The Things of Life

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The Things of Life
File:The Things of Life FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed by Claude Sautet
Produced by Jean Bolvary
Raymond Danon
Roland Girard
Screenplay by Sandro Continenza
Jean-Loup Dabadie
Claude Sautet
Paul Guimard
Based on Intersection by Paul Guimard
Starring Michel Piccoli
Music by Philippe Sarde
Cinematography Jean Boffety
Edited by Jacqueline Thiédot
Distributed by Compagnie Française de Distribution Cinématographique
Release dates
  • 13 March 1970 (1970-03-13)
Running time
89 minutes
Country France
Language French

The Things of Life (French: Les Choses de la vie) is a 1970 French film directed by Claude Sautet. It is based on the novel Intersection by Paul Guimard. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film was a success in France with 2,959,682 admissions becoming the 8th highest earning film of the year. [2]


In the French countryside on a summer morning, a lorry full of pigs stalls at a crossroads. An Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint swerves to avoid it and crashes into an orchard, hurling the driver onto the grass. As he loses consciousness, he revisits the essential things which made up his life.

A Paris architect in his forties driving to a meeting at Rennes, he had quarrelled with his lover Hélène the night before. They were due to leave together for a job he was offered in Tunis but he had not signed the documents. And he had agreed to take his teenage son Bertrand, who lived with his estranged wife Catherine, for a fortnight to the family's holiday home on the Île de Ré. Stopping at a café, he wrote a letter to Hélène calling everything off, but did not post it. Driving past a wedding, he realised that the letter was quite wrong and he should in fact marry Hélène, so giving a purpose to the rest of their lives.

Rushed to hospital in Le Mans, he does not recover and Catherine as his widow is given his effects, including the unsent letter which she tears to pieces. Hélène arrives at the hospital and is told by a nurse that she is too late.




The Things of Life was remade by director Mark Rydell in 1994 as Intersection with Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and Lolita Davidovich in the leading roles.


  1. "Festival de Cannes: The Things of Life". Retrieved 2009-04-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links