The Mother and the Whore

The Mother and the Whore

1973, NR, 220 min. Directed by Jean Eustache. Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Bernadette Lafont, Francoise Lebrun, Isabelle Weingarten.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Wed., April 4, 2001

Without question, the most popular and successful of Eustache's films, The Mother and the Whore was a revelation when first released. It captured the sensibilities of young French cafe culture, and distilled them through the persona of a young man played by Jean-Pierre Léaud (the hero of Truffaut's 400 Blows and numerous other Truffaut pictures). He lives with one woman (Lafont), a boutique owner who supports him financially, and loves another (Lebrun), an easygoing nurse. But what he loves more than anything is to hear himself talk. The three-and-a-half-hour-long movie revels in talk as this man ponders life, philosophy, the sexual revolution, the workers' revolution, love, death, and so on. He smokes, drinks, flirts, and talks –­ and the movie is exquisitely of its time.

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More Jean-Pierre Léaud Films
The 400 Blows
Truffaut’s first and perhaps most affecting feature, The 400 Blows, tells the story of a young boy and his petty crimes and mischief. The freeze frame that concludes the movie is one of the most quoted images in the history of cinema.

Marjorie Baumgarten, Nov. 4, 1999

Irma Vep
Assayas' camerawork and editing recall the glory days of the French New Wave, while Cheung holds the center as an actress caught up in the behind-the-scenes mayhem on a creative film set.

Marc Savlov, Aug. 1, 1997

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustache, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Bernadette Lafont, Francoise Lebrun, Isabelle Weingarten

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