Best French Films Home Page

Best French Films Ever.
Top rated French Movies: popular, classic, famous "must watch" Cinema Fançais

13. Monsieur Hire (M. Hire)

Best French Films Home Page



Search Best French Films website for keyword(s)

Monsieur Hire (M. Hire) - Review

The title character, M. Hire (Michel Blanc), is a quiet, unprepossessing man. Slightly odd, he is persecuted by his neighbours for his aloofness. He seems indifferent to this abuse.

He is a middle-aged balding sombre man. His remaining jet-black hair contrasts with his unnaturally pale face. Monsieur Hire's life is organised with the precision of an obsessive compulsive who fears any deviation from routine. He lives alone in a neatly ordered apartment.

He dresses neatly and and goes out each day to work by himself in his small office in town. He operates a mail-order business.

Each night he comes home to his modest flat in an apartment block and his pet mice. He cooks an egg, listens to the same piece of music, and stands in the dark looking out of his window, staring across the court into the apartment of a young woman called Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire).

M Hire is obviously a voyeur. Every aspect of Alice's life is open to him. Alice is unaware of M.Hire, concealed by the darkness. He watches her every move - eating, sleeping, receiving her fiancé Emile (Luc Thuillier). He is cold and cruel, and does not seem to make her happy.

A young woman - not Alice - is found dead in the neighborhood. Monsieur Hire is a suspect, since there are no real clues and M Hire is known as an odd character. He has no friends. He is not liked. Suspicion grows.

One evening a flash of lightning during a storm illuminates M Hire behind his window, Alice glimpses him staring at her.

Alice does not behave as one might expect. To be sure she is disconcerted, but she does not seem too worried about her privicy. Perhaps she enjoys being watched. She engineers a meeting with M.Hire the next day. They strike up a relationship, and we discover that there is more to the story than we suspected.

M Hire has a police record. We learn this as he is repeatedly questioned by a policeman - the interplay of Inspector (André Wilms) and suspect is masterfully accomplished.

Together with fine acting, the writing and cinematography produces an extraordinary movie playing on the themes of loneliness, frustrated passion, the power of love, and betrayal.

Monsieur Hire is a film about desires never fulfilled, conversations never held, dreams never lived, fantasies never realized.

The story of Monsieur Hire comes from a novel by Georges Simenon. Les Fiançailles de M. Hire is one of his best stories, a study of loneliness - much more detailed than the film.

Monsieur Hire (M. Hire) - Information

Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller, Romance
81 min
Directed by
Patrice Leconte
Writing credits
Georges Simenon (novel Les Fiançailles de M. Hire)
Patrice Leconte &
Patrick Dewolf
Produced by
Philippe Carcassonne — producer
René Cleitman — producer
Original Music Michael Nyman
Non-Original Music Johannes Brahms (from "Quartet in G minor, opus 25")
Cinematography by Denis Lenoir
Country: France
Colour: Colour
Sound Mix: Mono

Michel Blanc — Monsieur Hire
Sandrine Bonnaire — Alice
Luc Thuillier — Emile
André Wilms — Inspector
Eric Bérenger
Marielle Berthon
Philippe Dormoy
Marie Gaydu
Michel Morano
Nora Noël
Cristiana Réali
Bernard Soufflet
André Bauduin
Rozeen Landrevie


Bizarrely, No DVD of this film seems to be available

The titles (in the US) of the best French films, sorted by title

  Title Year
8 Women2001
Music, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
François Ozon
A Heart in Winter1992
Romance, Drama, Music
Claude Sautet
Beauty and The Beast1946
Fantasy Drama, Romance
Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour1967
Erotic Drama
Luis Buñuel
Betty Blue1986
Romace, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Birds Of A Feather1978
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Drama, Romance
Jean-Luc Godard
Children of Paradise1945
Drama, Romance
Marcel Carne
10 Cyrano de Bergerac1990
Romance, Drama
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
11 Delicatessen1991
Sci-Fi Comedy
Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
12 Diva1981
Action Thriller, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
13 French Twist1995
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Denys Arcand
18 Jules et Jim1961
Romance, Drama
François Truffaut
19 La Controverse de Valladolid1992
History (16thC), Drama
Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe
20 La Femme Nikita1990
Crime, Thriller, Romance, Drama
Luc Besson
21 Manon of the Spring1986
Drama, Romance, modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
22 Monsieur Hire1989
Crime Thriller, Romance, Drama
Patrice Leconte
23 My Life in Pink1997
Comedy Drama
Alain Berliner
24 One Swallow Brought Spring2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Christian Carion
25 Queen Margot1994
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, History, Romance
Patrice Chéreau
26 Ridicule1996
History (18thC) Drama
Patrice Leconte
27 Swimming Pool2003
Psychological Thriller, Mystery Drama
François Ozon
28 The 400 Blows1959
Crime Drama
François Truffaut
29 The Big Blue1988
Drama, Romance
Luc Besson
30 The City of Lost Children1995
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
31 The Closet2001
Comedy Drama
Francis Veber
32 The Discrete Charm of the Bougoisie1972
Surreal Black Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Luis Buñuel
33 The Dominici Affair1973
Crime Drama Mystery
Claude Bernard-Aubert
34 The Double Life of Veronique1991
Music, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological Drama
Krzysztof Kieslowski
35 The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
36 The Girl On The Bridge1999
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Patrice Leconte
37 The Hate1995
Crime, Drama
Mathieu Kassovitz
38 The Last Metro1980
Romance, History (WW2) Drama
François Truffaut
39 The Piano Teacher2001
Drama, Music
Michael Haneke
40 The Reader1988
Mildly Erotic Comedy Fantasy
Michel Deville
41 The Return of Martin Guerre1982
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, Crime, Mystery,
Daniel Vigne
42 The Visitors1993
Fantasy, Comedy
Jean-Marie Poiré
43 Three Colors: Blue1993
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
44 Three Colors: Red1994
Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
45 Three Colors: White1994
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski

Sort the best French Films by Title, Year or Director, Select by Genre or search for a Keyword

  select country title sort by select genre
Search website for keyword(s)

© TFF 2008LinksContact