Sundays and Cybele
Original French poster 1962
Directed bySerge Bourguignon
Screenplay bySerge Bourguignon
Antoine Tudal
Bernard Eschassériaux
Based onLes dimanches de Ville d'Avray
by Bernard Eschassériaux
Produced byRomain Pinès
StarringHardy Krüger
Nicole Courcel
Patricia Gozzi
Music byMaurice Jarre
Distributed byDavis-Royal
Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • 12 November 1962 (1962-11-12)
Running time
110 minutes

Sundays and Cybele is a 1962 French film in Franscope, directed by Serge Bourguignon. Its original French title is Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray (Sundays in Ville d'Avray), referring to the Ville-d'Avray suburb of Paris. The film tells the tragic story of a young girl who is befriended by an innocent but emotionally disabled veteran of the French Indochina War. The film is based on a novel by Bernard Eschasseriaux [fr], who collaborated on the screenplay.


Pierre suffers from amnesia after a war-time accident in which he might have killed a young Vietnamese girl while crash-landing his stricken plane. His nurse, Madeleine, lives with him in a low-key but potentially romantic relationship. When Pierre sees Cybèle, a young girl in distress as her obviously loveless father is dropping her off at an orphanage, he befriends her. Each of the two is lonely, childlike, and in need of a supportive friend. Eventually, he pretends to be the girl's father, which allows her to escape the locked orphanage for a day, and he shares every one of his Sundays with her for months.

Pierre conceals his friendship with Cybèle from Madeleine, but she eventually finds out, and tells Bernard, a doctor who has a romantic interest in her. Bernard assumes the girl to be in danger, and notifies the police, who adopt the same assumption.

Pierre has nothing to give Cybèle for Christmas, so he accepts her facetious challenge to bring her the metal rooster from the top of a Gothic church near the orphanage. While Cybèle falls asleep, awaiting Pierre for their Christmas together in the snow-covered park's gazebo, the former pilot musters the nerve to climb the 300-foot steeple. With his knife as a tool to unscrew the rooster, he brings it down. As he returns to Cybèle, with the metal rooster and his knife in his hands, the police arrive and shoot him dead to "protect" the child, whom they imagine to be in danger. Cybèle awakens to the horror of seeing that her friend is dead and cries in anguish.



Sundays and Cybele won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1]

Award Category Recipient and nominees Result
Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Won
Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment Maurice Jarre Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Serge Bourguignon
Antoine Tudal
Blue Ribbon Awards Best Foreign Language Film Serge Bourguignon Won
Golden Globes Samuel Goldwyn International Award[2] Nominated
National Board of Review Best Foreign Language Film NBR Award Won

See also


  1. ^ "The 35th Academy Awards (1963) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  2. ^ Official Website of the Annual Golden Globe Awards