The Story of Adele H

1975

The Story of Adele H

Critics Consensus

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90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,871
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Movie Info

Based on the real-life diaries of Adèle Hugo, The Story of Adele H. is a psychological drama opening in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s. The daughter of famous French writer Victor Hugo, Adèle (Isabelle Adjani) has left her father's home to seek out her fiancé, the English soldier Lt. Albert Pinson (Bruce Robinson). She conceals her identity and rents a room in a boarding house from Mrs. Saunders (Sylvia Marriott). Pinson wants nothing to do with her, but she still obsessively follows him and spies on his affairs. Spending her time writing madly in journals and letters, she eventually meets the bookseller (Joseph Blatchley), who develops an interest in her. Her madness grows when Mrs. Saunders discovers her true identity, and even more so when the bookseller gives her a copy of her father's latest work, +Les Miserables. When Pinson is transferred to Barbados, Adèle follows him again and sinks into insanity, living on the street. With the help of a local woman, Madame Baa (Madame Louise), Adèle returns home to her father and spends the rest of her days writing in her diary in Paris.

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Critic Reviews for The Story of Adele H

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for The Story of Adele H

  • Mar 11, 2015
    Isabelle Adjani is outstanding as an emotionally and psychologically unstable young woman driven to madness by unrequited love and obsession, in a gorgeous period drama that also impresses for its stunning cinematography and production design.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2011
    A mood piece by a director not best known for overwhelming style - helped by the wonderful Nestor Almendros ('Days of Heaven') as DP. It's hard to believe someone of Isabelle Adjani's beauty has to go through so much obsessive behaviour to acquire a mate but her acting from sweet to deranged is a brilliant one. Truffaut's directing is more eloquent and darker than usual and may throw some fans off. 'The Story of Adele H' is a sumptuous period piece that's well acted and an impassioned story of how far love can drive someone into obsession. One of the highlights on Francois Truffaut's movie-changing resume.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2010
    The story of Adele H was a true story of Adele Hugo daughter of the famous poet Victor Hugo, who was obsessively in love with an English army lieutenant who did not want her. The scene was Halifax during the American Civil War. She followed Lt. Pinson from her home on the island of Guernsey to be with him even though he had rejected her. I am not familiar with Truffaut's work, but I found this one very haunting and showed Adele's circumstances and her torment without turning into a sentimental melodrama. This movie could be described as an arty movie. But I was certainly impressed by this movie, and especially by Adjani's performance.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2009
    Great description of a love's journey from passion to madness. A beautiful, haunting film, an interesting study about obsessive love, which inverts the customary roles by showing the woman as the predator and the man as the victim. Long before Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, there was Isabelle Adjani playing Adele Hugo, daughter of the famous writer, Victor Hugo, and completely crazy about Lieutenant Pinson, a man she's determined to marry or else ruin. I had seen a François Truffaut movie before this one, and I can say I'm very pleased with his direction in it. It was straightforward, unobtrusive. It gave Adjani space to display her talent. It's amazing to think that she was only 20 when this movie came out. She was just starting her career and yet showed more talent than many veteran actors. One look at her eyes here and you'll see an inextinguishable fire burning inside her that will eventually consume her sanity. Definitely one the most intelligent movie about obsessive love ever made. If you are a Truffaut fan, or just a film fan in general, see this film immediately
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer

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