Premiering in France as La veuve Couderc, The Widow Couderc is a 1971 French drama directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre and written by the director and Pascal Jardin based on Georges Simenon’s 1942 novel of the same name. Starring the beautiful duo of Simone Signoret and Alain Delon, The Widow Couderc features the story of a young man finding accommodation, work and the place in the bed of a wealthy widow who single-handedly runs a farm. The man is happy with his new job and a place to stay, but refuses to shed much light on his past, telling the widow he was on his way to become a doctor when he killed a man and was sent to jail from which he recently escaped. The dynamics of their unusual relationship become unstable and strained when he seduces the 16-year-old daughter of the widow’s sister-in-law, a greedy woman living across the canal who wants to take the widow’s property.

Praised as a great adaptation of Simenon’s novel, The Widow Couderc is a film heavily reliant on its well-written complex characters, allowing the cast the necessary depth and range in their portrayal. Granier-Deferre’s drama is enriched with the thriller element and is built around the loving relationship in its center, with Philippe Sarde’s music and too many beautiful images of French provincial life to mention here.