Bonjour Tristesse

Running time:
94 minutes
Directed by:
Otto Preminger
David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Jean Seberg, Geoffrey Home, Roland Culver
Digital Cinema
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Cecile, a precocious seventeen-year-old played effortlessly by Jean Seberg (Breathless), and her libertine father Raymond (David Niven) escape from Paris to their Mediterranean villa.
Preminger contrasts the characters' tristesse ('sadness') in a monochrome Paris with flashbacks to a luminous colour-filled summer in the Riviera. Happy to live the luxurious lifestyle they both crave, free from responsibility, the golden-skinned duo dedicate themselves to a life of free love, fast cars and hedonistic pleasures.
However, when Raymond decides to marry, Cecile's whimsical nature pushes her to lay down a path of destruction, affecting the lives of everyone involved.



What the press said


***** "The story is piercingly good and the central "revelation" scene…is outstanding" - The Guardian

***** "The film is shot through with breathtaking moments...the final shot is one of the most convincingly grief-stricken in cinema." - Time Out

***** "this is Seberg's show and it's her finest hour" - New Empress Magazine

**** "Otto Preminger's sublime Bonjour Tristesse is an elegant melodrama" - The Times

**** "Otto Preminger's 1958 adaptation of Françoise Sagan's novel seems now both of its time and ahead of it" - The Independent

**** "Jean Seberg is as captivating as ever in Otto Preminger’s newly restored 1958 drama." - Little White Lies

**** "This perfectly-pitched meditation on dissolute lives and the transience of youth is a joy to revisit and thoroughly recommended for new audiences" -Cine-Vue

"[its] opening titles could flaunt the credits “gowns by Hermès, make-up by Givenchy, jewels by Cartier”. Clearly, they don’t make ‘em like they could once afford to" - MovieMail

"you’d be forgiven in thinking it might be all style over substance, but in putting his faith in his discovery, Preminger crafts a masterful father/daughter tragedy." - Movie Talk

"an extremely interesting and entertaining minor work from the great director Otto Preminger" - Derek Winnert

"Contrasting the picture-perfect backdrop, Saul Bass’ title sequence and Juliette Gréco’s rendition of the title song add to the melancholy. " - Total Film

"On the surface the film is a melodrama about privilege, but at heart it’s so much more." - Neither Fame Nor Fortune


Seduced by Bonjour Tristesse - The Guardian

The tragic life of actress Jean Seberg is re-assessed by her biographer Garry McGee - Front Row, BBC Radio 4 (UK only)

We celebrate the inimitable chic of the star of Bonjour Tristesse, Jean Seberg - AnOther Magazine

Sight & Style: David Niven in Bonjour Tristesse - Esquire

Bonjour Tristesse: a golden-age masterpiece ripe for rediscovery - The Guardian

Jean Seberg: the best pixie haircut ever - The Guardian

Release Dates

United Kingdom: 30 August