Lapse of Memory (1991)


After a terrible accident, a psychiatrist has to help Bruce to regain his memory. In flashbacks, we learn that his family had to flee from New York City, after his father uncovered a large case of corruption. Bruce didn’t know this for most of his life, until he found a passport with a different name in it. After the first shock, he tries to continue living like a normal teenager. Unknowingly, his cute little girlfriend “Patrick” brings them in danger.

Director: Patrick Dewolf. AKA Mémoire traquée.
Writers: Robert Cormier (novel), Patrick Dewolf, Philippe Le Guay, John Frizzell, Patrick Dewolf & Philippe Le Guay (dialogue).
Stars: John Hurt, Marthe Keller, Mathew Mackay, Kathleen Robertson, Marion Peterson, Serge Dupire, Bob Watson Barr, Terry Haig, Gordon Masten, Michael McGill, Jude Beny, John Lambert.


Note: Big, big thanks to John W. for sending me a copy of this insanely rare movie.

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  1. Jonathan Shapiro
    January 18, 2021

    What a great find. Very interesting how this was the second adaptation of Robert Cormier’s novel I Am the Cheese in less than 10 years.

    Keep these Canadian films coming! We’re very apathetic about our cinematic legacy for the most part, but these movies need to be shared.

  2. Simon H
    January 19, 2021

    Although the majority of the dialogue is in English and the basic plot can be followed there is quite a bit of dialogue in French and it’s frustrating that there are no subtitles.

    • Jon W.
      January 20, 2021

      I noticed that, I’ll see if I can put up a new version with subs for those parts soon.

  3. Patrick Trimble
    January 30, 2021

    Asa devotee of the Cormier novel & the first 1983 film (entitled I AM THE CHEESE), I was glad to see this ultra-rare Canadian version but deeply bothered by the idea that this adaptation has very little in common with Cormier’s young-adult thriller. Instead of a horrific slow build to an ambiguous ending, this film quickly reduces its story to yet another “love conquers all” conclusion that hardly satisfies the mossaic style of the novel or the terror of Bruce’s true plight. A deep thanks for Jon for tracking this version down, but I have to recommend the original book or 1983 movie..

  4. Colter
    April 1, 2021

    I’ve been looking all over for this movie! It makes no sense that a movie with John Hurt in it should be so rare.
    This has to be the best adaptation of a Cormier novel I’ve watched so far. Yeah, the movie in general differs from the story quite a bit, and the ending is still happier than it should be, with all the loose ends tied up, but it seems to me that the director at least tried to nail that dark tone, and succeeded better than most directors have in the past with his work, especially with that revelation of how the lead lost his memory.
    I’ve always loved this sight, but this film you’ve provided is a real jackpot!

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