The Story of Adele H. (also L'Histoire d'Adèle H.) is a 1975 French film which tells the story of the real-life Adèle Hugo, the daughter of writer Victor Hugo, whose obsessive unrequited love for a naval officer led to her downfall. The film, told in French and English, is based on her diaries. It stars Isabelle Adjani, Bruce Robinson and Sylvia Marriott.
The film was adapted by Jean Gruault, Frances Vernor Guille, Suzanne Schiffman and François Truffaut, with English adaptation by Jan Dawson. It was directed by Truffaut.
About the film, Truffaut wrote:
"In writing the script of L'Enfant sauvage based on the memoirs of Dr Jean Itard, we discovered, Jean Gruault and myself, the enormous pleasure of writing historical fiction based on real events, without inventing anything and without altering documented facts. If it is difficult to construct an unanimistic intrigue involving a dozen characters whose paths entwine, it is almost as difficult to write an animistic film focusing on a single person. I believe that it was this solitary aspect which attracted me most to this project; having produced love stories involving two and three people, I wanted to attempt to create a passionate experience involving a character where the passion was one-way only."
Many of the exterior scenes were shot on location in St Peter Port, Guernsey, and many of the film extras were well-known locals. Both Sir Raymond Falla and Sir Cecil de Sausmarez were, at the time, prominent island politicians. Scenes set in Halifax were mainly interiors created in a house in Guernsey and the external scenes were also shot in Guernsey. They were not filmed in Halifax.
The film was given a very positive review by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker. " After a two-year break to read and to write, François Truffaut has come back to moviemaking with new assurance, new elation. The Story of Adèle H. is a musical, lilting film with a tidal pull to it. It's about a woman who is destroyed by her passion for a man who is indifferent to her - a woman who realizes herself in self-destruction...This picture is so totally concentrated on one character that it's a phenomenon: we become as much absorbed in Adèle as she is in Lieutenant Pinson. And our absorption extends from the character to a larger view of the nature of neurotically willed romanticism. The subject of the movie is the self-destructive love that everyone has experienced in one form or another. Adèle is a riveting, great character because she goes all the way with it...Only nineteen when the film was shot..you can't take your eyes off Isabelle Adjani. You can perceive why Truffaut, who had worked on the Adèle Hugo material off and on for six years, has said that he wouldn't have made this 'musical composition for one instrument' without Adjani...She's right for the role, in the way that the young Jennifer Jones was for Bernadette: you believe her capable of anything, because you can't see yet what she is...Adèle H. is a feat of sustained acuteness, a grand-scale comedy about unrequited love, and it's Truffaut's most passionate work." The film was a modest financial success in France where it gained 752,160 Admissions.
Source : Wikipedia