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The Breach (1970)

La rupture (original title)
Helene Regnier's husband Charles, who is mentally ill, injures their son Michel in a rage. Charles moves back in with his wealthy and manipulative parents, who blame Helene for their son's ... See full summary »


Claude Chabrol
1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Audran ... Hélène Régnier
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Paul Thomas
Michel Bouquet ... Ludovic Régnier
Annie Cordy ... Mme Pinelli
Jean-Claude Drouot ... Charles Régnier
Mario Beccara Mario Beccara
Serge Bento Serge Bento
Jean Carmet ... Henri Pinelli
Marguerite Cassan Marguerite Cassan ... Emilie
Louise Chevalier Louise Chevalier ... La deuxième parque
Suzy Falk Suzy Falk
Pierre Gualdi Pierre Gualdi
Harry Kümel
Daniel Lecourtois
Pierre Le Rumeur Pierre Le Rumeur ... (as Pierre Lerumeur)
Learn more

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Helene Regnier's husband Charles, who is mentally ill, injures their son Michel in a rage. Charles moves back in with his wealthy and manipulative parents, who blame Helene for their son's condition and vow to win custody of Michel. While the boy is in hospital, Helene rents a room in a boarding house nearby. The Regniers hire Paul Thomas, a family acquaintance who needs money, to find dirt on Helene before the court hearing on custody. Paul moves into the boarding house and, with the help of his girlfriend Sonia, who rarely wears clothes, plots to ruin Helene's reputation and then her very life. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Did You Know?


The Breach (1970) had a total of 927,678 admissions in France. See more »


Paul Thomas: Let me do something for you. Let me take you to the airport, then I'll know you've forgiven me. Please!
Hélène Régnier: No, I won't.
Paul Thomas: Don't be spiteful. Understand me, I know you're not mean.
Hélène Régnier: No, I can't afford the luxury.
[is about to leave]
Paul Thomas: [grabbing Hélène] What do you mean? Come, tell me or I'll never forgive myself!
Hélène Régnier: [trying to free herself and leave] Don't be stupid! It won't be a disaster if I go alone!
Paul Thomas: Hélène, don't go, it's impossible!
[eventually lets her go]
Hélène Régnier: [whiny] Oooohhh...
See more »

User Reviews

Clouzot-ian thriller succeeds in part yet contains misfires and miscasting

La rupture concerns a marriage that has imploded, the fight for custody between the bourgeois grandparents and the mother, and the ensuing dirty tricks.

There's a quote from Racine at the beginning "Mais quelle épaisse nuit tout a coup m'environne", "What utter darkness suddenly surrounds me". That's the feeling Chabrol is trying to deliver, I presume. It didn't stack up that way for me, successive attempts to shock worked only sporadically, it was like a few firecrackers going off for me rather than a chain reaction building up to a grand finale; precious little tension was sustained. The overall feeling I got was more of the banality of evil.

Stéphane Audran as the mother (Hélène Régnier) was almost anodyne throughout, soothing to the eye and nonplussed even when (metaphorically) the blindfold is taken away from her eyes and she finds a hooded cobra in front of her. I was worried that Marguerite Cassan as the "backwards" girl Emilie was hamming it up too much, and that the main concession to making her appear disabled was a large pair of silly glasses. Then I think Paul Thomas is an odd character, totally immoral, but not very human, we don't see that he's a sadist, or that he's upset about what he's doing. He seems almost bored at times. At the one point where there is fighting in the film it looked like stage fighting rather than film fighting.

Chabrol even seems to sabotage his own efforts by introducing a superfluous character, the kindly and highly caricatured Thespian Gerard Mostelle, who defuses every scene he is in, and was not even good for laughs.

La rupture is however, not as bad as I make out, there is some standout photography, generally involving a park and some balloons. There's also a very nasty scene involving some black and white pornography that stays with you.

There has been some talk about this movie being a condemnation of the bourgeois, well in my opinion, the movie is about as ideological as a biscuit. I would far rather recommend another Chabrol's movie to those looking for that subject matter, his icy-cold movie Juste avant la nuit, co-incidentally it also stars Stéphane Audran and Michel Bouquet.

I should note that some of the scenes in this movie will be far more poignant to individuals who have gone through nasty breakups of long term relationships, which is not something that has ever happened to me.

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France | Italy | Belgium



Release Date:

26 August 1970 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Breach See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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