La prima notte di quiete

La prima notte di quiete, released in USA as Indian Summer (from the phrase Der Nachsommer, an insignia of Goethe) is a 1972 Italian and French drama film directed by Valerio Zurlini. It is starred and produced by Alain Delon. In France and Germany it runs less than the Italian cut. It is known and available on DVD in France as Le Professeur (The Professor) and in Germany as Oktober in Rimini (October in Rimini). It tells the story of a gifted but restless young man who cannot live up to the high traditions of his family and survives in obscurity, taking casual teaching jobs and living in a loveless partnership with a depressed woman. His aimless existence reaches a crisis point when he falls for one of his pupils, a beautiful but badly damaged girl.

La prima notte di quiete
Directed byValerio Zurlini
Written byEnrico Medioli
Valerio Zurlini
StarringAlain Delon
Lea Massari
Sonia Petrovna
Music byMario Nascimbene
CinematographyDario Di Palma
Edited byMario Morra
Distributed byTitanus
Release date
11 January 1972 (France)
25 August 1973 (Germany)
November 1978 (U.S.)
Running time
132 mins
Box office1,095,148 admissions (France)[1]


While a teacher is on sick leave, despite his dishevelled appearance and an employment history with unexplained gaps, Daniele is hired to take a class in Rimini. To get to know his pupils, he asks them to write a free essay or, if they prefer, one on the writer Manzoni. To his surprise, only one chooses the latter, the quiet and very attractive Vanina, who increasingly absorbs his attention. He talks to her when he can and gives her the book Vanina Vanini by Stendhal. In his free time, he leaves his partner Monica to herself (they sleep apart) while he gets to know a group of local men who enjoy drinking, gambling, recreational drugs, fast cars and easy women. Prominent among them are a crooked businessman Gerardo, who drives an ostentatious Lamborghini and is the lover of Vanina, and Spider, a gay pharmacist who is secretly a devout Catholic and lover of poetry.

Daniele takes the withdrawn Vanina to see a wall painting by Piero della Francesca and on the way back they share a kiss. When Spider's birthday comes round, after going to a disco where Vanina sulks and will not dance, the group end up at Gerardo's luxurious house. In revenge he shows a home movie, which starts innocently with Vanina on holiday but turns into a sex tape. She switches off the electricity and Gerardo asks everybody to leave. Next day Vanina does not turn up at school and Daniele goes to the house of her mother, who with threats warns him to stay away from her daughter. Going home, he faces trouble from Monica, who tolerates his evenings out with other men but not his growing obsession over his pupil. In addition, Spider has fallen in love with him and has found a book of poems he wrote called The First Night of Stillness. When Spider asks the significance of the title, Daniele says it is taken from Goethe: after you die, you have your first night without dreams.

Another friend Marcello, a real estate agent with empty properties to sell, takes Daniele to a solitary house by the sea he has allowed Vanina to hide in. After Daniele and Vanina have made love, they are woken by a furious Gerardo who has been looking for his runaway lover. He tells Daniele that Vanina was a child prostitute, managed by her mother, who has been enjoyed by most men in town and some women too. Daniele then gets the better of him in a fight and he leaves.

Putting Vanina on a train to stay with her sister, Daniele goes home to tell Monica he is leaving her, to which she replies that she will kill herself. When he stops at a bar to ring Monica, the phone is not answered and as he leaves he is professionally beaten up by the lover of Vanina's mother. Rescued by Marcello, he is looked after by Spider. Injured and upset, he drives fast and erratically through the fog to Monica's. After getting no response to knocking on Monica's door, he drives to a bar to phone for help in getting into Monica's flat and says that he will be there soon. He then drives onto a main road without looking and is hit by a truck and killed. The only character to go to his funeral in his family's grand villa is Spider.



Delon and the director clashed during filmmaking.[1]


The film was only a mild success in France but was the seventh most popular movie of the year in Italy.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Box office information on film at Box Office story

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