The Eye (1983)

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German title The eye
Original title Mortelle randonnée
Country of production France , Germany
original language French
Publishing year 1983
length 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Claude Miller
script Michel Audiard ,
Jacques Audiard
production Bernard Grenet ,
Charles Gassot
music Carla Bley
camera Gilbert Duhalde ,
Pierre Lhomme
cut Albert Jurgenson

The eye (original title: Mortelle randonnée) is a French feature film from 1983 . The drama is based on the novel of the same name (English original title: The Eye of the Beholder) by Marc Behm .


A Belgian private detective , called "Das Auge", hides in his work to get over the loss of his daughter Marie. His divorced wife Madeleine had taken her with her after the separation, and Marie died of an illness without his having seen her again. All he has left is a class photo with her, on the back of which his ex-wife wrote: "Find her out, your stupid daughter".

In his current case, he is supposed to get information about the girlfriend of a client's son for his boss, Mme. Schmidt-Boulanger, but during the shadowing the son is killed by the girlfriend and she escapes. “The Eye” is on her heels, follows her across Europe and has to watch as she worries more lovers and kills them all. Finally, the detective finds out that the young, mysterious woman is Catherine Leiris, a criminal wanted by the police. Despite all of this, over time he feels more and more like their ally. Because, against his better judgment, he is increasingly delusional that Catherine must be his daughter.

After a series of murders, the young woman meets Ralph Forbes, a blind millionaire with whom she falls seriously in love and for whom she is ready to change her unsettled life. However, the private investigator finds this connection unacceptable and pushes Forbes in front of a bus on the pretext of trying to help him across the street. Forbes dies, and Catherine returns to her restless life.

Chased by the police and a money-hungry couple (a woman and an aged prostitute ) who blackmail her, she acts increasingly brutal and desperate. She teams up with a young hitchhiker, raids banks and is constantly on the run. When her companion is killed in a robbery, she withdraws to the dreary anonymity of an industrial city in northern France, where she works as a waitress. The detective follows her. She senses that she is being watched, but has no idea by whom. “The eye” can approach it undetected. To help her, he steals a large amount of cash from a traveler and arranges a meeting with her. Catherine supposedly shoots "Das Auge" with his own weapon, which was only loaded with blank cartridges. But it is too late. The police have located her and after a chase drive she is in a parking garage. Catherine breaks through the glass wall of the parking garage with her car and falls to her death. “The Eye” is finally a broken man. A few years later he dies without being able to identify his daughter in the class photo during her lifetime.


The heroine loves to hum or whistle after the La Paloma murders . Like Marc Behm's novel, this melody pervades the film as a leitmotif.

Leading actor Michel Serrault had to accept and deal with the loss of one of his two daughters about six years before the film was released.

One of the stops on the journey through Europe is Baden-Baden . The film was shot there on the Klosterwiese in Lichtentaler Allee , in Brenners Park-Hotel and in Friedrichsbad . The foyer of the Baden-Baden drinking hall , which is actually several hundred meters away, is shown as the entrance portal of the Friedrichsbad.

In 1999 Stephan Elliott shot an American version of the story under the original title The Eye of the Beholder , which was also called Das Auge in Germany .


The lexicon of international films calls Das Auge a “captivating, multi-layered crime thriller with healing and shocking irritations”. "Alternating between psychological thriller, melodrama and black comedy, the film describes the existential insecurity and the loss of identity of its heroes in a nightmarish climate."

Prisma judged: “Claude Miller [...] shot a brilliant crime thriller between suspense and comedy based on a book by Marc Behm. Thanks to the good cast, the excellent music by jazz great Carla Bley and a surprising ending, the film offers entertainment at its best. "

The film historian Hans Gerhold wrote that Das Auge is Claude Miller's "masterpiece, the best French crime film of the 80s and one of the cinematic masterpieces of the decade."


In 1984, the eye was nominated for the French César film award in five categories : Best Actor (Michel Serrault), Best Supporting Actress (Stéphane Audran), Best Cinematography (Pierre Lhomme), Best Production Design (Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko) and Best Sound ( Nadine Muse, Paul Lainé and Maurice Gilbert).


  • Marc Behm: Das Auge (Original title: The Eye of the Beholder) . German by Stephan Steeger. Arena, Würzburg 2002, 237 pages, ISBN 3-401-02626-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The eye. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed November 13, 2015 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. Das Auge In: , accessed on March 20, 2012.
  3. ^ Hans Gerhold: Kino der Blick - The French crime film - A social history . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-596-24484-6 , p. 226.