The Soft Skin

  • 1964
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

One of Truffaut's least successful, most derivative films, THE SOFT SKIN was a response to the resounding impact of JULES AND JIM. While the latter concentrates on love in the country, Truffaut's aim in THE SOFT SKIN was, as he put it, to create "a violent answer to JULES AND JIM. It's as though someone else had made JULES AND JIM . . . [THE SOFT SKIN shows]...read more

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One of Truffaut's least successful, most derivative films, THE SOFT SKIN was a response to the resounding impact of JULES AND JIM. While the latter concentrates on love in the country, Truffaut's aim in THE SOFT SKIN was, as he put it, to create "a violent answer to JULES AND JIM. It's

as though someone else had made JULES AND JIM . . . [THE SOFT SKIN shows] a truly modern love; it takes place in planes, in elevators; it has all the harassments of modern life." From its opening, THE SOFT SKIN surely does not seem like a Truffaut film. It is distant, restrained--as the title

implies, a "surface" film in which emotions run only skin deep. The story concerns Desailly as Lachenay (named after Truffaut's friend), a literary critic with a wife (Benedetti) and a child, who falls in love with a stewardess (Dorleac) after a trip to Lisbon. Although THE SOFT SKIN is perhaps

Truffaut's weakest film, it can also be considered his most daring. Rather than present a conventionally melodramatic love triangle, Truffaut chooses for his leading man a common, albiet somewhat bookish, individual (not nearly so romantic as the characters in the Balzac novels on which the critic

is an authority). When fate intervenes and Pierre gets his beautiful dream girl, he begins his downward Hitchcockian spiral, an innocent caught up in a situation he cannot control. In THE SOFT SKIN Balzac (a personal favorite of Truffaut) meets Hitchcock, and the film frame becomes an arena in

which Truffaut's two greatest influences do battle.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: One of Truffaut's least successful, most derivative films, THE SOFT SKIN was a response to the resounding impact of JULES AND JIM. While the latter concentrates on love in the country, Truffaut's aim in THE SOFT SKIN was, as he put it, to create "a violent… (more)

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