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Two English Girls

By Keith Simanton

François Truffaut's adept handling of language and art, sex and caprice, is in full flower in Two English Girls, an adaptation of the Henri-Pierre Roché novel. Claude (Truffaut favorite Jean-Pierre Léaud) is a Frenchman persuaded by Ann (Kika Markham) to come to England to meet her sister, Muriel (Stacey Tendeter). Claude falls for both sisters, vacillating between the two with a kind of Brontë indecisivenes, but he ends up asking for Muriel's hand. Complications arise, forcing all three of them to separate ends but with many reunions along the way. Truffaut said he wanted to "make not a film on physical love, but a physical film on love." He teases and taunts, making pastoral scenes erotic and erotic scenes pastoral and never loses momentum or weight with the story. Largely dismissed or ignored after its release in 1971, the film has wisely been reassessed to take its place as one of Truffaut's finest. It also includes a magnificent score by Georges Delerue (who appears briefly in the film) and stands as possibly one of the last cautionary cause-and-effect tales of the evils of masturbation and poor eyesight.

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Director: François Truffaut

Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Kika Markham, Phillippe Leotard

Released: October 15, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS

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