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Swann in Love (French: Un amour de Swann, German: Eine Liebe von Swann), is a 1984 Franco-German film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. It is based on Marcel Proust's novel sequence In Search of Lost Time, specifically the first volume the title of which typically translates as Swann's Way. It was nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards.

Swann in Love
Swann in Love (film).jpg
Directed byVolker Schlöndorff
Produced byVolker Schlondorff
Margaret Menegoz
Written by
Music by
CinematographySven Nykvist
Edited byFrançoise Bonnot
Distributed byOrion Classics
Box office$6.1 million[1]


Swann (Jeremy Irons), an eligible bachelor in the best circles of fin-de-siècle Paris, has also some more vulgar but rich friends, the Verdurins. Through them he meets Odette (Ornella Muti), a courtesan, with whom he falls hopelessly in love. She seems to enjoy his company, for which he pays, but considers herself free to socialise and sleep where she pleases, particularly with a rival called de Forcheville. Swann’s passion turns to consuming jealousy, which leads him eventually to accept the social stigma of marrying her. One old friend, the overtly gay Charlus (Alain Delon), stays sympathetic.[2]


Director Volker Schlöndorff commented later about Proust's Swann in Love as follows: "I must have been sixteen or seventeen,... I devoured "Un Amour de Swann" in one weekend, lying appropriately under the apple trees in the garden of my boarding school. ... Proust revealed three worlds to me: the French language, the corresponding society and the unknown regions of love and jealousy. ...

At the time, I, like Charles Swann, had only one desire: to become assimilated in France. ...

When I was offered "Un Amour de Swann", I didn't hesitate for a second. I accepted without reading the book again. ... I saw images in my mind's eye: a man wandering at night across the boulevards, from one bar to the next, in a feverish state of euphoria, searching for a woman who constantly eludes him. He knocks late at night on a window which is not hers. One afternoon, he subjects her to a long session of questioning, he tortures her with his jealousy and takes enjoyment in his own suffering.

Odette and Paris: a woman, larger than life, and a city, the epitome of all cities, as well as the man who tries to possess them both - that for me is "Un Amour de Swann".[3]



Critical receptionEdit

Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review and wrote that "Jeremy Irons is perfect as Charles Swann, pale, deep-eyed, feverish with passion."[4]


  • Nominee Best Costume Design - BAFTA (Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle)
  • Nominee Best Foreign Language Film - BAFTA (Volker Schlöndorff, Magaret Menegoz)
  • Winner Best Production Design - Cesar Awards (Jacques Saulnier)
  • Winner Best Costume Design - Cesar Awards (Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle)


  1. ^ Box office information on film at Box Office Story
  2. ^ Created from French|Un amour de Swann|date=January 2011
  3. ^ "Un Amour de Swann : Summary". Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Swann in Love". Retrieved 20 September 2016.

External linksEdit