They Were Five

  • 1936
  • 1 HR 18 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

A populist French story about five unemployed Parisians who win the lottery, pool their earnings, and purchase a rundown chateau. Before long, however, their ideal business venture begins to dissolve. One of the men leaves after falling in love with another's sweetheart. A second man, a foreigner, is pressured to leave when there are problems with his papers....read more

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A populist French story about five unemployed Parisians who win the lottery, pool their earnings, and purchase a rundown chateau. Before long, however, their ideal business venture begins to dissolve. One of the men leaves after falling in love with another's sweetheart. A second man, a

foreigner, is pressured to leave when there are problems with his papers. A third is killed after falling from the chateau's roof. Only two men are left--Gabin and Vanel--and their relationship is strained because Gabin is in love with Vanel's lovely wife, Romance. In the toned-down ending

supplied for the U.S. release (which also played in some theaters in France at its original running time of 94 minutes), Gabin and Vanel realize that their friendship and the chateau are more important than the woman who has come between them. The dramatic finale that the U.S. didn't get to see

(it played only in France) had Romance filling Vanel's head with suspicions that Gabin was responsible for the disappearance of the other three. When Vanel confronts Gabin on the chateau's opening day, Gabin retaliates by shooting Vanel. Gabin is then arrested. A compelling tale of relationships

which is built around three strikingly realistic characters. Not surprisingly, Jean Renoir wanted to direct this film as his follow-up to THE CRIME OF MONSIEUR LANGE (1936). (In French; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A populist French story about five unemployed Parisians who win the lottery, pool their earnings, and purchase a rundown chateau. Before long, however, their ideal business venture begins to dissolve. One of the men leaves after falling in love with anothe… (more)

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