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Film / Les Bonnes Femmes

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Les Bonnes Femmes is a 1960 film by Claude Chabrol. It was the final one in the row of his early-career successes. After that he made a number of much less successful films until his career resucitated in late 1960's.

It follows the lives of four young girls, Jane, Jacqueline, Ginette (played by Stéphane Audran) and Rita, in Paris who work in the appliance store. They spend time together and meet with various men whose intentions might not be what they seem.


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Tropes

  • Did They or Didn't They?: Marcel did it with Jane. Arguably Albert did it too but it is not certain.
  • Foreshadowing The relic of the cashier is a handkerchief with a blood of a series killer of the woman. She finally tells about the relic to the Jacqueline as she is in love. However the man whom Jacqueline loves is a killer of women.
  • French New Wave: It is the year 1960.
  • Gratuitous Italian: For Ginette who once tells to the other girls Ciao, bambine. A domani. (Goodbye, girls. See you tomorrow). It is not clear why she suddenly says this in Italian.
  • Hidden Depths: The nice older woman who works as a cashier in the appliance store with the four heroines keeps a secret relic. She for some time does not show it to anyone. In the end she reveals to Jacqueline that it is a handkerchief sipped in blood of an excecuted murderer.
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  • Less Embarrassing Term: Invoked by Albert who says that it is one case to be fat (better) and the other to be greasy (worse). Alas he believes that he is greasy, not fat.
  • Meet the In-Laws: For Rita who indeed is introduced to the parents of her fiance.
  • Mood Whiplash: The four girls in a zoo, mimicking the animals.
  • Nice Guy: Ernest Lapierre. It is subverted in the very end.
  • Odd Couple: Marcel and Albert together try to seduce two young girls. A regular guy Marcel looks like the one who is able to do it while the greasy and balding Albert looks like the one who does not. Of course Marcel pairs with Jane who is ready to a fling and Albert is supposed to befriend Jacqueline, the serious one, waiting for love. In the end though both Marcel and Albert end up in an appartment with Jane who seems to give in to both.
  • Odd Name Out: Four girls are named Jane, Jacqueline, Ginette and Rita. The first three names all start with one sound and are generally similar.
  • Only One Name: For all four girls and for most other characters.
    • Subverted with Ernest Lapierre
  • Overly Long Gag: Marcel and Albert jokingly drown Jacqueline in the pool by either dragging her down by her legs or pressing on her shoulders (then she dives out, takes a breath and they do the same once more). It is all fun but they repeat it a good dozen of times.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: That's what the boss of the girls appears to be.
  • Pungeon Master: Marcel is not the biggest one but he tries to entertain Jane and Jacqueline with several puns.
  • Rule of Pool: Here the four friends arrive to a public swimming pool but are not willing to jump in. In the end they are dragged or thrown into it by Marcel and Albert.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: For Jane, Albert and Marcel.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Jane is named exactly that, not Jeanne even though Jane is not a French name.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Ernest Lapierre is the one but with a murderous twist.
  • Stalking Is Love: For Jacqueline as well as for her friends. In the end lethally subverted.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Jane is arguably that.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Jacqueline and Jane are usually that.
  • Untranslated Title: It remains Les Bonnes Femmes in English.
  • Vacation Episode The girls' visit to a zoo.
  • Villainous Rescue: That how the rescue by the unknown man from the ruffians who continually drown her in the pool turns out for the poor Rita.
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