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L'affaire Dominici
The Dominici Affair

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"L'Affaire Dominici" is based on a true story. On the night of the 4-5th August 1953 an English couple and their daughter were murdered in their tents. The suspects are the Dominici family, whose farm lies near the tragedy,and whose patriarch (Jean Gabin) shows himself inflexible.

The Dominici family seems to come from an unfamiliar world, traditional rural France. They contradict themselves but we are not clear why, they might be trying to cover up, but then again there might be other reasons.

Gabin gives a disturbing performance and Victor Lanoux is equally good as his son. A young Gerard Depardieu has a small part as as a dim nephew.

A 2003 telefilm version of L'Affaire Dominici by Pierre Boutron, was made with Michel Serrault et Michel Blanc. It was inspired by a book by William Reymond supporting the thesis that the Secret Service was implicated in the murder.

Orson Welles made an unfinnished television documentary, the content of which was completed in French by Christophe Cogne with the title L'Affaire Dominici par Orson Welles.

A 2010 play called Dominici, un procès impitoyable, by Marc Fayet, was staged by Robert Hossein.

There are also a number of French books on the subject.

  • Jacques Arrigoni, Affaire Dominici : Enquête sur l'histoire, Éditions Toustemslibre, 2008, (ISBN 978-2-9531760-1-8)
  • André Benedetto, Pourquoi et comment on a fait un assassin de Gaston d., Éditions Pierre Jean Oswald, 1975.
  • Jean-Charles Deniau et Madeleine Sultan, Dominici : c'était une affaire de famille, Ed. de l'Archipel.
  • Jean Giono, Notes sur l'affaire Dominici, Gallimard, 1955, (ISBN 978-2070228294)
  • L'écrivain a couvert le procès pour l'hebdomadaire Arts. Ses notes paraissent dans cette revue fin 1954. Elles sont complétées un an plus tard par un Essai sur le caractère des personnages où il fait une analyse psychologique des différents protagonistes de l'affaire.
    Éric Guerrier, L'Affaire Dominici, expertise du triple crime de Lurs, Éditions Cheminements, 2007.
  • Edmond Sebeille, L'Affaire Dominici, toute la vérité sur le crime de Lurs, Plon, 1970.
  • Pierre Carrias, Jean Teyssier, René Pacault et Yves Thélène, "Dominici, de l'accident aux agents secrets", éditions de Provence, 1997.


The Real Jack Drummond

Sir Jack Cecil Drummond FRIC, FRS (12 Jan 1891—4 Aug or 5 Aug 1952) was a distinguished biochemist, noted for his work on nutrition as applied to the British diet under rationing during the Second World War.

On the evening of 4 August 1952, while on holiday in France in their green Hillman estate car, registered number NNK 686, the Drummonds stopped by the side of the N96 main road, less than 200 metres from a picturesque farmhouse called La Grand'Terre. The site is marked by a milestone as exactly 6 km south of Peyruis and 6 km north of La Brillanne. A footpath leads from the site down to the banks of the river Durance.

La Grand'Terre was the home of the Dominicis, a family of Franco-Italian peasant farmers: the patriarch Gaston, his wife Marie, their son Gustave, Gustave's wife Yvette and their baby son Alain. It was Gustave who claimed to have found the three dead bodies around 5:30am on the morning of 5 August, and who flagged down a passing motorcyclist, Jean-Marie Olivier, telling him to fetch the police.

Anne's body was found near the car. Jack's lay on the other side of the N96, covered by a camp bed. They had both been shot by a Rock-Ola rifle. The body of 10-year-old Elizabeth was found 77 metres away, down the path leading to the river, on the other side of the bridge over the railway. Her head had been brutally smashed in by the stock of the rifle. The barrel of the murder weapon was soon found in the river, with the stock a short distance downstream. It is possible that the force of the blow or blows used to kill Elizabeth had also broken the stock off the rifle.

Gaston Dominici was convicted of the murders in November 1954, and sentenced to the guillotine.Both the police investigation and the conduct of the trial had been widely criticised, and after two inconclusive inquiries, President René Coty commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. Coty was succeeded in 1959 by President Charles de Gaulle, who ordered Dominici's release on humanitarian grounds, but did not pardon him, nor grant his request for a retrial.

The Drummonds are buried in the cemetery of the well-known tourist town of Forcalquier, about 25 km east of Lurs. Near the stone bridge over the railway, a cross with children's votive offerings marks the spot where Elizabeth's body was found.

The murders remain a subject of hot dispute to this day in France, where they are referred to as l'affaire Dominici (French). Alain Dominici, a baby at the time of the murders, has spent a lifetime campaigning for the innocence of his grandfather.

Books (US)

Books (UK)





Crime Drama Mystery

Directed by

Claude Bernard-Aubert

Produced by

Claude Giroux
Éric Rochat

Written by

Claude Bernard-Aubert screenplay
Claude Bernard-Aubert story
Daniel Boulanger screenplay
Daniel Boulanger story
Louis-Emile Galey


Jean Gabin
Jeanne Allard,
Max Amyl and
Michel Bertay

Music by

Alain Goraguer



Release date


Running time

105 min






Color (Eastmancolor)




Jeanne Allard

Augusta Callat

Max Amyl


Michel Bertay

Périez, le juge d'instruction

Jean-Pierre Castaldi

Le premier journaliste

Paul Crauchet

Le commissaire

Gérard Darrieu

Clovis Dominic

Gérard Depardieu

Zézé Perrin

Colin Drake

Sir Jack Drummond

Alberto Farnese ...

Un journaliste italien

Geneviève Fontanel

Yvette Dominici

Pierre Forget

Le père d'Yvette

Annick Fougery

Germaine Perrin

Jean Gabin

Gaston Dominici

Nicole Giroux

Elizabeth Drummond

Rafael Hernández


Daniel Ivernel

Le président de la cour d'Assises

Victor Lanoux

Gustave Dominici

Evi Maltagliati

Marie Dominici

Jane Martel

Lady Ann Drummond

Jean-Claude Massoulier

Le second journaliste

Jean-Paul Moulinot

Le médecin légiste

Jacques Richard

L'adjoint du commissaire

Jacques Rispal

Paul Maillet

Michel Robin


Henri Vilbert
Le président de la correctionnelle





Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
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L'affaire Dominici on You tube
Still from the Film L'affaire Dominici
Still from the Film L'affaire Dominici
Dominici, Poster for the Play
The Murder Victims
Photograph of the Accusedi
Newspaper Headlines: Death Sentence
Photograph of the Accused