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Benjamin (original title: Benjamin ou les Mémoires d'un puceau; U.S title: The Diary of an Innocent Boy) is a 1968 French comedy film directed by Michel Deville who co-wrote the screenplay with Nina Companéez.
"Benjamin was a role that I really liked," said Deneuve later. "It was a comedy, but in the spirit and tone particular."
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In the eighteenth century, seventeen-year-old virgin Benjamin comes with his old servant to stay at the estate of his aunt, Countess de Valandry, who is having an affair with Count Philippe. Benjamin is pursued by various woman, including the beautiful Anne, who really loves Philippe.
Michèle Morgan as Countess de Valandry.
Catherine Deneuve as Anne
Pierre Clémenti as Benjamin
Michel Piccoli as Count Philippe
Francine Bergé as Marion
Anna Gaël as Célestine
Catherine Rouvel as Victorine
Jacques Dufilho as Camille
Odile Versois as Married woman
Filming began in June 1967. The day before, Catherine Deneuve's sister and fellow actress Françoise Dorléac had died in a car accident.
"It is a painful time in my life," she later recalled. "I was in a cloud. I shot like a misty PLC. Fortunately, grief did not score the film."
The film was the eleventh most popular movie at the French box office in 1968.
The critic for The Guardian claimed that "the dialogue is stylish without being witty and it is continuously and tiresomely arch." The Los Angeles Times said the film was "as superlatively acted as it is photographed and scored". The Washington Post said the film "has little to be said for it except is evidently authentic chateux".
Pauline Kael wrote that Pierre Clementi "indicates adolescent innocence by being loose-limbed and girlish. It is essential for the boy to suggest the kind of man he will become once he has learned what everyone is so eager to teach him, but Clémenti looks as though he would become a lesbian."