Two English Girls (original French title: Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent, UK Title: Anne and Muriel), is a 1971 French romantic drama film directed by François Truffaut and adapted from a 1956 novel of the same name by Henri-Pierre Roché. It stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Claude, Kika Markham as Anne, and Stacey Tendeter as Muriel. Truffaut restored 20 minutes of footage, which fills out the characters, before his death in 1984.
The novel was first published in English in 2004, translated by Walter Bruno and published by Cambridge Book Review Press, Cambridge, Wisconsin.
The film begins in Paris around the year 1902 when Claude Roc and his widowed mother are visited by Ann Brown, daughter of an old friend. Ann invites Claude to spend the summer on the coast of Wales with her widowed mother and sister Muriel. While she enjoys Claude's company, her hope is that he may be a husband for her introverted sister. In the event, Claude and Muriel do start to fall in love and Mrs Brown, with the agreement of Madame Roc, says they must live apart for a year.
Returning to France, Claude moves in artistic circles and meets many attractive women while Muriel gets increasingly despondent in Wales. Ann leaves home to study art in Paris, where she falls into an affair with Claude, only to leave him for Diurka, a dashing publisher who takes her off to Persia. When Muriel is told of the affair, she collapses into deep depression. Ann falls ill and returns to Wales, dying among her family with Diurka at her side.
Diurka tells Claude that Muriel is leaving home to take a job in Belgium. Claude meets her ship at Calais and they spend that night together in a hotel. In the morning she says they must now part for ever. Later she writes to say she is pregnant, raising Claude's hopes of marriage, but a second letter says she has miscarried and their relationship is truly at an end.
In an epilogue set in the 1920s, the unmarried and orphaned Claude, now a successful author, still dreams of the artistic gifts of Ann and the children Muriel might have had.Jean-Pierre Léaud as Claude Roc
Kika Markham as Ann Brown
Stacey Tendeter as Muriel Brown
Sylvia Marriott as Mrs. Brown
Marie Mansart as Madame Roc
Philippe Léotard as Diurka
Irène Tunc as Ruta
Mark Peterson as Mr. Flint
David Markham as the palmist
Georges Delerue as Claude's business agent
Marcel Berbert as the art dealer
Annie Miler as Monique de Montferrand
Christine Pellé asClaude's secretary
Jeanne Lobre as Jeanne
Marie Iracane as Madame Roc's maidservant
Jean-Claude Dolbert as the English policeman
Anne Levaslot as Muriel as a child
Sophie Jeanne as Clarisse
René Gaillard as a taxi driver
Sophie Baker as a friend in the café
Laura Truffaut as a child
Eva Truffaut as a child
Mathieu Schiffman as a child
Guillaume Schiffman as a child
The film received generally positive reviews; it currently holds an 86% 'fresh' rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.
Disappointed with its reception in France, Truffaut decided to restore over 20 minutes of footage to the film, a project he completed just before he died in 1984. This version was released after his death. Critics such as Tom Wiener believe it improved the film.