The Fire Within

Sortie du Feu follet dans sa version anglophone...une version que l'anglomane J.R. aurait appréciée.


After garnering international acclaim for such seminal crowd-pleasers as The Lovers and Zazie dans le métro, Louis Malle gave his fans a shock with The Fire Within (Le feu follet), a penetrating study of individual and social inertia. Maurice Ronet (Elevator to the Gallows), in an implosive, haunted performance, plays Alain Leroy, a self-destructive writer who resolves to kill himself and spends the next twenty-four hours trying to reconnect with a host of wayward friends. Unsparing in its portrait of Alain’s inner turmoil and shot with remarkable clarity, The Fire Within is one of Malle's darkest and most personal films.

Special Features

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Archival interviews with director Louis Malle and actor Maurice Ronet
- Malle's Fire Within, a new video program featuring interviews with actor Alexandra Stewart and filmmakers Philippe Collin and Volker Schlöndorff
- Jusqu'au 23 Juillet, a 2005 documentary short about the film and its source novel Le feu follet, by Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, featuring actor Mathieu Amalric, writer Didier Daeninckx, and Cannes festival curator Pierre-Henri Deleau
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by critic Michel Ciment and film historian Peter Cowie

Film Info

108 minutes
Black and White

About the Transfer

The Fire Within is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. On standard 4:3 televisions, the image will appear letterboxed. On standard and widescreen televisions, black bars may also be visible on the left and right to maintain the proper screen format. This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit from the original 35 mm camera negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. To maintain optimal image quality through the compression process, the picture on this dual-layer DVD-9 was encoded at the highest possible bit rate for the quantity of material included.


Alain Leroy Maurice Ronet
Lydia Léna Skerla
Ms. Farnoux Yvonne Clech
d’Averseau Hubert Deschamps
Dr. La Barbinais Jean-Paul Moulinot
Mrs. La Barbinais Mona Dol
Moraire Pierre Moncorbier
Charlie, the barman René Dupuis / Dupuy
Milou Bernard Tiphaine
Dubourg Bernard Noël
Fanny Ursula Kubler
Jeanne Jeanne Moreau
Urcel Alain Mottet
François Minville François Gragnon
Jérôme Minville Romain Bouteille
Cyrille Lavaud Jacques Sereys
Solange Alexandra Stewart
Maria Claude Dechamps
Brancion Tony Taffin
Frédéric Henri Serre


Director Louis Malle
Producer Alain Queffelean
Screenplay Louis Malle
Based on the book Le feu follet by Pierre Drieu la Rochelle
Cinematography Ghislain Cloquet
Editor Suzanne Baron
Sound recordist Guy Villette
Collaborating director Philippe Colin
Assistant director Volker Schlöndorff