The Story of Adèle H.

The Story of Adèle H. is a French film by François Truffaut , released in 1975 . It is the story of an erotomania , a delusional illusion of being loved, the one that suffered the second daughter of Victor Hugo , Adele , as she described in the first two volumes of her diary , dated respectively in 1852 and 1853 and published for the first time in 1968 1and 1971 2 , by the university specialist Frances Vernor Guille.


The film tells the story of Adèle Hugo ( Isabelle Adjani ), second daughter of Victor Hugo . The latter, obsessed with the accidental death of his eldest, Léopoldine Hugo , had abandoned the youngest. Adèle then knows a passionate, even obsessive love for the British lieutenant Pinson ( Bruce Robinson ) who does not pay back. She ends her life in decay and madness.

Technical sheet

  • Title: The Story of Adèle H.
  • Director: François Truffaut
  • Script: François Truffaut , Jean Gruault , Suzanne Schiffman , adapted from the book The Adele Hugo newspaper of Frances Vernor Guille
  • Sets: Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko
  • Director of photography: Nestor Almendros
  • Editing: Yann Dedet
  • Music: Maurice Jaubert
  • His Michel Laurent (sound engineer)
  • Production: Marcel Berbert and Claude Miller
  • Production Companies: United Artists , Les Films du Carrosse
  • Duration: 96 minutes
  • Shooting:  the in Guernsey
  • Release date : 


  • Isabelle Adjani : Adèle Hugo
  • Bruce Robinson : Lieutenant Albert Pinson
  • Sylvia Mariott : Ms. Saunders
  • Joseph Blatchley : Whistler, the librarian
  • Ivry Gitlis : the magician-magnetizer
  • Ruben Dorey : Mr. Saunders
  • Clive Gillingham : Keaton
  • Louise Bourdet : the servant of Victor Hugo
  • Sir Cecil de Sausmarez : Maître Lenoir, the notary
  • Sir Raymond Falla : Johnstone J.
  • Roger Martin : Dr. Murdock
  • Jean-Pierre Leurse : the black scribe
  • Carl Hathwell : Pinson’s prescription
  • François Truffaut : an officer (uncredited)


This film is a romantic and painful exploration of the sufferings of Victor Hugo’s daughter , her hopeless quest to deny this invading father and live independently. The memory of the tragic death of her sister Leopoldine Hugo and the indifference of an English officer whom she believes to love accentuate her shift towards madness.

About The Story of Adele H. , Truffaut writes [ref. necessary] :

“By establishing the script of The Wild Child from the memory of Dr. Jean Itard , we discovered, Jean Gruaultand I, the great pleasure of organizing a story of fiction from real events by striving not to invent anything, and not to alter the truth of the documentary material. If it’s difficult to build a unanimist plot, involving a dozen characters whose actions intersect, it’s almost as difficult to write an intimate film featuring a single character on the screen. I believe, however, that this solitary aspect attracted me the most in this project; having turned love stories into two characters and three characters, I felt like I was trying an exciting experience devoured by a one-way passion. “


  • Grand prix of French cinema 1975
  • Prix Méliès in 1976 ;
  • Special Prize for Criticism at the Cartagena International Film Festival in 1976 ;
  • Isabelle Adjani , Catalina de Oro for best actress of the Cartagena Film Festival in 1976 .
  • Césars 1976 :
    • Caesar Nomination for Best Actress for Isabelle Adjani
    • César nomination for best director for François Truffaut
    • Caesar nomination for the best decor for Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko
  • Nomination for the Oscar of Best Actress for Isabelle Adjani

Related Articles

  • Adèle and the Pacotilleuse , novel by Raphaël Confiant


  • Antoine de Baecque and Serge Toubiana , François Truffaut , Gallimard Publishing ,th  ed. , 767 p. p.  625-635

Notes and references

  1. ↑ A. Hugo , The journal , Lettres Modernes Minard, Paris , 1968.
  2. ↑ A. Hugo , Le journal – 1853 , Lettres Modernes Minard, Paris , 1971.

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