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Two English Girls (1971)

Kika Markham, more...
Director: François Truffaut, François Truffaut
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, Costume Drama/Period Piece, France, Erotica
Running Time: 130 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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This title is currently out of print.

Among the great François Truffaut films, Two English Girls is likely the least known. Its story of a romantic triangle inevitably invites comparison to Truffaut's Jules and Jim, and not surprisingly, as both are based on novels by Henri-Pierre Roche (the only two novels Roche authored). Truffaut regular Jean-Pierre Leaud is Claude, the Frenchman who on a turn-of-the-century trip to Wales with his mother meets the Brown sisters, Anne (Kika Markham) and Muriel (Stacey Tendeter). Anne is a sculptress and more outgoing than Muriel, who is a teacher. Over the next 20 years, affections between Claude and the sisters shift, but consummation of any romantic feelings is often blocked by distance, a pair of very strong-willed mothers, and the conventions of the time. Claude becomes an art critic, and the trio each has to express blocked passions in his or her work. Disappointed by the mild reception that greeted the original version of the film, Truffaut determined to restore over 20 minutes of footage to the film, a project he completed just before he died in 1984. The posthumously released, full-length version rounds out the characters and their motives and makes Two English Girls worthy of comparison to The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Day for Night in the Truffaut filmography. ~ Tom Wiener, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Cinematography and Character Development by squad September 13, 2004 - 6:45 PM PDT
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Originally chosen because of locale and story line, I didn't realize this was a Truffant film until I watched it. So now I can say I am familiar with the director's work. I think I will stop with this one, because for my taste I don't see how it could get any better. The Greencine description of the film is very comprehensive and on target. I don't know why, but I got the feeling of watching something clinically or objectively, a masterful character study of three people. There is a play-off between English and French sensibilities represented by the cool blue interior of the English house by the sea and the red tones that dominate later in the story. The English Girls do have a calculating way about them, with an undercurrent of repressed passion, and this comes up against the opposite of the young Frenchman. It is a distinctive film unlike any other and the novelty alone would be enough, but it also has the requisite elements of film art that make for a great work.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.35)
40 Votes
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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.

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