Christine (1958)
A film directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit

Genre: Drama / Romance

Film Review

Christine photo
This sumptuous historical romantic melodrama afforded Alain Delon his first major acting role in what was to become an extraordinarily successful film career. Here, the iconic actor is paired with Romy Schneider, a young Austrian actress who was already a star in Germany (thanks to the Sissi series of films) and who hoped to make a name for herself in France. The film was directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit and is a faithful adaptation of a popular play by Arthur Schnitzler.

With its luxurious sets and costumes, Christine compares favourably with similar, larger budget Hollywood productions of the period, colourful to the point of garish yet beautifully staged and photographed. The theatrical design and slightly saccharine dialogue take away some of the film's emotional impact, and the tragic ending is a little too predictable, yet, for all that, it is an enjoyable and stylish piece of romantic fantasy. Both Delon and Schneider turn in an impressive performance - as do many of the supporting cast (Micheline Presle, Fernand Ledoux, Jean-Claude Brialy) - although it is Romy Schneider who dominates the film, captivating with her seeming fragility and childlike innocence, to say nothing of her unparalleled beauty.

The sentimentally minded will be pleased to learn that, in the course of making this film, its stars Alain Delon and Romy Schenider fell in love and, for the next few years, lived what appeared to the outside world to be the perfect Happy Ever After romance. After their separation, the two actors remained on good terms and would subsequently work together on two high-profile films: Jacques Deray's slick thriller La Piscine (1969) and Joseph Losey's political thriller The Assassination of Trotsky (1972).
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Vienna, 1906. For some time,  Franz Lobheiner, a lieutenant in the Austrian army, has been having a secret love affair with Lena, the wife of Baron Eggersdorf...
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Film Credits

Directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit
Starring: Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Jean-Claude Brialy, François Chaumette, Jacques Duby
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