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17. Betty Blue (UK) (USA)
37°2 le matin (original French title)
37.2 Degrees in the Morning (International: English title)

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Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a handyman working at a beach resort in France. He looks after the wooden beach bungalows, leading a quiet life, working during the day and writing a novel in his spare time.

Betty (Béatrice Dalle) walks into his life. Betty is a beautiful but unpredictable young woman. She is stormy as she is gorgeous, given to disturbing tantrums.

Betty discovers the manuscript of a novel Zorg has written. She thinks him a genius and takes on the job of getting it published, an enterprise that provides the film's narrative thread.

After a dispute with the owner of the beach bugalows, Betty throws all of Zorg's furniture out of his own bungalow. Zorg and an old man watch from a distance, and the old man notes locanicly "Your pad will look very Zen now".

Zorg and Betty leave for the city, where they move in with Betty's friend Lisa (Consuelo de Haviland) and her man Eddy (Gerard Darmon) a restaurateur. Betty gets a job at a restaurant. Later Eddy employs Zorg and Betty to run the family's business in the country.

She has persuaded Zorg to get his novel published. But the publishers' rejection slips cause Betty to get more and more frstrated. Betty's increasingly unpredictable and violent behaviour is starting to get out of control, and the rest of the film concentrates on how Zorg deals with the consequences.

This is an extraordinarily sensual film with its own unsettling integrity. Beineix writes purple film noir dialogue, matched by a cenematic style full of crane shots and gliding camera shots. The music also works well, especially the evocative sound of saxaphone and harmonica.

Like Zorg, we are seduced by Betty's bright eyes, sensual mouth and unpredictable ways. When Zorg says "I'll eat chili no matter how hot it is," we have as little idea as he does how hot it can get. One reviewer has aptly described this movie as a "devastating combination of French farce and Greek tragedy".

Dalle finds with astonishing accuracy the essence of her role - one that will leave you unsettled for life if you have ever experienced a personality anything like Betty's.

The story is based on a novel by Philippe Djian

Genre: romance, drama.
Year:
1986
Runtime:
120 min /
France:185 min (director's cut)
Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Country: France
Writing credits:
Philippe Djian (novel)
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Produced by
Jean-Jacques Beineix — producer
Claudie Ossard — producer
Original Music: Gabriel Yared
Cinematography: Jean-François Robin
Colour: Fujicolor
Sound Mix: Mono

Cast:
Jean-Hugues Anglade — Zorg
Béatrice Dalle — Betty
Gérard Darmon — Eddy
Consuelo De Haviland — Lisa
Clémentine Célarié — Annie
Jacques Mathou — Bob
Vincent Lindon — Richard le jeune policier
Catherine D'At
Claude Aufaure — Le médecin
Louis Bellanti — Mario
Dominique Besnehard — Client pizzeria
Raoul Billerey — Le vieux policier
Nathalie Dalyan — Maria
Nicolas Jalowyj — Le petit Nicolas
André Julien — Le vieux Georges
Daniel Millot
Marthe Moudiki-Moreau
Bernard Robin — Deuxième locataire
Claude Confortès — Propriétaire des bungalows
Philippe Laudenbach — L'éditeur, Le gynéco
Leonie Berthuit — La morte
Frédéric Caratini — Archie
Raymond Julien — Le vieux type décès
Jacky Galibert — L'infirmier musclé

complete version only
Jean-Pierre Bisson — Le commissaire
Dominique Pinon — Le dealer/Dope dealer
Bernard Hug
Fabien Béhar
Simon de La Brosse
Franck-Olivier Bonnet
Eugène Berthier
Christine Datnowsky
Claude Duneton
Jessica Forde
Rabah Loucif
Bernadette Palas
Laurence Renn
Stéphane Verbiest




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


  Title Year
Genre
Director
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
Comedy
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Breathless1960
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
Comedy
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Drama
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Drama
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

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