The original French title for Gentle Creature is Une Femme Douce. Both affectionate appellations refer to leading lady Dominique Sanda, a popular model of the 1960s, here making her film debut (Incredibly, she was chosen for the role by director Robert Bresson on the basis of her voice!) Sanda's first appearance is as a gorgeous corpse; she has committed suicide, and her pawnbroker husband (Guy Frangin) doesn't know why. It takes him nearly the entire movie to figure out what the audience has suspected all along: That the ravishing Dominique felt stifled by her husband's cloistered lifestyle. Gentle Creature was director Robert Bresson's first color film, and he proves himself as much a master with hues as he did in monochrome. Filmed in 1969, Gentle Creature was released in the U.S. in 1971, taking full advantage of Dominique Sanda's new international popularity.
by Hal Erickson synopsis