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Bonjour Tristesse

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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(Dec 16, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

An amoral French girl and her playboy father discover the dark side of passion in this sizzling 1950 adaptation of Françoise Sagan's notorious bestseller. Jean Seberg is Cecile, the spoiled 17-year-old daughter of Raymond (David Niven), a wealthy Parisian widower vacationing in a sumptuous villa on the French Riviera. Their shallow, pleasure-seeking existence is threatened when Raymond decides to marry Cecile's straight laced godmother, Anne (Deborah Kerr) who disapproves od the teenager's steamy summer affair with Philippe (Geoffrey Home). To keep her carefree world from being shattered, Cecile plots to drive Anne away. But it's "Goodbye Happiness" and "Bonjour Tristesse" ("Hello Sadness") when the plan takes an unexpected turn.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Roland Culver, Jean Kent, David Niven, Jean Seberg, Geoffrey Horne
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Producers: Otto Preminger
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000E5NPZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,701 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bonjour Tristesse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This stylish film is one of Otto Preminger's best. The French New Wave has influenced him in his opening shots, but only on a visual level. This is pure Hollywood on ever other level. The melding of the two styles works perfectly and begins by setting the stark mood in stunning black and white widescreen shots of 1958 Paris. The present is painted in shades of grey and silver, where Cecile portrayed by the beautiful Jean Seberg moves aimlessly thought her pointless upper crust Parisian life. Only when she encounters her father David Niven later in the evening does the past seep in on the edges of the cinemascope frame in vivid color and finally takes over moving us from the present to last summer on the Riviera. The device is used several times as we move from past to present and finally at the end of the film it creates a stunning effect once you know what suddenly happed to Cecile and her father last summer. The thing that changed everything forever and allows Preminger's camera to linger in the last frame of the film on Jean Seberg as she wipes away the make-up from her perfect face.
David Niven is perfectly cast as Raymond the aging (...) father of Cecile. He has the cool style and humor of a man who can't commit to any woman and treats his daughter like a playmate rather than his child. His particular talents as an actor are that he seems to be playing the "David Niven" character in most of his films but here in `Bonjour' as he often does in so many roles he makes a nice little twist on the "character". He catches you off guard to wrench his and the audiences emotions and prove once again what a good actor he is.
At first Deborah Kerr also seems to be playing her role by rote but it is just a ruse to set us up for her fall.
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3 Comments 42 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I read the novel well over thirty years ago, in Europe, when I was fifteen, but did not get to watch the movie until tonight. I wanted to see it for a sit-down stroll through memory lane, and never expected to be touched by the story and its morale. You see, when I first read the novel, I did not care about it; I was then a fifteen-year old who was dealing with a much harsher existence than the seventeen-year old Cecile's (marvelously portrayed by Jean Seberg), who had the freedom and the money to drive her own car, to smoke, to dance, and hobnob between Paris and the French Riviera with her soft-hearted, caring, and still a child-at-heart, dad. Thus her poor little rich girl's woes, primarily consisting of keeping her dad's love to herself, was boring as well as infuriating. I realize now that I got to read the novel again to reexperience the characters in the manner originally presented by Francoise Sagan.
From the film version I watched tonight, I did not get the sense that it's >>>an accurate account of the empty, amoral, flamboyant and insensitive life in the French "high-life" during the late 50's/early 60's.<<<<
The core of the story is a father (debonair David Niven) and teenage daughter (beautiful imp, Jean Seberg), who lead charming lives and have the good fortune of being each other's friend and confidante. I can't recall a reference as to the manner of the mother's death (re-reading the novel ought to help in that), but neither the father nor the daughter seem to mourn her loss. However one may easily surmise that the father's affectionate and tolerant treatment of his daughter is his way of filling the void of a mother in her life.
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Comment 27 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This film has several elements that are worth noting. First, it is an accurate account of the empty, amoral, flamboyant and insensitive life in the French "high-life" during the late 50's/early 60's. Told in flashback, the story shows the way the central characters behave, have fun, hurt people and get to a point when "have fun" is just a way of forgetting.
The whole cast is excelent. David Niven is the most perfect "late life" bachelor who is cool about everything. Jean Seberg is absolutely beautiful as a teenager who practically lives as a woman... the chemistry of the two characters (father and daughter) is fantastic (and very puzzling). Deborah Kerr has also a great role as a sophisticated woman who doesn't get to understand the games going on between father and daughter.
The film has a beautiful cinematography. It opens in a dark black and white while all the flashback scenes are in the most fantastic colors - a perfect example how cinematography serves to enhance the character's point of view and (also) tell the story at a visual level.
The final scene is something that will stay in your memory for a long time as a great example of a great conclusion for a story that is rich and well written.
This film is a serious study of aloofness, emptyness and amorality in a way that only Hollywood could tell. It shows that money can buy off some consciences while, deep inside, some consiences cannot be bought.
A trully great cinematic experience!!!
This DVD edition has no extras (except for trailers). The image quality is first rate. So is sound quality. The opening titles (by Saul Bass, no less!) is gorgeous! The cinemascope cinematography by Georges Perinal begs to be viewd in a big screen. The music score by the great Georges Auric ("Rififi" and "La Bele et la Bête") is top.
Comment 26 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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