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Toute une vie 1974
Description: The film follows the lives of a girl and a boy starting from few generations earlier. The storyline spans a entire century and few continents.
Released: 21 Mar 1975 Director: Claude Lelouch Writers: Claude Lelouch, Pierre Uytterhoeven Actors: Marthe Keller, André Dussollier, Charles Denner, Carla Gravina Genres: Drama, Romance
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Toute une vie Reviews:

I've loved this film since I first saw it in 1974. I've been waiting to present it to my wife for years and was delighted to search it had been place on DVD. It went along wonderfully until what I had known as to be the end suddenly jumped into an extra 20 mins containing a futuristic (for 1974) pessimistic segment of the story. Although it tied into an earlier stage in the movie (also left out of the original release), it was simple to see why this had been left out (in the US at least)...IT WAS STUPID. Furthermore, it changed the whole context of the film. What had been a wonderfully romantic storyline showing how two folks destined to search every another after the happenings of their lives have shaped them had actually become some bizarre slash rate ver of Soylent Green. Such a shame. At least when a film like this is released on DVD they should have made the "unedited version" optional, as was done on the My Darling Clementine DVD. All it shows me is that the editor is usually right from the begin and giving the director's a possibility to re-cut their movie does not everytime effect in an improvement.


I first saw this movie in 1979 at a revival house and it turned me from a movie lover to a movie fanatic. If someone told to me at that time that I should create a detail movie on any topics I wanted, I've no doubt that I too would have tried to cram the storyline of the 20th century into two hours. I too would have gone zaza with the camera, making it as obtrusive as hell but to the result of bringing the audience to giddying heights of emotion. I too, would have made it a nice love storyline as seen from the perspective of fate built up from generations. I doubt I should achieve what Lelouch achieved though, because he is a supreme story-teller. Just look at what he does in one stage where the parents of our heroine meet for the first time on a train. There is no spoken dialogue, but they communicate in resonant volumes just with their eyes.Twenty-three years later, some cracks have worn through for me. I cringe each so often at the self-indulgence of the two romantic leads, particularly of our heroine, played exquisitely by Marthe Keller. There's a unbelievable almost throwaway line when this super-affluent woman's father says her she could test strolling through a hospital for just five mins each day. It's sound advice, especially for someone so sorely lacking in the perspective of human angst. Also, sometimes it seems that the film's political ambitions are stretching through the seams since, with so tiny time to say the story, folks and positions receive overblown. But overall I forgive the movie these indulgences since it is the love storyline that keeps us grounded. Each so often our two lovers cross paths yet do not know what destiny is awaiting them. I can't imagine a single soul watching this not bursting a tiny with glee as the invisible hands of fate set up the moment when these two lovers inevitably do search one another. SPOILER ALERT!Alas, in the DVD version, that moment of magic has been spoiled. Just as Cupid's arrow softly strikes their unsuspecting consciousness, we are suddenly catapulted into other movie. I can only describe this film as something like Zardoz-meets-The Pepsi Generation-meets-Masters and Johnson. Really, no words can describe it. Apparently, thirty years ago Claude Lelouch shot a sixteen-minute science-fiction segment (obviously under the influence of saccharin-laced LSD) to be edited into the last stage in the film. Either brighter minds prevailed or a moment of sanity took keep for Lelouch because that stage never made it to the final film. It could have been burned, but I guess it was tossed into some vault. It has actually been unleashed and re-edited into the film, spoiling the subtly divine ending, and driving its audience to raid their medicine cabinets for heavy doses of Tylenol. The stage simply has no business being there. It's dumb, painfully [!] dated visually, and even more ridiculous actually than it was thirty years ago since its storyline assumes that by the fresh century (that's us), most humans will be giving birth to monsters. Jerry Springer and American Idol aside, Lelouch can't literally warrant a `See? Said you so!', and from the method it's illustrated in this film, such a the theory won't even keep water in the next millennium unless Edith Head's family line merges with that of Star Trek's art department. All I can tell is see this film with someone you love and near the end of the movie when the lovers sit down in the plane and mention `three sugars', turn the film off!


This is my lifetime favourite film too, replacing its predecessor of early years, IF. I don't know how many times I've seen it, more than 20. I like the music, the evolution of movie portrayed in the techniques used, the love at first sight but you need to know the history to understand why it happens theme, the fact that the film he's making in the film is the film you're seeing, the intricacy, the detail, the irreverence. The last stage through the airplane window when he notices she takes the mythical additional lump of sugar everytime makes me cry. I rarely see this movie around in video shops anymore. I wish to see it again. Haven't seen it in maybe a decade.



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