Five Day Lover
(L’amant de cinq jours)

1961 _ A bittersweet comedy about love, fidelity, and friendship set in the haute couture world of 1960s Paris...

At the launch of Madeleine de Seaulieu’s haute couture collection, her lover, Antoine Chenier, meets Madeleine’s best friend, Claire Thiébaut. They both try to paint themselves in the best light possible: Antoine, who is in fact ‘kept’ by Madeleine, pretends he is rich, and Claire, who is married to Georges, an archivist, pretends her husband is an important diplomat.

They see each other the next day, but then the following weekend sees them both sent back to their sad reality: like every Sunday, Claire goes on a family outing to Chantilly castle, about which Georges is an expert, while Antoine takes care of the garden at Madeleine’s property in Montfort-l’Amaury.

They meet up again on the Monday. Claire decides to spend Tuesday night with Antoine. To this end, she tells her husband she is going to stay over at Madeleine’s. When the two friends meet at the flea market on Tuesday morning, they both talk about their lovers, unaware that he is in fact the same man. Then Claire meets up with Antoine, they go for a walk, and then to Vincennes, where they win at the horse races, and enjoy spending their winnings until late into the night.

In an attempt to be worthy of Claire, Antoine decides to put an end to his cozy set-up. He gets a job in an insurance company where he worked in the past. This worries Madeleine, who struggles to understand. Her chauffeur tells her of Antoine and Claire’s affair. Outraged, Madeleine invites Georges and Claire to a reception she is hosting the following evening. Antoine finds himself next to Georges, and the two get on well. Claire, opposite, is troubled.

On the way home, Claire is worried by her husband’s silence, but his only criticism of her is that she isn’t happy.

Claire is upset and leaves a disappointed Antoine, who tries to win back the comfort which he gave up all too soon. He tries in vain to rekindle his relationship with Madeleine. Claire, having returned to her sad married life, goes walking every night looking for a replacement for Antoine who can offer her the excitement she needs alongside the security provided by her husband.

 

Crew

Production: Les Films Ariane – Mondex Film – Filmsonor (Paris) – Cineriz (Rome)
Producers: Alexandre Mnouchkine, Georges Dancigers.
Scénario : Daniel Boulanger, Philippe de Broca d’après le roman homonyme de Françoise Parturier.
Script: Daniel Boulanger.
Director of photography: Jean Penzer.
Cameraman: Pierre Goupil.
Editing: Laurence Méry
Music: George Delerue.
Sound technician: Jean Labussière assisté d’Yves Dacquay.
Sets: Bernard Evein.
Set decorator: Robert Christidès.
Make-up: Marcel Bordenave.
Hairdresser: Denise Lemoigne.
Production manager: Georges Dancigers.
Stage manager: Louis Manella assisté de Jean-Pierre Spiri Mercanton.
Assistant directors: Georges Pellegrin, Robert Bober.
Script supervisor: Andrée François.
Press agent: Georges Cravenne.
Photographer: Silvère Pierre.

 

Cast

Jean Seberg (Claire Thiébaut)
Micheline Presle (Madeleine de Seaulieu)
Jean-Pierre Cassel (Antoine Chenier)
François Perrier (Georges Thiébaut)
Carlo Crocolo (Mario)
Claude Mansard (Paulin)
Marcella Rovena (Madame Chanut)
Albert Michel (Blanchet)
Albert Mouton (Halavoine)
Gib Grossac (le chauffeur de taxi)
Jean Sylvain (le maître d’hôtel)
Pierre Repp (Pépère)
Max Doria (le clochard)
Moïse Cohen (l’aveugle unijambiste)
Alphonse Laurenty (Gros Pépère)

Running time: 85 minutes
Filmed: 17 October -29 November 1960, Studios Épinay.
Location: Paris.
Distribution : Cinédis.
Sortie Paris : 24 février 1961.
Box office: 62 109 tickets sold in three weeks at two Paris cinemas.