Return from the Ashes


Crime / Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 7.0 10 944


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 22, 2022 at 12:37 AM

Top cast

Samantha Eggar as Fabienne 'Fabi' Wolf
Maximilian Schell as Stanislaus Pilgrin
Herbert Lom as Dr. Charles Bovard
990.19 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by arichmondfwc 8 / 10

This Return Deserves a Comeback

Certain films travel just below the radar. "Return from the Ashes" is such a film. The ones who've seen it never forget it but somehow it's nowhere to be found. Never on video and so far not on DVD. I'm not going to tell you about the devilish plot because that's most of the pleasure of seeing it for the first time. Just let me wet your appetite by saying that Maximilian Schell plays a young amoral polish guy who seduces a French, older, wealthy widow, played for real by a great Ingrid Thulin. The action takes place at the dawn of the German occupation. She is Jewish he is not. When Schell asks her to marry him, she laughs it off as a surprisingly conventional request but he means it saying "At this time is not convention but defiance" So he marries the older Jewish woman...that's all I'm going to tell you about the story. Samantha Eggar, beautiful and skinny gives a powerful performance of seductive evilness. She is a stand out of major proportions. The ending seems a bit of a commercial concession but it doesn't spoil the cleverly tailored plot. If you see it announced on late night TV, set up your VCR or whatever contraption at your disposal.

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 / 10

TCM keeps screwing up their ratings

TCM gave this movie two stars. Ridiculous. I saw this film YEARS ago. I never forgot it and at one point, I tried to find out the name of it and was directed to another film. I suspected when I read the plot on the channel guide that this was the movie.

Set in flashback in pre-war Paris and in the present in post-war Paris, the story concerns a doctor, Michele, (beautiful Ingrid Thulin) hopelessly in love with Stanislaus, a chess-playing roué, excellently played by Maximillian Schell. He doesn't pretend to love her - he likes her, but what he loves is her money. They marry, but because she's Jewish, she's picked up and sent to Dachau.

During the time she's gone, her husband becomes involved with her now grown-up albeit unstable stepdaughter Fabienne (Samantha Eggar). After the war ends, and Michele doesn't return, Fabienne and Stan assume she's dead. However, because of the laws in France they can't get their hands on her money.

The truth is that Michele is alive, but had to go to a sanitarium after the war to recover from her horrendous experiences in the camp. She's scarred and aged, and when she finally returns to Paris, she stays in a hotel and turns to an old colleague, Charles (Herbert Lom) to fix her up.

When Fabienne spots what she thinks is a Michele-lookalike (actually Michele), she comes up with a plan to have her stepmother return from the dead, with the imposter taking a cut.

A really good movie, very intriguing, with good performances all around and excellent photography. I'm so sick of being burned by TCM's ratings - four stars for trash and two stars for a fine movie like this (not all the time, but occasionally).

By the way, this story is based on a novel by Hubert Monteilhet called "Return from the Ashes," and was remade into the magnificent German film "Phoenix."

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by tomsview 8 / 10

Better with every viewing

About 25 years ago, I bought a record called "Movies and Me" featuring themes from movies composed by John Dankworth. I knew "Darling" and "The Servant" but I had never heard of the one I liked best: the theme from "Return from the Ashes". Much later, when I finally saw the movie, I realised how perfectly that lilting melody married with the film.

"Return from the Ashes" works despite credulity being stretched to breaking point along the way. The true quality of this film is not revealed from a reading of the plot. The movie plays far better than it reads.

Shortly before WW2 in Paris, Michelle Wolf, a doctor played by Ingrid Thulin meets a Polish refugee, Stanislaus Pilgrin played by Maximilian Schell. Although warned that he is only after her money, she falls in love with him. When the Germans capture Paris, Stanislaus – in his self-confessed, one gallant act of his life – marries Michelle, who is Jewish, to stop her being deported by the Nazis. But she is sent to a concentration camp anyway.

Years later, Michelle returns to Paris under an assumed name. But she is a changed woman emotionally and physically. Thought to be dead, no one recognises her at first. Although she is reacquainted with Stanislaus and her stepdaughter, the beautiful Fabi, played by Samantha Eggar, they believe that she simply bears a strong resemblance to the Michelle they knew. They want her to play Michelle in a complicated plot to retrieve funds that have been frozen since the war. Michelle goes along with the plan not realising that Fabi and Stanislaus have become lovers.

After revealing her true identity, Michelle moves into her old apartment with both Stanislaus and Fabi. From there the story becomes darker and darker. After many developments, the movie still has enough energy left to deliver one final twist at the end.

"Return from the Ashes" boasts three of the most attractive stars you are likely to see in one movie – Ingrid Thulin, Maximilian Schell and Samantha Eggar. For me, Ingrid Thulin is the standout. Beautiful, calm and sophisticated, she gave the impression that there was a lot more going on beneath the surface. It's surprising Hollywood didn't seek her out more often – possibly she would have made one of the great Hitchcock stars – in an interview, he once singled her out as the epitome of the kind of sexiness he admired, especially in her work for Ingmar Bergman.

Despite a "Vertigo" like sequence when Michelle is coached to play what is in reality herself, "Return from the Ashes" does not seem overly influenced by either Hitchcock or film noir. The dramatic use of black and white and the moody quality of the film is due to J. Lee Thompson's personal style. The man who made "Cape Fear" proved once again that he could make a thriller to stand with the best of them.

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