The Story of Adele H (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Story of Adele H1975

The Story of Adele H (1975)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Story of Adele H Photos

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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Isabelle Adjani
as Adele Hugo
Bruce Robinson
as Lt. Albert Pinson
Sylvia Marriott
as Mrs. Saunders
Reuben Dorey
as Mr. Saunders
M. White
as Col. White
Reubin Dorey
as Mr. Saunders
Joseph Blatchley
as Mr. Whistler
Ivry Gitlis
as Hypnotist
Raymond Falla
as Judge Johnstone
Raymone Falla
as Judge Johnstone
Jacques Fréjabue
as Cabinetmaker
Carl Hathwell
as Lt. Pinson's Batman
Roger Martin
as Dr. Murdock
Madame Louise
as Mme. Baa
Mr. White
as Colonel
François Truffaut
as Officer On Ramparts
Louise Bourdet
as Victor Hugo's servant
Aurelia Mansion
as Widow with Dogs
David Foote
as Young Boy
Chantal Durpoix
as Young whore
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Critic Reviews for The Story of Adele H

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5)

[The Story of Adele H.] looks and sounds like no other Truffaut film you've ever seen.

May 23, 2019 | Full Review…

... a remarkable love story...

January 23, 2018 | Full Review…

The film is a disaster because, in place of the self-conscious reflection of her predicament conveyed by Adèle's journal (on which the film is based), Truffaut opts for the Hollywood formula of hapless unrequited love.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Truffaut has taken this factual material and made it into a strange, moody film that belongs very much with the darker side of his work.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Its intensity is impressive and remains uncompromised by the prettifying aesthetic touches Truffaut adds here and there in an apparent attempt to distance himself from the overcharged material.

May 7, 2003

The Story of Adele H is Francois Truffaut's ingenious attempt at a love story with only one character.

November 10, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Story of Adele H

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


After hearing for years what a "classic" this film is, I finally saw it and was gravely disappointed. What an exasperatingly one-note story. The central character pines for a military officer who does not want her, and stalks him obsessively across three countries. Her grating neediness does not win our empathy, and we have no idea why she loves him so much. We only know that she does. Gradually, she descends into madness. The end. The direction, costumes, sets and, of course, the exquisite Isabelle Adjani are lovely. Is this enough? No.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Not a favourite, but okay.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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