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Le Petit Soldat (1963)
"Le petit soldat" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  War, Drama  |  25 January 1963 (France)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,658 users   Metascore: 97/100
Reviews: 23 user | 23 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Henri-Jacques Huet ...
Jacques
Paul Beauvais ...
Paul
László Szabó ...
Laszlo
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Storyline

During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist group meet and fall in love. Complications ensue when the man is suspected by the members of his terrorist group of being a double agent. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le Petit Soldat  »

Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,848 (USA) (8 March 2013)

Gross:

$24,296 (USA) (16 August 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was actually completed in 1960, and was Jean-Luc Godard's second film after Breathless (1960). It was shelved for three years by the French censors. See more »

Quotes

Bruno Forestier: It's strange. When I look myself in the face... I get the feeling I don't match what I think it's inside.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Two in the Wave (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
seems to go by quicker than it does, but a lot goes on in that time
18 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've watched and re-watched the beginning sections, sometimes 5 minutes or sometimes up to 30, of many of Godard's films, and then either got too tired or just wasn't sure I could get through it all at the time. Sometimes it was because the material gets difficult and even egregious to what cinema, in concept, form, execution, ideas, amounts to. And sometimes there's also some very good stuff to savor too, as Godard thumbs his nose and makes new rules to break for himself. Le Petit Soldat, really his 2nd film after Breathless but released later, happens to carry with it, as was the case with Les Carabiniers, the political intent of his later films but with a brisker, more accessible avant-garde style to match the semantics. He also still has the energy going on full-throttle, and there are even moments where the jump-cuts start to feel even more exhilarating than one might've thought in Breathless. And at 80 minutes it says what it has to and exits, but while around leaves many memorable bits in its wake, some small like when Bruno (Michel Subor) rushes back to make a 'bet' by asking Anna Karina's Veronica Dreyer to move her hair around for him. It's a slight aside that's really wonderful, playful whimsy in a film that really doesn't have time for it. Another memorable moment is when Bruno is tortured, with the water crashing down on his head underneath the black mask.

There's also some superb passages put into play, even if said multiple viewings are needed to grasp all of the method to what Godard is after in both the text and the look of the picture. As he's into extremes in style- either very fast in motion, skipping around narrative here and there like jump-rope, or deliberate and almost crude in its attention to length of shots and cutaways and reactions- there's also some extremes to deal with in the narrative too, the content. While it's not as deliriously nutty and experimental as Pierrot le Fou, with the political agenda there more open to interpretation, Le Petit Soldat is pretty serious stuff, with the Algiers topics and spy moments hot-button issues that Godard definitely cares about. What does it mean to be sort of wary of being a terrorist? Does one really commit to the allegiance or back down, and for what reason? Is it also impacted via the other side, who may be no more moral than his own? I still need to see this again some other time, if not just for the message pointers, then for the oddball tautness of the direction.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why 1963? This movie was made in 1960! david-1056
why no translation? otis von zipper
Why so overlooked? whyofcourse64
narrator pjbadseed
je vous aime goombaruskirusky
Godard's most straightforward narrative? mcmoogol
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