon Antoine discovered that she was not working. Lucile had an abortion which was paid by Charles, despite Antoine's objection. After being told that Charles was not well, Lucile had lunch with him, and rekindled their relationship after a concert. After spending the night with Charles, she said goodbye to Antoine over the phone the next morning .



The novel was a best seller.[4][5]

Filming took place in April 1968 and was interrupted by riots in Paris.[6]


Upon its theatrical release, La Chamade received generally positive reviews. In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "Cavalier may have created a practically perfect screen equivalent of the novelist's prose style."[7] In addition to praising the performances by Deneuve and Piccoli, Canby writes:

La Chamade (literally "the heartbeat") is a movie of technical skill and pure images that capture the textures of things—whitewashed walls, a piece of modern sculpture, cut flowers, flesh tanned in the sun—all of which give reality to a narrative line from which everything nonessential to the affairs of the heart has been refined. The extraordinary thing is that, in this day and age, it not only works but also seems somehow urgent, at least while it is going on.[7]

On the review aggregator web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 68% positive audience rating based on 66 ratings.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "La Chamade". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Locations for La Chamade". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ European Notebook: European Notebook By MARC SLONIM. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Nov 1965: BR26.
  5. ^ Invitation To a Parley By PATRICIA MacMANUS. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 13 Nov 1966: 388.
  6. ^ Suzy Says: Only the Beginning Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 30 Apr 1968: b1.
  7. ^ a b Canby, Vincent (July 28, 1969). "Heartbeat (1968)". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  8. ^ "La Chamade". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 May 2012.

External links[edit]