Douce (1943) - full transcript

In Paris in 1887, Irène works as a governess to Douce, the grand-daughter of the dowager Countess de Bonafé. Douce believes she is in love with Fabien, the handsome manager of the estate. However she cannot hope to marry him because of their class difference. Douce's widowed father, the Count de Bonafé, has a wooden leg, and is infatuated with Irène. Douce discovers that Fabien is planning to flee to Quebec with Irène, and also finds out that the Count has asked Irène to marry him. So Douce tells Fabien this and convinces him to run away with her, causing consternation in the family.

- Do you see him often?
- Every day.

- Does he come to you or you to him?
- We live under the same roof.

- One of the family?
- No.

- A close friend?
- No.

- Is there a class difference?
- Yes.

A difference sufficient to
preclude marriage?

A servant?

Believe me, this won't
bring happiness.

I won't threaten you with Hell.
You'll find your own way there.

- If I'm with him, I don't care.
- One is alone in Hell.

Alone without hope or help.
I beg you to think about it.

I have thought about it.
We're running away together.

Run? Where will you run to?
You'll be caught.

The police will catch you.
You'll be separated.

He'll go to prison.
And you'll be shut away for years.

- That is what awaits you.
- No. Nothing can separate us.

- That's pride. Be more humble.
- I want to be happy, not humble.

What do you want from me?

In your present condition,
I won't grant you that.

I knew my love would
find only enemies.

You're the first I've spoken to,
my first enemy.

I pray God to help you
in your misery.

- What do you call it?
- An elevator.

- Does it ever fall?
- That's the risk of progress.

- Expensive?
- Over 20,000.

She's 72.
Say she lives another three years.

That's about 20 francs a trip.

20 francs to go up to her room.
And she lives on the first floor!

20 francs?
You can go up Mont Blanc for that.

For 40 sous,
I'd carry her up on my back.

- Hell, I'd do it for 10.
- Watch your tongue!

The way I see it, I'll still
have to polish the staircase.

And as the interior is rosewood,
you'll have to polish that too.

You're all so busy with that machine,
you can't even hear the doorbell.

It's always the same.
I have to come down myself.

Ah, the young lady's umbrella.
She left it with you?

And you've got no umbrella
yourself, poor fellow?

I'll lend you one. Not this one,
or you'll have had a wasted journey.

Take mine. Don't bring it back
until it stops snowing.

Otherwise we'll be
doing this forever.

Ah, Mademoiselle!
You left your umbrella at the chapel.

The sacristan, the mute fellow,
brought it back.

- There are still honest people.
- Yes, the simple in heart.

- You gave him something, I hope?
- Naturally! Another umbrella!

You think it'll be easier
with this egg?

- You've been to Trouville?
- No.

Someone bought it for
me when I was 12.

- A strange gift.
- Yes. I was a bit disappointed.

- I wanted a boat.
- A boat? Like that one?

Maybe not as pretty.

Take it. I'll give it to you.

Thank you, Douce. But I don't think
I could play with a boat any more.

You could put it in your room.
You have so little.

What a noise his leg
makes at night. You hear it?

Doesn't it frighten you
a little, in the dark?

When I was little,
his leg scared me.

Poor papa!

He's so kind and sad.
And that sound is so sinister!

You wonder when he'll ever stop.

- I pricked my finger.
- Use your thimble.

- If I can find it.
- Shall I lend you mine?

What is your thimble a souvenir of?
Another beach you never visited?

It's a souvenir of my mother.
Whom I never knew.

I'm sorry.
I can't find it.

You're the most absent-minded
girl I've ever known.

You know you took my
umbrella to the chapel?

- Me?
- Didn't you go to confession today?

- Yes.
- Well you left it at the confessional.

The sacristan brought it back.

I'm sorry.

I've been very distracted lately.

- Your leg's noisy, father.
- I walk as softly as I can.

But at night,
everything seems louder.

I'll have the tip changed.

The elevator is ready.
Would you care to try it with me?

Go ahead. I'll finish my stocking.

In England, there are boys in red
who operate these machines.

Yes, bellboys. I can't imagine
any sensible men doing that work.

Sensible men just tend
to horses, I suppose?

When sensible men start
earning 30 francs a month...

- Have you ever been in an elevator?
- No, sir.

I had it installed for my mother.
She gets breathless.

But as she'd never admit it,

I let her believe that the machine
is mainly for me.

In fact, there's one at my club,
but I never use it.

- Is everything working?
- Yes, sir.

Please get in.

And sit down, please.

Do you suffer from vertigo?
It sometimes has that effect.

- No, I'm very calm.
- Let's go.

Cast off!

A nice way to get alone
with a woman.

- I know a better one.
- What's that?

Marry her!

- It's marvellous!
- I love to see you laugh.

You laugh so little. I fear this house
is too sad, too austere for you.

- I've never been so happy.
- Really?

I so want you to be
contented here.

It may be a little too fast
for my mother.

- What do you think?
- I'm sure Mme Countess won't complain.

She says that her horses
never go fast enough.

What dreadful weather. So cold!

There she is.

There was one shop girl, acting as if
they were giving away the goods.

Take these to my room.
Now let's see this contraption.

- Can I go up?
- Yes, Madame Countess.

How very inconvenient.

- And the parcels go on foot.
- I'm going by balloon.

Gentlemen... The King!

Engelbert! This thing takes forever.
I was dying of boredom.

- And I thought...
- Do you think that at 72...

...I want to spend my last
few years in an elevator?

My son pretends he installed
that thing for his mother.

The poor boy needs it
more than I do.

It will relieve his fatigue,
and us of his tapping.

Estelle, give me my
indoor bonnet.

And take those red balloons.
I got them for your nephews.

- How old are they now?
- 15 and 16, Mme Countess.

Strange. They always seem
like little boys to me.

But they still play like children.
Thank you, Madame Countess.

Shall we lay a setting for M Marani?
Or is he only staying for coffee?

Lay a setting.
At the far end of the table.

But he won't use it.
He'll be delayed by the snow.

But I hope nothing worse than that.
He has all the money from the farm.

- Dinner at 7, Mme Countess?
- Of course!

I'm not going to wait
for my steward!

I think that boy, on the rare
occasions he eats with us,

suffers it like an obligation
of his inferior position,

or simply like a stomach ache.

That would explain
his greenish complexion.

He looks like this portrait,
doesn't he? He's handsome.

Very handsome.
But mediocre. What a pity!

Come in.

- A telegram for Mlle Irène.
- With your permission...

May I be excused this evening?
I wish to dine with a relative.

Young lady, I hate to refuse such
requests. So please don't ask.

- It's a cousin who's visiting Paris.
- A cousin, a cousin!

You're not thinking of
introducing me to your family!

- You have your day off?
- Yes, Madame, Friday.

- So your cousin can come on Friday.
- I didn't go out last Friday.

- I thought, in all fairness...
- In all fairness?

- ...that I could have my liberty...
- Equality, fraternity. I know.

I'm too old to become
a Republican!

My mother can be hard at times.
I'll arrange it with her.

Tell the butler you
won't be dining with us.

Julien, I shan't be dining tonight.

- I'll lay three places.
- No, four.

M Marani will be dining with us.
He's been held up by the snow.

He has a heavy load with him.

You know he's bringing me
a Christmas tree?

Hot chestnuts!

- Is M Marani here?
- Who?

Oh, it's you.
Yes, he's waiting upstairs.

- A dozen.
- And 2 dozen for M Marani.

- At 6 sous or 12 sous?
- 12 sous.

At last!

Why did you send for me, Fabien?

Kiss me, Irène.

- We're leaving.
- Leaving?

Our ship leaves from Antwerp.
It's called The Ottawa.

An 8,000 ton steamer.
Three weeks at sea.

And at the end of the voyage,
Canada. And in Canada, Quebec.

And in Quebec, my cousin Battisti,
with his fur business.

- You haven't forgotten, Irène?
- No, of course not.

- But the tickets?
- Here they are.

- The passports?
- Here too.

Look. Here's yours.

Blonde hair plaited,
dark eyes, medium mouth.

A little scar at the base
of the neck.

- An emigrant.
- Don't worry about that.

I got an emigrant's passport as
I didn't know if we'd have money.

But you'll be travelling in
second, Irène - like a lady!

I've got money. Here!

- What's this?
- 20,000 francs. I won it at poker.

- But you never play.
- It's my lucky day.

Didn't you feel a little shock at 4pm?
What were you doing at 4?

- I was having tea with Douce, as usual.
- No, Irène, not as usual.

Today was your last tea with Douce.

That was the last toast you
buttered for Mlle Douce de Bonafé

All that's over.
You're mine now. My wife.

- You've been drinking.
- I should think so!

And you, too, are going to drink.
To our good fortune!

- No.
- You don't believe in our fortune?

No. You stole that money.

- Yes, Irène.
- It's the money from the estate.

- Yes.
- A thief, a pathetic little thief!

- And you thought I'd follow you?
- You have something better in mind?

- What's happened in the last month?
- Nothing.

So why didn't you write to me
in Normandy?

I knew something was going on.

Tell me!
Irène, I want to know.

I'm not leaving with you.

Douce! What are you doing here?

- May I borrow your window?
- Of course, Douce, but why?

You can see the street from here.
That's what I am, a street girl.

There's only a window
between us.

- It's still a window.
- But it can be broken.

- Did you dine with your cousin?
- Yes. So?

Nothing. Marani didn't show up.

- He'll come later.
- How do you know?

- He wrote to say so.
- What does that prove?

One day he won't return.
He's proud. He'll have had enough.

- Grandmother can be very hurtful.
- Yes, I know.

No, it's different for a man.

Leave that book.
It's not for you.

- Put it away then.
- I'll put it back in the library.

Go to bed.
Unless you still need my window.

No, thank you.
I've finished with it tonight.

If you want me, just call.
I'll hear you through the wall.

One can hear everything.
Even your alarm clock.

I must buy you a new one.

- You're looking for a book?
- Yes. May I?

May I see?

- Oh, I got here just in time!
- You don't think it's a book for me?

I don't think so.
In fact, I'm sure it isn't.

Not that I should wish
to give advice.

Even so, I may wish to
ask it, now and then.

Then, since you love books,
come as often as you like.

I wish Douce had shown an
interest in my library.

But Douce never has the time.
Why not?

- What is it that occupies her?
- I've never been able to find out.

- Oh, just some passing fancy.
- Yes, her mother was the same.

Do you know who wrote this?
An artillery officer.

How easily we misjudge people.
I was an artillery officer in the war.

No. Not even that. I've never
accomplished much in my life.

Apart from Douce, perhaps.

No, I've really been a failure.
The war, for example...

I lost, and I didn't even manage
to lose my leg there.

Look. She was a mare born
on our estate in Normandy.

Her name was Gravelotte.
She would have been Douce's age.

And in the Horse Trials of '74,

poor Gravelotte fell at a fence.
Oh, it was my fault.

I timed the jump badly.

It is one of my greatest regrets.
There were two casualties that day.

They shoot horses.
But men they patch up. Why?

That's how it is.

Yet poor Gravelotte made a better
job of her life than I of mine.

- Do you like horses?
- I don't know. I've never met one.

Would you like to learn
how to ride?

I'd like you to ask me
for things occasionally.

- Is there nothing you'd like?
- I go out often with Douce...

But we know so little of Paris.
Perhaps if you came with us...

- But with my poor leg...
- Oh, M Count, it seems to me

your leg is a great source
of vanity for you.

It's my last vanity.

- You made me understand that.
- Good night, M Count.

Irène! I don't want you to
call me M Count any more.

- Let me go!
- Don't be afraid, Irène.

I'm the one who's trembling.
You'll be happy, Irène!

You'll be happy,
and you will smile all day long.

I knew that one day I should
make a success of something.

All will be well, Irène.

Have you kissed many men?

Everyone's asleep, M Marani.

- Has Mlle Irène returned?
- Yes, a moment ago.

You won't be sleeping here.
I've come to fetch you.

- M Count, it's M Marani.
- Ah, we've been waiting for you.

M Marani wanted to give me the
money, but I said you were up.

- There's no hurry.
- But he has nowhere to lock it away.

Thank you. You must be tired.
I'll see you tomorrow. Good night.

Come and see.

Until tonight, only two people knew
this secret - my mother and I.

Now there are three.

You're an obedient guard dog.
The money is back with the family.

Douce is next door.
She can hear everything.

I'm not leaving.

Don't worry.
Nobody will hear a thing.

I'll make no noise.

I've been waiting a month
for this moment.

You see? I'll be very careful.

- No!
- Yes.

- I'm sorry.
- It's about time.

Mademoiselle Douce!

Go to bed, Estelle.

Please, I know what it's about.

Congratulations, Douce.
You've woken the whole house.

- I love that tune.
- Who taught it you?

- You!
- Me?

What? Wasn't it you
singing in the next room?

Hurry up, Estelle!
Hurry up!

We have four paupers to visit.
These visits always take a long time.

Not because of the time spent
with them, but the stairs.

The poor always live high up.

No, not that one.
It's too nice.

One must be careful which
items one gives to beggars.

One mustn't give them
anything too nice.

It would give them a regret for a
luxury they'll never possess.

- But if you'd like this blouse...
- No thank you, Mme Countess.

Let's say no more. I'll offer it
to myself and say thank you.

Come on!
Oh, how handsome you are!

All this finery to take
Douce to the circus!

As you say, mother.
But also to ask a favour.

- I don't like that. What is it?
- I'd like Irène to accompany Douce.

Denied! Sorry not to ask you,
but I need her too.

- I thought...
- It's two days till Christmas.

Mlle and I are going out
to do good deeds,

while you and Douce go off
and watch your acrobats,

who in due course will fall
into penury and need my help too.

- Douce will be so disappointed.
- Thank you, M Count.

Be brave. Soon everything
will be all right. Trust me.

Ah, the Christmas tree.
You've chosen a monster.

We're not lumberjacks!

Douce wanted a big one for
her last childhood Christmas.

- It'll never fit in the drawing room.
- Shall I set it up in the hall?

Julien will set it up.
You're coming with me.

You'll help me up the steps,
and carry the stew pot.

With you, it'll be more like going
to a ball. You look superb.

Are you ready, Douce?
Mlle Irène won't be coming.

- So I see.
- She's going with your grandmother.

And M Marani.

- Fine. We'll manage without her.
- Is that all?

- All what?
- I thought you liked her.

- Today I prefer the circus.
- Oh, you're so petulant.

I don't want you to be ungracious.
I'm very grateful to Irène.

- Yes, I've been making progress.
- That's not what I meant.

- In 6 months she's done a lot for you.
- Such as?

I've watched you in this big
house, so sad,

hidden like a little bird
in its feathers.

Soft... too soft perhaps.
A little girl all alone.

No friends... no mother.
And then she arrived.

And at once she did what
I never could.

She opened the windows and doors,
she drew you out of your corner.

She had you repainting your room,
playing the piano...

She breathed life into you.
She awoke my little doll.

- Isn't it true?
- I'm not complaining.

Yes, Douce, there's something.
You don't like her.

- She's a very good tutor.
- Something besides that.

Yes, perhaps. You're right.

- Jealous, Douce?
- Jealous of whom?

You think that Irène may have
less time to spend with you?

It's not that.

Or that someone may be spending
too much time with her?

- If you like.
- And that bothers you?

- Yes.
- I thought so. But don't be afraid.

Irène will never take anything
from you. Nor anyone.

- What do you mean?
- You mustn't be jealous of your father.

- I don't understand.
- You understand very well.

Irène and I are going to marry.
Aren't you happy?

What's the matter, Douce?
Say something!

Will you answer me?
Enough, Douce!

Is she laughing or crying?

Leave her, sir. There are times
when girls are best left alone.

Go on! Off to the circus.

Oh, Madame Countess!

Hello, Thérèse.
Yes, it's me again.

I knew that with Christmas coming,
the Countess would soon be here.

- Mademoiselle... Monsieur...
- Nothing much has changed, I see.

Still all these animals.
Thérèse, you aren't being sensible.

- You can barely feed yourself.
- We always manage with the animals.

Yes, the cat eats the canary,
and who eats the cat?

You! Yes, you'll eat it when you've
nothing left. Unless it eats you first.

Ah, your husband is still with us?

- Last year he didn't look too good.
- He's almost deaf now.

- It's Madame Countess!
- Which one?

Mme Countess de Bonafé
He gets all the women mixed up.

Please sit down.

Thérèse, I've come to
wish you a happy Christmas,

- and to bring you a little memento.
- Oh, Madame is too good.

Pass the blouse and the shirts.
I must ask you to choose one.

Because, you know, you're not the
only one. Which do you need most?

Pass the tree and the mandarins.

There you are,
your own little tree.

Oh, Madame Countess,
it's lovely!

You remember the abbot at the manor?
They've got a cr?he,

- with a Jesus, an ass, an ox...
- I brought a bit of it.

- Pardon?
- Of the ox.

Marani, do you have the stew pot?

- You're so kind, Madame. Stew!
- Yes, I know.

And I'm going to warm it for you.
Mlle, will you warm up the stew?

It's unbelievable. You hardly seem
interested in these nice people.

It's not hard to warm up a stew!

- You have a stove, Thérèse?
- Of course. I'll...

No, no. Today it's my turn
to work for you.

Marani, I assume you
can light a fire?

- My wood, they're taking my wood!
- Shut up! It's a present.

- The young lady doesn't seem to know...
- She must learn!

If she marries, she won't
have servants to wait on her.

You hear, Irène?

It's a great fault in governesses.

They forget all about the hard
necessities of life.

And when they take a husband,
they can't even cook his stew!

Are you paid to give lessons
or receive them?

Please don't say anything.

- Are you going to put up
with this for long? - No.

Is that fire lit yet?

Thérèse, I'll leave you. I wish you
and your husband a happy Christmas.

Happy Christmas!

And I pray that God
grants you a long life,

for your kindness to the poor.

I wish you patience and resignation.

- And what shall I wish you?
- Wish her impatience and rebellion.

Good evening, grandmother.

- Where the devil are you?
- Guess.

How many times have I told you
not to climb trees?

Will you take the elevator,
Madame Countess?

I've climbed 20 staircases today.
I can manage one more.

M Marani, come and help me.
You see I started without you.

- Were grandma's paupers well-behaved?
- The poor are always well-behaved.

- Fortunately.
- For whom?

- For them.
- Fortunately for everyone.

- It's our 8th.
- 8th what?

- Tree.
- Already?

You arrived at Christmas.
I was a little girl.

- "Was"?
- Oh, don't play the big grown-up!

Tomorrow my friends will come
over to drink cocoa and sing carols.

You'll see how they're still
little kids. Not me, though.

- Careful, you're walking in the stars.
- Oh, how lovely!

There's nothing lovely about it.
Just be careful where you're treading.

You're ill-tempered today!

A little love, a little hope...

A little love, a little hope...

...and then good night.

- And you're merry!
- Dreadfully merry!

- A little love...
- Oh please, stop singing!

- Don't you like that song?
- No.

Me neither.

Here, pin this rosette to the branch.

I love pins.
One for old Estelle...

- One for you, who couldn't care less.
- You're wicked today.

I'm terribly good.
One for Mademoiselle.

- Shall I tell you a secret about Mlle?
- No, thank you.

- You wouldn't believe it anyway.
- What is it?

My father wants to marry her.

Is that all you have to say?

I have nothing to say.

For their Christmas trees we'll give the
children branches from the orchard.

That'll be heavy.

If they hurt themselves,
their parents will look after them.

- See to it.
- Very good, Madame.

Careful! I think one
of the stones is loose.

Estelle, set out the food on the
big table in the dining room.

No tea, though. It excites them
and they become intolerable.

That's all, Estelle.
You can go.

My dear, there's more pain
than pleasure in jewellery.

That one was my first ring
as a young woman.

The Count gave it to me
when Engelbert was born.

We had taste back then.

I always thought that
if my son were to marry,

it would make a very pretty
engagement ring.

- Do you like it?
- Very much.

Try it on.
I'm not superstitious.

You'll wear one some day.

- You think so?
- You're young, no worse than most.

- Don't you want to marry?
- Yes. Perhaps.

And then you can hope to
get a ring as pretty as this one.

- You never know.
- Ambitious, Irène?

Irène! I'm speaking to you.

I, too, have something to say.

I must choose between the risk of
angering you by speaking of myself,

or that of betraying your confidence
by remaining silent.

I choose the first because
I prefer honesty.

How very complicated,
my dear.

M de Bonafé has confessed
that he loves me.

- How amusing.
- And that he wishes to marry me.

That's less funny.

But one question. Has my son
permitted you to speak to me of this?

- No, but I think...
- In that case... Thank you!

I don't wish to hear any more,
until Engelbert tells me himself.

If he believes that the matter
deserves my attention.

He confessed, you say?
Well, you're young and he's a widower.

But if we start to look for reasons,
who knows what we might find.

Have a chocolate. No-one wants
them. They'll go stale.

- Is it true he's going to marry you?
- I'll explain, but not now. Please go!

Irène, open the door.
I have to speak to you.

- Get out!
- I'm bleeding.

- You can't deny me a bandage.
- Why not?

Don't push me too far, Irène.

- I forbid you to marry him.
- There's nothing you can do.

Oh, but he doesn't know everything.

What's he done?

It's nothing.

He came to me for a bandage.
Me, who can't bear the sight of blood.

I can bear it very well.
Show me.

Get me a clean handkerchief, Mlle.

And some iodine.

When I was little,
I used to cut myself all the time.

Does it hurt?
Give me your handkerchief, please.

A lot of blood but it's very clean.
Nothing to worry about. He's so clumsy!

That stings. No?
He's brave.

Without me, he might have
bled to death in your room.

What a drama that would have been!

I wonder how you did it.

Oh, it's freezing in here!

Obviously, if you come in
through the windows...

There you are. You're cured.
And you're free to go.

- If Mademoiselle agrees.
- Leave me, M Marani.

Why? I'm fine where I am.

I'm staying.

Excuse me.

I'd like two handkerchiefs.

She's gone to her grandmother.
She's going to tell her!

- It'll save me the trouble.
- Wretch!

You haven't even the courage to
tell her yourself. You let a girl do it.

- Go away! Get off my bed.
- Our bed.

- My bed!
- The bed I got for you.

You have a short memory.
I got you this position, didn't I?

- Another detail for the Countess.
- You're contemptible!

Yes, and how about you
when you first came here?

"The priest of St Honoré des Lo
told me you needed a governess..."

The priest was me, Mme Countess!
Me, procuring a place for my mistress.

A good place, too.
Just what Mademoiselle needed.

A crippled widower and his daughter.
What a windfall!

- Be quiet, Fabien.
- Ah, you weren't so proud then, Irène.

"Do you think it'll succeed, Fabien?"

She lay in my arms, Mme Countess,
and wondered if it would work,

if you'd accept her.
"Am I good enough for them?"

And then we bought this white
collar to make a good impression.

I paid 19 sous for it,
a collar for a nice, pure girl,

and which I carefully pressed at night
so that it would look neat the next day.

And you expect to keep me
by invoking such memories?

Servants don't choose
their memories.

I remember a time when Mlle
was content with her wages.

- Perhaps a little less than mine.
- I'll get you a raise.

In short, I should have stolen
a larger sum yesterday.

Steal? You're not even capable
of that. You swindle, you filch...

Even in that you're a failure.
You're small, pathetic...

But a wooden leg,
that's something big.

Already the fine lady!

But Douce, are you in favour
of this marriage?

- Papa is so lonely...
- Thank you!

- All widowers are lonely.
- Yes.

But others amuse themselves
with showgirls. Would you prefer that?

I want that girl thrown out.

- Ah, no!
- Why not?

- She wouldn't leave alone.
- Your father would follow her?

- He'd never do that.
- If he loves her, he'll follow her.

What is it about that girl?

- She's beautiful, grandmother.
- I see. You're defending her.

My compliments.
I think you've gone mad, too.

Can you picture yourself,
with your governess as a step-mother?

Very well.

And you're going down
to dine with them, between

the grandmother who knows everything
and the cripple who wants to know.

You have a strong stomach.

- You don't look well.
- I have a migraine.

A migraine! If anyone has the right
to a migraine today, it's me!

Hurry up!
Stop getting under people's feet!

Give me your arm.
I want to talk to you.

- Madame Countess...
- Don't look so worried!

I have some news. I've seen Douce.
It seems you have an ally.

Douce accepts you as step-mother.

Well, well. It seems her opinion
interests you more than mine.

Why did you take the stairs?
I was about to send up the elevator.

If you continue to use
that contraption, you'll leave

your other hind leg in there.
And this is not the time for that.

Would you kiss me?

Marani... Marani!

- You're dining with us.
- I didn't know...

You should have guessed.
I owe you a homecoming meal.

- Tonight, if you don't mind...
- I do!

- What happened to your hand?
- It's nothing. I'm just a bit tired.

You can stand up, can't you?
Then you can sit.

Congratulations. Your confession
has sharpened her tongue.

You can talk, Marani.
Show some courage.

Let us say grace.

- We're drinking champagne?
- It was my idea. Do you mind?

- What's the occasion?
- For pleasure.

That could lead anywhere.

- It's for M Marani's return.
- Don't play the fool.

Now then, Marani.
Was all in order when you got back?

- Did your animals remember you?
- Not all of them, Mme Countess.

Absentees are always mistaken.

Marani, I wish you could have
been at the circus today.

Those people really know
how to train a horse.

Napoléon Rancy rode a black mare,
a little short perhaps, but superb.

Engelbert, if this dinner
is going to be devoted to horses,

I'd rather hear Marani speak
of the ones he was with yesterday.

- That's what he's here for.
- Yes, how are our horses, M Marani?

- Fine. The grey mare is pregnant.
- I beg your pardon!

- This wine is corked.
- It's the same as before, Mme Countess.

The same cork?
Marani, write to the vintner.

Marani, I'm talking to you.
Are you deaf? Dumb?

- Not deaf nor dumb. Nor blind.
- Meaning what?

- Nothing!
- Marani, I will not permit...

Marani, I don't like your tone.
If we have something to say, we say it.

- Very well then...
- Douce!

- Take her into the hall.
- Douce, my dear, what is it?

- Get some water.
- Everyone's gone mad today!

- Julien, bring cushions.
- Say nothing. I forbid it.

I'll explain later.

- Are my services still required?
- No!

- Feeling better?
- No.

- You're not going to faint in my room?
- That depends.

The performance just now
was enough.

- I was preventing a scandal.
- There'll be one before I leave.

- No.
- You're going to stop me?

Yes, I am.

Go away, Douce. When I've finished
packing, I'm going to your father.

- What for?
- To ask him for a reference.

And it'll be a fine reference, too.

"I certify that Fabien Marani has
loyally served me for 8 years."

"And that he left of his own accord,
because I stole his wife."

- Are you that surprised?
- Some things you can't understand.

You think so?

We were poor together,
humiliated together. Under your roof.

And now you don't want her
to be happy.

Be quiet. You don't know what
it means to be unhappy.

Yes, Fabien, I do.
I know very well.

But that's not a reason.
If I'd behaved that way with you...

- What do you mean? You with me?
- Yes, me.

You don't suppose it was easy to
persuade grandmother to accept Irène?

Grandmother is very strong.
But I want this marriage.

- You? You think it's decent?
- I have good reasons.

Really? And I may I know
these good reasons.

I'd rather you guessed.

But since I have to spell it out...
It's because I love you.

That's a nice fairy tale.

But you're playing with me and you
may find me very dangerous.

- Do you know what you're doing?
- You might say that.

And if I wanted to take revenge on you?
Alone with me at night in my room...

You're very pretty, Douce.
And, as you said, no longer a child.

You're right.
Go on, then. Take your revenge.

Not with you.

- Why? Are you afraid?
- No.

- Perhaps you are afraid of loving me?
- Love you? It wouldn't be hard.

In that case, Fabien, only you and I
would know it wasn't revenge.

- Get out!
- No.

I came to say I love you,
and I'm waiting for your reply.

- Douce, you chose a bad day for this.
- I didn't choose the day. It's the last.

- Because you're leaving. With me.
- With you?

I have to explain everything.

My family will never let me
marry you. We have to elope.

- And you came to prevent a scandal?
- I prefer this one.

- Don't make me do something bad.
- What evil is there in marriage?

- You haven't thought it through.
- I've thought about nothing else.

One day, this house will belong
to the man I love.

The horses he loves will be his.
I'll give him everything.

All my money, all my land,
all my animals.

And the man who couldn't bear
to sit at our table

will one day sit at its head,
when papa is dead.

No, Douce. I'd never marry
a rich girl, even if I loved her.

I've been a servant too long.
I'd feel like a servant to her still.

- Even at night.
- What nonsense!

If she loves you,
she'll be your servant.

You think it's distasteful to fold
the shirt of the man you love?

On the contrary - it's a pleasure.

And your socks.
I learnt how to darn just for these.

Irène was surprised that a
rich girl wanted to learn to darn.

She would feel humiliated to
look after your clothes. But not me.

It's funny. It was she who
taught me how to serve you.

Douce, put that down.

And you, do you think you could
forget that I've been your servant?

You use that word too much, Fabien.

If you love me, even a little,
you'll take me with you tonight.

And there'll be no more
talk of servants.

Only a man eloping with a
girl he likes. Nothing more.

A little love, a little hope...

A little hope, one night...
A little love, one day...

Douce, it's time for bed!

Douce, where are you going?

You didn't see me.
Go back to bed.

Are you mad?

If you say a word,
I'll tell them everything.

- This is the first room.
- Mademoiselle will take the other.

It's a nice room.

Leave that.
I don't want you sleeping here.

- Why not?
- Because I don't want it.

- How masterful!
- I did warn you.

I wasn't complaining.

This one's much better.

Yes, of course.
Infinitely better.

I'm all green!
Fabien, have you intoxicated me?

Is that what it means
to intoxicate someone?

No, Douce.
It's just a quality of the mirror.

- You're not used to it.
- It's so funny.

I wish I could take
you to a palace, Douce.

We can do that another time.

- I hope there'll be many other times.
- Tomorrow, if you like.

- Will you take me far?
- To the end of the world.

- Which end?
- America. Canada.

Why Canada?
Did you think of that just now?

Yes. I have a cousin in Quebec.

He trades in fox fur.
He's often asked me to join him.

- Would you mind that?
- I love Canada. What's it like?

First, there are 20 days at sea.
20 days alone, you and me.

Then a great country, all white,
with snowstorms.

Free men. And also foxes.
Foxes everywhere.

- Will you give me a fur?
- You'll sleep in fur.

No. I'd rather have
a living fox.

Are you happy?

I knew it would be easy.

Douce, I want to ask you a question.
Then I'll never ask it again.

Do you really love me?
Do you regret anything?

It's not too late to say so.

I love you terribly, Fabien.
And you?

- My little Douce, I...
- No. Not yet. Tell me tomorrow.

Don't look at my stockings!
I've been walking in the mud.

I'm not looking at your stockings.
I'm looking at your feet.

- They're so small!
- Is that all you can say?

I'll learn how to talk to you.
And how to look at you.

Do you like me?

You're so tiny.

Yet you seem so big.

You're light.

Yet you feel so heavy in my arms,
with all the new things you bring me.

You never noticed me. You didn't
even know the colour of my eyes.

They have no colour yet.
I'll give them one.

Your eyes are black.
I see them clearly now.

- Shall we live here long?
- You want to stay now?

I don't mind. I'd like all the
other rooms to be like this.

With the wardrobe that creaks,
the table that wobbles, and the mirror.

Now that I'm green,
I know I shall be happy.

I never knew your
shoulders were so big.

- You saw them from too far away.
- I didn't dare to get any closer.

Such a long time ago!

Oh, I don't like it when
you're wicked.

It's nothing.
My scapular.

You're so pale.
With blue veins. So new.

I feel your heart beat
in my hands like a little animal.

I can see your blood
flowing inside you.

Liar! You can't see anything.

- I can hear it.
- What does it say?

- My beautiful...
- Oh, Fabien.

Your hands are so cold.
Let me go.

- Are you afraid?
- Not any more.

Let me go.

Two fires tonight, M Fabien?

Two fires for one couple?
That's one too many.

Me, I manage without.

I'm freezing, Fabien.

Would you put a log
on the fire, please.

- Do you know that waiter?
- Vaguely.

- Why did you bring me to this place?
- They know me here. We'll be safe.

Yes, you're right.

- You've been here often?
- Oh, a few times.

- Did...?
- What?

No. Nothing.

No. Please, Fabien. Leave me now.
Can't you see how tired I am?

Until tomorrow.

Yes. Until tomorrow.
Of course.

Fabien, promise me that
we shan't stay here.

We'll leave. I promise.

- Good night, little Douce.
- Good night.

Here, you know where
Monsieur has gone?

- To the police?
- Exactly.

He lost no time.

What a drama!

At my last place, the young lady
ran off with the coachman.

They didn't catch them for four days.
Mind you, they did take the coach.

And with that smooth rogue!
With my ostler!

And she dared to write this.
To me!

It's my own fault. I've been
too lenient in this madhouse.

I should have used a whip.
You can never be too severe.

I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll set the whole police onto them!

He'll go to prison, that lackey.
And the girl to a convent.

And not one of those
soft convents, either.

No, my girl.
You can't blackmail me.

First the father with the governess.
Now the daughter with the steward.

A fine family, the Bonafé!

A servile, anaemic lot.

My great-grandchildren will end up
marrying their cooks!

But I do love that girl.
I don't want her to be unhappy.

Well, tell me it's not true, at least.
Don't just stand there.

Or perhaps she's dead. Drowned.
Yes, I'd like that better.

Estelle, say something.
Tell me what you know.

Oh, stop snivelling!

You will both be questioned.
If you've lied, you'll pay dearly.

- Madame...
- I don't need anyone.

I need Douce. That's all.

- Are you going there?
- Where?

- To fetch her.
- I don't understand, Estelle.

You understand perfectly. It's your
fault and you have to bring her back.

- Are you mad?
- It's your fault and you know it.

M Marani was running after you.
I'll say no more for the time being.

If he took that poor girl,
it was to take revenge on you.

- Estelle, I forbid...
- Oh no, not yet...

And perhaps never.

Get going. The faster you bring her
back, the better for everyone.

And mainly for you.
Otherwise, I'll talk.

And not only to the police.
To M Engelbert.

- Quickly!
- But where?

I'm not the one who was
trailing after M Marani.

Come in.

I thought it was Fabien.
What do you want?

- I've come to fetch you.
- A bit late!

Better me than your
father or grandmother.

Why? It's still family, isn't it?

- Are you washing your stockings?
- I'm washing my stockings.

You shouldn't leave your
soap in the water.

Where's Marani?

Not far.

But who told you we were here?

I know this house.

Ah yes, that's right.

There's still time to avoid a scandal.
Come back with me.

- I'll discuss it with my husband.
- Douce, please, stop this game!

It's not a game.
You don't suppose I'd return alone?

- I live where Fabien lives.
- In attic rooms, in penury? You?

I accept poverty, with him.

You'll be terribly unhappy.

Wouldn't you like to sit down?

- So you spent the night here?
- Yes.

And may I ask you a few more
very indelicate questions?

You want to know if we slept
in the same bed. If I'm a lady.

- Yes. I'm a lady.
- You're neither a lady nor a girl.

You're someone who's taken a lover.
And that's nothing to shout about.

Yes, you were more discreet.
But I'm not shouting.

It was you who came here to
question me. Oh, leave me alone!

- I'm happy.
- You won't be for long.

Perhaps. But let me have my
first day. I have that right.

I have to take you home.

Is that the governess or
the step-mother speaking?

You're in danger. Your family have
alerted the police. They'll find you.

- Marani could be arrested tonight.
- He knows.

He didn't run the risk
of prison for you!

- What do you know?
- Hmm, you're jealous.

I can understand that.

You really won't sit down?

Fabien... A visitor.

What are you doing here?

- I think Mlle came to separate us.
- Douce!

Marani is a wretch.
He took you out of revenge.

- She's lying.
- Only you and I know it's untrue.

- He doesn't love you!
- You're too late.

He's my lover,
and we're leaving together.

- Tell her to go, Fabien.
- Get out, Irène.

Hurry up, then.
Leave quickly... as quick as you can.

Because the police are
already coming.

- My lover.
- Why did you lie, Douce?

I didn't lie.
I'm your wife.

Fabien, I didn't tell you everything.
They're going to throw me out.

Fabien, I'll be thrown out!

What does that matter to us?

What a pretty boat!

Go to this address right away.
Ask for Madame Estelle.

- Repeat!
- Madame Estelle.

Have our luggage
brought down, please.

Coming, Douce?

- Going away for a long time, M Fabien?
- For good, I hope.

- I want to see Madame Estelle.
- What do you want with her?

I can't tell you.

- Are you Madame Estelle?
- Yes. What do you want?

Mlle Douce says she'll come back
tonight. But no-one's to know.

- Is it sad, that she's coming back?
- No, my dear. It's a great happiness.

She was crying, though.

Douce! Where are you?

I don't know. With you.

- What are you looking at?
- Nothing.

You're looking at a man, of course.
What is it about that man?

He's handsome.

Please, Douce, don't stare like that.
It's bad manners.

- This is a fashionable place?
- Yes, I suppose so.

It's how I imagined.

- All these couples.
- And us the most wonderful.

And the newest.

If a man looked at me,
would you kill him?

Gladly. But remember we're
supposed to be slipping away quietly.

I know. You're worried.

No, I simply meant that if we'd
caught the 6pm train...

It's my fault. I wanted our first
day to be beautiful.

Besides, it's also
our last night out.

Tomorrow we'll be poor.
We'll be on our way.

It's my farewell evening.

Do you mind spending it here with me,
among the music and the flowers?

Oh no, Douce! I love you
when you're foolish.

And you don't mind us going to
the theatre after? Yes, I know you do.

I think it's unwise, yes.

But until midnight,
it's Douce who gives the orders.

- And tomorrow?
- Oh, tomorrow...

- Now what are you staring at?
- The woman who's about to sing.

- What is it about her?
- Nothing. She's pretty.

- I wonder if she's happy.
- What a question!

You see, Fabien, if I keep looking
at all these people,

it's because I'm wondering if they're
happy, and how they managed it.

I want to get up and ask
each of them in turn:

"Are you happy? You, Monsieur?
You, Madame? How did you do it?"

- Are you happy?
- You, Madame?

You first.

A little love, a little hope...

And in my eyes, beneath
the dark sky, joy dawns.

A little hope, one night...

A little love, one day...

A simple adieu, a farewell,
and then good night.

I don't like this song.
Let's go, Fabien.

As you wish, my darling.
Until midnight, Douce gives the orders.

A little sky, a little blue...

Mme Countess, Mlle Irène has given
orders to take her bags downstairs.

- Should I...?
- Don't take her orders. I forbid you.

Very good, Mme Countess.

You're hard.

You'd do well to follow my example.

Were it not for Estelle, you'd be
marrying your ostler's mistress.

I'm not thinking of myself,
but of Douce, who's coming back.

It's time.

I want us to be careful
how we greet her.

Not as if we're forgiving her, but as if
she's a little girl coming home late.

I told Estelle to light the candles
on the tree for her return.

I want us to see her not as the Douce
who left, but as Douce who came home.

In spite of my grief,
I'll smile at her. And you, mother?

What do you take me for?
An ogress?

- What's this, Julien?
- It's Christmas Eve, mother.

- You really want to do this?
- It's the tradition.

True. I forgot.

We're a family of traditions.

- Has the ballet begun?
- Yes, Madame.

- Happy?
- Yes.

- But you're crying.
- It's nothing.

Music always makes me cry.

Douce! Are you far away?
What are you thinking about?

- I was wondering if we'll be happy.
- Still playing your little game?

And I'll answer you now, Fabien.

- Do you think we'll be happy?
- I think so. And you?

I'm sure we won't. I know now that
there'll always be someone between us.

I don't want to be a replacement.
I want to say goodbye.

- Douce, calm yourself.
- Oh, I'm terribly calm.

- Think of tonight.
- Tonight I'm going home.

You don't know what
you're saying.

I wanted to tell you later,

having had at least
one quiet evening together,

listening to the music,

watching the dancers down below,
suspecting nothing.

How vulgar this theatre is.

- Let me go. They're waiting for me.
- Douce, let's talk sensibly.

Something's happened!
When? Did they find you?

- Nothing's happened.
- Then you're afraid?

Fear of a scandal, of the police,
of your family.

Oh, they're strong!
They've taken everything.

- Douce, what about this morning?
- I don't regret this morning.

Now you'll never forget me.

And when you think of Irène,
she'll be the replacement.

- But I'll never think of Irène.
- Yes, you will.

But you'll realise that she's
nothing, compared to Douce.

That's my gift to you.
But you won't complain, Fabien.

Our affair will be
the most beautiful of your life.

And the longest, too.
Because it will never end.

Your life has been cut in two.
Before Douce, and after Douce.

I know now why I waited
for you so long.

I'm a girl of a different race.

A good race, certainly.
It's what you deserve.

Now I've nothing left to give you.
And you must go on alone.

But you know the life that's
waiting for you back there?

It doesn't matter now.

They'll treat you like a criminal,
shut you away, whisper about you.

They'll pity you
and snivel over you.

I know, I know.

They'll fix you up with a
suitable husband...

- Enough!
- You shan't go!

- You're hurting me. Let me go.
- Be quiet, people can hear us.

- Let me go.
- Explain yourself first.

You remember this morning
when Irène knocked at the door?

You didn't see her face.
I shut my eyes so I wouldn't see it.

If I kiss you, it's to prevent
you seeing her at the door.

Don't be foolish!

You see?
You've let me go.

But you know what
waits for you there. Irène...

With you it would be worse.

Fire! Come on!



This way! That way's blocked.

Stop pacing around like that!
You're wearing me out.

And stop looking at your
watch all the time.

What's the time?

- Almost midnight.
- Already.

Listen, Engelbert. If she stays here,
I won't be answerable for my actions.

You'll have to take her for
a stay in the country.

It'll be good for you both.
No, don't smile, Engelbert.

It's neither for you nor for her.
It's for me. I need to be alone.



She's dead.

- Murderer!
- It's not true.

We were at the theatre.
There was a fire...


She left to return to you.

- But she came back.
- Liar!

He took her. He killed her!

I plucked him from the gutter.
And he soiled her and killed her!

Oh, what do I care
if everyone knows?

To see that!
To see Douce dead before me!

It's no time to be crying!
Ah, here's the other.

I fed her at my own table, and could
hear her laughing behind my back.

Well, you've something to laugh
about now. Douce is dead.

Go on, laugh! No?
Look how crestfallen they are!

Come here, my beauty.
You've become very quiet now.

Rich pickings here! The father for you,
the daughter for you. And money for all!

You wanted to raise yourselves,
did you? Get into a good family?

No, my lambs. You've fallen back into
your own gutter, deeper than before.

Only now there's a dead child,
two unhappy wretches,

and an old lady's curses.

Douce! Where's Douce?
Bring her to me.

I don't want her to be dead.
Go and fetch her.

Go and fetch her,
both of you.

Get out, both of you!
Get out!

Devour each other until
there's nothing left!

I know how to take revenge,
but this will be worse.

Go! Get out!

Together, always together!
Never apart!

English subtitles by
Kinsayder at KG.