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The Return of Martin Guerre

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Title: The Return of Martin Guerre  
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Subject: Jean-Claude Carrière, Sommersby, César Award for Best Original Screenplay, 1983 National Society of Film Critics Awards, César Award for Most Promising Actor
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The Return of Martin Guerre

The Return of Martin Guerre
Directed by Daniel Vigne
Produced by Daniel Vigne
Written by Daniel Vigne
Jean-Claude Carrière
Natalie Zemon Davis
Starring Gérard Depardieu
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu
Nathalie Baye
Roger Planchon
Dominique Pinon
Music by Michel Portal
Cinematography Andre Neau
Edited by Denise de Casabianca
Distributed by European International
Release dates
14 May 1982
Running time
122 min
Country France
Language French

The Return of Martin Guerre (Le Retour de Martin Guerre) is a 1982 French film directed by Daniel Vigne. It was based on a famous case of imposture in 16th century France, involving Martin Guerre.


  • Synopsis 1
  • Book 2
  • Remake and musical 3
  • Cast and roles 4
  • Awards 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The film relates a historical case of alleged identity theft. Martin Guerre leaves his young wife in a small French village to go fight in a war, and to travel. Many years later, an older man (played by Depardieu) claiming to be Martin returns to resume his life. The man is initially acknowledged and welcomed by the wife, family, and friends because he seems to know the intimate details of Martin's life. As time passes, the villagers grow suspicious that he is an impostor, and he is put on trial, with his life at stake.


In 1983, a book of the same name was published by Natalie Zemon Davis, an American historian of early modern France and professor at Princeton University. She had served as a consultant and helped write the screenplay for the film.

Remake and musical

Sommersby is a 1993 Hollywood remake of the film in English, transposed to the American Civil War and starring Richard Gere and Jodie Foster.

A West End (London) musical produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Martin Guerre, was loosely based on the film with additional material from historical accounts. Again, the historical setting is transposed, in this case to the period of religious turmoil between the Huguenots and the Catholics in sixteenth century France.

The first feature film from Timor Leste, "A Guerra Da Beatriz" ("Beatriz's War") was released in 2013. It is a re-telling of the story of Martin Guerre, but set in the 1980s, during the Indonesian occupation of Timor Leste. It stars Irim Tolentino, who co-wrote the script with the director, Bety Reis. [1]

Cast and roles


See also


  1. ^
  • Davis, Natalie Zemon. The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-674-76691-1

External links

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