"The Return Of Martin Guerre" Is Released
The Return of Martin Guerre (Le Retour de Martin Guerre) is a 1982 French film directed by Daniel Vigne and based on true events in France during the 16th century.
(See main article Martin Guerre). The film depicts a case of identity theft after a war, a man showing up in his village several years after his departure, soon eliciting suspicions from his former friends on his identity.
In 1983, a book of the same name was written by Natalie Zemon Davis, an American historian of early modern France.
The Return of Martin Guerre is set in France during the Hundred Years' War. Imagining herself a widow, Nathalie Baye is astonished when her husband Gerard Depardieu returns after nine years. He looks like her husband and sounds like her husband, and certainly has a working knowledge of the couple's prior relationship. Still, neither Baye nor her neighbors can shake the notion that Depardieu is an imposter--especially since he's a much nicer and more responsible person than the man who marched off to war so long ago. Matters come to a head when the local magistrate sentences Depardieu to hang for his own murder. Return of Martin Guerre was the principal source for an American film, Sommersby (1993). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide