Circle of Love (film)

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Circle of Love
LaRonde movieposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
FrenchLa ronde
Directed byRoger Vadim
Written byJean Anouilh
Based onReigen
by Arthur Schnitzler
Produced byRaymond Hakim
Robert Hakim
StarringJane Fonda
Anna Karina
Jean-Claude Brialy
Maurice Ronet
CinematographyHenri Decaë
Music byMichel Magne
Distributed byContinental Distributing Inc.
Walter Reader-Sterling Inc (US)[1]
Release date
  • 16 October 1964 (1964-10-16) (France)
Running time
110 minutes
Box office1,078,415 admissions (France)[2]

Circle of Love (French: La ronde) is a 1964 French drama film directed by Roger Vadim and based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1897 play Reigen. The film generated minor controversy because of Jane Fonda's nude scene, the first by a major American actress in a foreign film.[3]


In 1913, a sentimental Parisian prostitute offers herself freely to Georges, a handsome soldier, because he resembles her true love. Seeking to take advantage of all opportunities for lovemaking, the soldier seduces Rose, a lonely housemaid, and then goes off to make other conquests.

Returning home, Rose allows her employer's son Alfred to make love to her. Encouraged by the experience, the young gentleman next makes love to Sophie, a married woman. Refreshed by the encounter, Sophie makes bold overtures to her stuffy husband Henri. Later, Henri takes a mistress who forsakes him for an author whom she hopes will write a play for her. Instead, he pursues Maximilienne de Poussy, an established actress with whom he had had an affair years before. He has little success, however, for the actress finds satisfaction only with young men, and she has a brief affair with the count, a young officer.

Following their encounter, the count embarks on a night of wild revelry. In the morning, he is in the sentimental prostitute's apartment, who this time collects a fee for her services, and the cycle of love is now complete.



After having recently directed the box-office hit Les liaisons dangereuses, Vadim took on another adaptation of a classic erotic text that became La ronde. As Vadim later said:

When I make a picture about relations between people, something erotic comes through; I can't help it! But sex has been an inspiration, the greatest inspiration, since art exists. I don't mean pornography. But when I do something I like to go to the end with what I express. It is very difficult in France to talk about anything but sex! Politics, the army, the police, Catholicism - in that order. There is the influence of priests in censorship; no rule forbids you to discuss the church but they will stop you somehow.[4]

During filming, Jane Fonda began a romantic relationship with Vadim that continued for several years.[5][6]

Catherine Spaak later claimed that Vadim was so focused on Fonda during the making of the film that "everyone suffered."[7]


The film was released in the United States as a dubbed version that Vadim loathed; this inspired him to make his next film, The Game Is Over, in both English and French versions.[8]

One French reviewer said that Jane Fonda had a "French accent a la Laurel et Hardy."[9]

The Guardian praised the film's color and production values but added "there is a vulgarity about Vadim's frequent fleshy close ups which compares sadly... with Ophuls' elegant chiaroscuro. Anouilh and Vadim stick closely to Arthur Schnitzler's original but the film is obviously embroidered with imagery of Vadim's creation - a visual superfluity."[10]

Writing in The Observer, Kenneth Tynan called the film "a masterpiece of colour photography" and "the nearest approach to an organised work of art that M. Vadim has yet directed."[11]

The movie was advertised in New York with an eight-story billboard in Times Square that displayed a nude Fonda. She subsequently sued the producers for $3 million.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][excessive citations] Fonda said:

"To me it was a great big opportunity to do a beautiful comedy and my first costume picture," recalled Fonda. "They ruined it here [in the US]. That awful dubbed English. And that big poster of me, nude! Vadim resented it too."[20]

New York Times reviewer Eugene Archer called the film "a total debacle... a dull, pointless, ineptly acted vulgarization of a distinguished play, with nothing to recommend it beyond some attractive color photography."[21]


The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


In 1967, Vadim and five of the film's stars were charged with obscenity in Italy for the film's content.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Circle of Love' to Be Shown New York Times, 26 February 1965: 16.
  2. ^ Box office information for Roger Vaim films at Box Office Story
  3. ^ Hal Erickson (2009). "Jane Fonda Biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009.
  4. ^ Vadim Is Frank On, Off Screen Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times, 20 July 1965: C8.
  5. ^ Roger Vadim's Newer Waves Have a More Personal Touch: New Wave Originator Plans A New Tack. By Kathleen Halton. The Washington Post, 13 December 1964: G1.
  6. ^ Fonda: A person of many parts: A restless yawing between extremes By Martin Kasindorf. New York Times, 3 February 1974: 228.
  7. ^ 'I Am How You Say? A Smart Kid' By Rex Reed. New York Times, 12 June 1966: 137.
  8. ^ And Vadim 'Created' Jane Fonda. By Thomas Quinn Curtiss. New York Times, 16 January 1966: X15.
  9. ^ Jane Fonda Is Fracturing 'Em in Paris. By Dorothy Kilgallen. The Washington Post, Times Herald [Washington, D.C] 1 November 1964: G6.
  10. ^ review: New Films in London. Wright, Ian. The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 1 January 1965: 7.
  11. ^ The Rattigan Rolls: Films. Tynan, Kenneth. The Observer (1901- 2003) [London (UK)] 3 January 1965: 23.
  12. ^ More to Jane Fonda Than Meets the Eye. Haber, Joyce. Los Angeles Times, 19 January 1969: q13.
  13. ^ Drawing of Jane Fonda Is Draped With Canvas. New York Times, 16 March 1965: 44.
  14. ^ Chamelion, The (17 April 2007). "Jane Fonda The Chameleon: Jane Fonda Circle of Love Brroadway Billoard 1964".
  15. ^ "Jane Fonda in Circle of Love". 20 June 2018. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Jane Fonda on bed in a scene from the film Circle of Love 1965". Getty Images Archive Photos. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  17. ^ Billboard for the motion picture Circle of Love (La Ronde) at the De Mille Theater (47th and Broadway, New York City) featuring Jane Fonda (#2). Billy Rose Theatre Division. The New York Public Library. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America. 1964. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  18. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo - JANE FONDA LA RONDA; CIRCLE OF LOVE (1964". Alamy.
  19. ^ "Wayback Machine". 12 April 2021. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Cite uses generic title (help)
  20. ^ The Importance of Being Jane By Howard Thompson. New York Times, 16 May 1965: X7.
  21. ^ Archer, Eugene (25 March 1965). "'Circle of Love,' Vadim's Remake of 'La Ronde,' at DeMille". The New York Times. p. 42.
  22. ^ Roger Vadim, Jane Fonda Face Obscenity Charge Chicago Tribune, 26 April 1967: b5.

External links[edit]