Les scélérats (1960) AKA The Wretches


This melodrama has Thelma and Jess, two Americans who move into a down-at-the-heels Paris neighborhood. The couple is still suffering from the loss of their only son in an automobile accident that happened some time in the distant past. Thelma tends to drown her sorrows in alcohol, while Jess is introspected and morose. After they hire a maid to help out with the housework, she falls for the taciturn Jess. Her interest seems to be only a simple attraction, yet appearances, as it turns out, are deceiving.

Director: Robert Hossein. AKA The Wretches.
Writers: Frédéric Dard (novel & adaptation), Robert Hossein.
Stars: Michèle Morgan, Robert Hossein, Olivier Hussenot, Jacqueline Morane, Perrette Pradier.


Note: Many thanks to Jean for the help filling a few gaps in the subtitles (untranslated lines), I also improved the timings a bit since they were going off-sync at times, they are better now. Original English subtitles by Nocturne & corvusalbus.

How would you rate this movie?

Click on a star to rate it!


  1. Yousra
    April 8, 2022

    Thank you!

  2. April 9, 2022

    Thanks, Jon!

    I love this movie. Saw it at a French Noir festival in San Francisco a few years ago and the audience went nuts for it. Total crowd pleaser! Not slow and murky at all!

    Amazing film!

    • Jon W.
      April 11, 2022

      Thank you, Chuck, I removed those first few words from the synopsis just now. It’s impossible for me to watch every movie I upload and try to correct or make a synopsis myself so I just go with what I can find online, sadly with movies so rare not always you find an accurate description of the film/s so thanks for correcting it.

  3. Jay M
    April 9, 2022

    Greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  4. April 13, 2022

    Sirk + Carnival of Souls, based on an idea discarded by Edward Albee. Filmed at gunpoint in Lana Turner’s garage. The password is “milk.”

  5. Wolfgang Jahn
    May 25, 2022

    This movie … is … an …. exercise in ….. slooooooowwwwwlllllliiiiiiineeeeeesss … everything in this movie is sloooooow: the characters move slowly, they talk slowly and caaaaalmly, the voice over has a sloooow tranquillity, the scenes are loooong and sl…, the camera moves slowly, the jazz soundtrack sounds … you got it, I think.

    I fell asleep 3 times and needed two evenings watching it. No chance you will watch this in one take, if you are already tired when starting. But even if you are not, you will get tired. And you will fall asleep. Guaranteed.

    But don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad movie. This is not a great movie either. It’s an interesting movie about loss and depression. It’s well shot in stark b/w, which I love and I do not regret having watched it. I rate it 7/10 and if you wanna fall asleep in a nice way, get started.

    • Jon W.
      May 25, 2022

      That cracked me up, thank you, Wolfgang! 😂

  6. Wolfgang Jahn
    May 25, 2022

    A lovely day to you, Jon!

    I am new to your site and I LOVE it! Thanx to the nice fellow, who told me about it, and THANX A MILLION to you for putting up those great – mostly forgotten and in most cases unjustified – works of cinema art, so they can live on and be enjoyed by cinephiles!

    This was just my fourth movie on your site and I liked them all! Dozens will follow. I already know that now. And I’ve seen so many titles here, which I have not been aware at all! Also so many hard-to-find Japanese, which are almost all the time sans subtitles, but here they are with subs! 👍

    This is a TREASURE DROVE and I am like a kid in a room full of toys! 🙂

    Thanx so much!

    I’ll go on commenting as time goes by. I am not as gifted with words as others are, but I love leaving my few cents here and there.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *