My Night at Maud's

1969 film by Éric Rohmer

My Night at Maud's (French: Ma nuit chez Maud) is a 1969 film in which the rigid principles of a devout Catholic man are challenged during a one-night stay with Maud, a divorced woman with an outsize personality. It is the third film in the series of the Six Moral Tales.

Directed and written by Éric Rohmer.


  • I'm happy around you. If I'm happy with you, it's because we'll never meet again. The thought of the future needn't depress us, since we have none.
  • Religion adds to love, but love adds to religion, also.
  • There can't be real love unless it's shared. That's why I believe in a certain predestination.
  • As a Christian I say it's evil not to acknowledge what is good.
  • Although it's less enforced now, one thing I dislike about the Church is balancing sins against good deeds. Purity of heart is more important.


  • Do you really want my life story? Well, I had a lover and my husband had a mistress. Curiously enough, she was rather your sort: very moral, very Catholic. Not hypocritical, not calculating - very sincere. Yet I hated her like poison.
  • What I don't like about you is that you always dodge the issue. You don't face up to things. A shamefaced Christian combined with a shamefaced Don Juan.


  • Françoise: I don't believe in predestination. I believe we are always free to choose even if God aids us in our choice.


Jean-Louis: You come here a lot?
Vidal: Almost never. And you?
Jean-Louis: I've never set foot in here before.
Vidal: And yet our paths cross right here. How strange.
Jean-Louis: On the contrary. Our ordinary paths never cross. Therefore, the point of intersection must be outside those ordinary paths. I've dabbling in mathematics in my spare time. It would be fun to calculate our chances of meeting in a two-month period.
Vidal: Can it be done?
Jean-Louis: It's a matter of data and how you handle it. Provided the data exists. Obviously, if I don't know where a person lives or works I can't work out the odds of running into them.

Jean-Louis: Are you still a Marxist?
Vidal: Absolutely. For a Communist, Pascal's wager is very relevant today. Personally, I very much doubt that history has any meaning. Yet I wager that it has, so I'm in a Pascalian situation. Hypothesis A: Society and politics are meaningless. Hypothesis B: History has meaning. I'm not at all sure B is more likely to be true than A. More likely the reverse. Let's even suppose B has a 10% chance of being true and A has 80%. Nevertheless I have no choice but to opt for B, because only the hypothesis that history has meaning allows me to go on living. Suppose I bet on A, and B was true, despite the lesser odds. I'd have thrown away my life. So I must choose B to justify my life and actions. There's an 80% chance I'm wrong but that doesn't matter.
Jean-Louis: Mathematical hope. Potential gain divided by probability. With your hypothesis B, though the probability is slight, the possible gain is infinite. In your case, a meaning to life. In Pascal's, eternal salvation.
Vidal: It was Gorky, Lenin or maybe Mayakovsky who said about the Russian revolution that the situation forced them to choose the one chance in a thousand. Because hope became infinitely greater if you took that chance than if you didn't take it.

Maud: You do shock me.
Jean-Louis: So you've said.
Maud: You're the most outrageous person I've met. Religion has always left me cold. I'm neither for nor against it. But people like you prevent me from taking it seriously. All that really concerns you is your respectability. Staying in a woman's room after midnight is dreadful. It would never occur to you to stay because I'm lonely. To establish a slightly less conventional relationship even if we should never meet again. This I find stupid - very stupid and not very Christian.
Jean-Louis: It's nothing to do with religion. I just thought you might be tired.
Maud: Do you still think so?

Maud: Your lips are cold.
Jean-Louis: So are yours. They're nice.
Maud: Cold, like your feelings.

Maud: What I have against you is your lack of spontaneity.
Jean-Louis: I open my heart to you. What more do you want?
Maud: I don't like your love with conditions attached.

Jean-Louis: Mathematics distract from God. A useless, intellectual diversion - worse than other diversions.
Maud: Why worse?
Jean-Louis: Because its completely abstract and thus inhuman.

Vidal: She's - very beautiful.
Jean-Louis: Marry her.
Vidal: No, we've gone into all that. We don't get on with each other, day in, day out. But we're the best of friends. I asked you to come because otherwise I know she and I will make love.
Jean-Louis: I won't come.
Vidal: But we would only do it to pass the time and that's no solution, for her or me. I'm a puritan, as you know.
Jean-Louis: More than me?
Vidal: Much more.

Jean-Louis: Women have taught me a lot, morally speaking. That sounds...
Maud: A little vulgar.
Jean-Louis: Yes. It would be silly to generalize about particular cases but each girl revealed a new moral problem which I had never faced up to before. It would be good for me to be shaken out of my moral lethargy.
Maud: You could have ignored the physical aspect for the moral.
Jean-Louis: Yes, but, the moral aspect would never have arisen if - Well, I know it's never impossible but the physical and moral are inseparable, let's face it.
Maud: Perhaps it was the trick of the devil?
Jean-Louis: Then I was caught. Yes, in a way, I was caught.

Maud: Don't be childish. Lie beside me. Outside, or inside - if I'm not too repulsive.
Jean-Louis: I'll take the armchair.
Maud: You'll get a cramp. Are you afraid? Of yourself? Of me? I swear I won't touch you, and you I thought you had self-control.

Jean-Louis: Ideally, one should never have to leave people. One shouldn't have to forget people. There should be one love, no other - not even platonic.
Maud: Especially not platonic.

Jean-Louis: I shock you, I know. I've had affairs with girls I loved and thought of marrying. But I've never just slept with a girl; that simply doesn't appeal to me.
Vidal: Yes, but let's suppose you met a lovely girl you knew you'd never see again. There are circumstances in which it's difficult to resist.
Jean-Louis: Fate, I won't say God, has kept me from such circumstances. I was never lucky with brief encounters. Remarkably unlucky.
Vidal: Just in that respect I have been lucky. Once in Italy with a Swedish girl. In Poland with an English girl. Those two nights are perhaps the happiest of my life. I'm all for affairs on journeys or at conferences. At least they avoid the clinging, bourgeois element.
Jean-Louis: In principle, I'm against. But since such a thing never happened to me...

Maud: Don't you want to be a saint?
Jean-Louis: Not at all.

Jean-Louis: My Christianity and my affairs are different, conflicting matters.
Vidal: Yet they co-exist in you.
Jean-Louis: In a warlike fashion. Now I may shock you once again but pursuing girls does not estrange one from God any more than pursing mathematics, for example.


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