Originally Mourir D'Aimer, this 1970 French film is an "a clef" treatment of the once-notorious Gabrielle Russier case. Annie Girardot stars as a thirtyish schoolteacher, who falls in love with teenaged student Bruno Pradal. The boy's parents bring charges against the teacher, and the subsequent public scandal ruins the lives of both lovers. Director Andre Cayatte was a longtime opponent of the antiquated French legal system, so it's not surprising that the cards are stacked in favor of the teacher and student, with their accusers depicted in the foulest, ugliest terms. Adding to the film's partisan approach is the fact that the screenplay is based on a story written by the real Gabrielle Russier's attorney. To Die of Love is shameless in its manipulation of the audience; it also has the saving grace of being extremely well produced.
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