Gwen Welles in "Hellé"

An Obscure, Remarkable Film About the French Vietnam War

(filmed during the later U.S.-Vietnam War)
Starring GWEN WELLES - directed by ROGER VADIM

Gwen Welles plays a deaf mute girl in " Hellé " - a 1972 French film, directed by Roger Vadim. The press dubbed the stunning young red-haired, blue-eyed American actress "a radiant angel."
Julian fought in Indochina when it was still a French colony (before the Vietnam War), and the war still haunts him when he returns home.
The setting is a village in the High Savoy mountains (filmed in the Swiss Alps), providing the film a stunning scenic backdrop.

By contrast, the idyllic feel of early 1950s French rural life is torn apart by the return of a embittered French veteran of the war in Indochina (1950s Vietnam).

For Americans who thought they alone were scarred by the Vietnam War, this film is a historical revelation.

Click on Hellé to view the movie.

Gwen Welles (left) in "Desert Hearts"



Gwen Welles: a Roger Vadim Pictorial Theme

Click each image to read all about Gwen Welles in a 1972 article; a stunning American actress of rare talent who starred in television, award winning films and a documentary that included "Nashville," "Desert Hearts," "Angel on my Shoulder," and Hellé!
Gwen Welles - radiant angel!

Gwen Welles - the sexy hot number!


Donna Deitch Documentary: "Angel on my Shoulder"

Twenty years after stripping bare in award winning film "Nashville," Welles is stripped bare, in almost all senses, in this chronicle that is part amazing, part exasperating, always compelling. Here is a woman remaining toujours wacky—it is Welles’ mode—even as the medical bulletins thud into her weakening body and confidence. She has long days of whininess, but don’t we all. She has seeming lapses of sanity (same comment).

Donna Deitch film puts all human life into a bungalow, sharpening it with the imminent visit of death.

Donna Deitch directed, photographed, and edited "Angel On My Shoulder," a feature-length documentary about her best friend actress Gwen Welles’ experience with illness and dying.

Diagnosed with an cancerous tumor in 1992, Gwen chose not to go for conventional treatments, and the film shows her deterioration.

Shot on video with a later transfer to 16mm, this film was shown at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival, and the documentary won the Gold Hugo at The
Chicago Film Festival.Learn more about Gwen at her friend's (director) Donna Deitch's web site:

“[A] loving, never exploitative and remarkably detached portrait of a complex, contradictory woman with a troubled, unstable past and her struggle to come to terms with herself.” — LA Times
“…an undeniably powerful and moving depiction of the end of a vibrant life and of an enduring friendship.” – Variety
“Deitch does well not to over-sentimentalise, nor exclude ambivalence where it exists in what is a sometimes funny, often deeply harrowing document.” –
Time Out London

Directed by: Donna Deitch
Producer: Donna Deitch
Writers: Donna Deitch and Terri Jentz
Cast: Donna Deitch … Herself/Narrator and Gwen Welles … Herself
Cinematographer: Donna Deitch
Editor: Donna Deitch

Won: Gold Hugo (1998) Chicago Film Festival: Best Documentary (by Donna Deitch)