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La maison assassinée (1988)

After World War I, a young ex-soldier, Sébastien Monge, returns to his home village. Ignorant of his past, he learns that, 24 years before, his entire family was slain in their home one ... See full summary »


Georges Lautner


Pierre Magnan (novel), Georges Lautner (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Bruel ... Séraphin Monge
Anne Brochet ... Marie Dormeur
Agnès Blanchot Agnès Blanchot ... Rose Pujol
Ingrid Held Ingrid Held ... Charmaine Dupin
Yann Collette Yann Collette ... Patrice Dupin
Jean-Pierre Sentier Jean-Pierre Sentier ... Célestat Dormeur
Roger Jendly Roger Jendly ... Zorme
Christian Barbier Christian Barbier ... Brigue
Martine Sarcey Martine Sarcey ... Clorinde Dormeur
Maria Meriko Maria Meriko ... la Tricanote
Claude Evrard Claude Evrard ... Gaspard Dupin
André Rouyer André Rouyer ... Didon Pujol
Gérard Caillaud Gérard Caillaud ... Le compagnon à 42 ans
Jenny Clève ... La Grenadière - gouvernante des Dupin
Yves Vincent ... Le juge / The judge
Learn more

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After World War I, a young ex-soldier, Sébastien Monge, returns to his home village. Ignorant of his past, he learns that, 24 years before, his entire family was slain in their home one stormy night. Only Sébastien, then a four-month old baby, was spared. Written by morroviolet

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery

User Reviews

Overwhelmingly powerful drama of murder, jealousy, and the unknown past
26 November 2016 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film's title is somewhat misleading when translated into English. Some have mis-translated it literally as THE ASSASSINATED HOUSE, which means nothing. It really should be translated as THE MURDERED HOUSEHOLD. The film, based on a disturbing novel by the well-known Provencal author Pierre Magnan, begins in 1896 in Haute Provence, in the South of France. It is late at night and the Monge family are in a strange and brooding mood in their isolated old stone farmhouse. Suddenly a stranger comes to the door and asks for shelter for the night (a common custom in the rural South of France in those days), and sits down to eat some soup which the wife of the household gives to him. Strange events follow, of a horrifying nature, which we do not fully witness. It is not entirely clear what really happened, but by the morning only a baby in a cradle is left alive. Then we have the film credits. The main film really begins in the year 1920, when the baby of the story has grown up and survived fighting as a soldier in the First World War. Named Seraphin Monge, he finally returns to his home village where he had not been since he was an infant. He knows nothing of the murder of his family, only that he is an orphan. He claims the old family house, which has been deserted since the murders, and is given a sum of money from the sale of the surrounding farmland years before. Then it is that the strange events begin again. What follows is so complex that it defies summary. No, there is nothing supernatural about any of it. But what we learn, as layer by layer of the village onion is peeled away, is a great deal about the depths of human nature, most of it bad. This is also a quintessential Provencal drama of passion and perversity, well up to the standards of the Marcel Pagnol tales JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON DES SOURCES (both 1986), which swept the English-speaking world in the late eighties and were talked about for so many years following, leading to a mass migration of the British to settle in Provence. The leading role of Seraphin is played by Patrick Bruel, who adopts a very mild and puzzled manner, as he gradually comes to realize that his parents have apparently been murdered in cold blood by three vicious villagers, all of whose daughters coincidentally now fall for Seraphin. He thus comes to know all their fathers and plots their murders as revenge. But Fate is not to allow it, for someone else seems to be involved, so that Seraphin is continually thwarted, and events take their own course. The three girls who fancy Seraphin (most other young men having been killed in the War, so that he has a novelty value of being a handsome young man who is still alive) are played by three ravishing beauties: Anne Brochet, Agnes Blanchot, and Ingrid Held (a mysterious beauty who made 16 films and then dropped out of the film business in 1992 to become an art historian; nothing further seems to be known about her, even whether she is still alive). Of these, Anne Brochet (whose surname means 'pike' as in fish) is one of my favourite French actresses. Probably her greatest film role was as the daughter of Saint-Coulombe in TOUS LES MATINS DU MONDE (1991), a film entirely about my favourite musical instrument, the viola da gamba (known in ye olde England simply as 'the viol'). She also made a fascinating film entitled in English I MARRIED A DEAD MAN, which I cannot find listed in her credits under any title. One of my favourite jokes I tell to myself (for who else would listen to such nonsense?) is to call Rosamund Pike by the name of Rosamonde Brochet, and to call Anne Brochet instead Annie Pike, which coincidentally was the name of my mother's best friend as a girl. (Well, one has to amuse oneself somehow.) This film is another of the masterpieces of that great French director, Georges Lautner. See my recent review of his thriller masterpiece, MORT D'UN POURRI (DEATH OF A CORRUPT MAN, 1977). The twists and turns of the plot of this film are so ingenious that even someone who can do the Rubik Cube in ten seconds would have trouble working them out in advance. This film has been reissued with English subtitles on Blu-Ray with interviews with Lautner and Bruel (no subtitles for those). This is another one of those 'if yuh ain't seen it yuh ain't lived' films. But hold on to your seat, as it is what is called 'a journey'. The supporting performances are also so good that one forgets they are not real villagers, who at any moment might reveal to us our own secrets.

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Release Date:

November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Murdered House See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gaumont International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

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