8th October 1975

The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas

The Story of Adele H had multiple Guernsey connections. It tells the story of Victor Hugo’s daughter, Adele, and is based on her own diaries. They were published as Le Journal d’Adele Hugo.

Adele’s diaries detail her pursuit of a man with whom she had a brief fling. Unfortunately, he’s really not interested in her. However, she eventually catches up with him in Barbados where he’s living as a married man. She has a breakdown and is put into an asylum for forty years to get over it.

Evolving feelings

Reviewing the film for the 1 October issue of The Spectator, Clancy Sigal initially had sympathy for Adele herself. This, despite her relentless pursuit of the hussar, Albert Pinson, who was trying to escape her. However, he wrote how, on second viewing, “my feelings have shifted some of the way over to the luckless lieutenant. Once I too had an obsession bordering on madness for someone who had rejected me, and now that I can look back on it coldly I understand the expression of genuine panic and even terror on the woman’s face whenever I popped up, unbidden and undesired, on her doorstep. Obsessive love is like an assassination attempt committed in romantically slow motion.”

Isabelle Adjani, who played Adele Hugo, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She was the youngest person ever to be nominated in that category.

Directed by Francois Truffaut, The Story of Adele H was filmed in Guernsey and Senegal on a budget of five million francs. Several Guernsey locals, including Deputies, played parts in the production.

In real life, Adele Hugo developed schizophrenia at an early age, as had Victor Hugo’s brother Eugene. She died in 1915, aged 94, while still living in an asylum on the outskirts of Paris.


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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st