The Elusive Corporal (1962)
"Le caporal épinglé" (original title)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  23 May 1962 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 522 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 5 critic

An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic... See full summary »



(adaptation), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Le caporal / The Corporal
Claude Brasseur ...
'Papa' / 'Pop'
O.E. Hasse ...
Le voyageur ivre dans le train
Jacques Jouanneau ...
Sacha Briquet ...
L'évadé grimé en vielle femme
Raymond Jourdan ...
Hippolyte Dupieu
Guy Bedos ...
Le prisonnier qui bégaye
Philippe Castelli ...
Le prisonnier électricien
Gérard Darrieu ...
L'homme qui louche / The cross-eyed man
Lucien Raimbourg ...
L'employé de la gare
François Darbon ...
Un paysan / The last man
Cornelia Froboess ...
Erika Schmidt (as Conny Froboess)
Elisabeth Marcus
Elisabeth Stiepl ...
(as Elisabeth Stiepel)


An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic intellectual, a working-class Parisian, and a German dental assistant, the corporal tries to escape from prison camps, sometimes making it a few yards, sometimes reaching the French border. Written by <>

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

23 May 1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Elusive Corporal  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Referenced in Mississippi Mermaid (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Use your great illusions
6 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Jean Renoir was always spared by the Nouvelle Vague critics.And however,if you've seen all his great films of the thirties (roughly from "la Chienne" to "La Règle du Jeu" )you may possibly find his latter days works disappointing:"le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe" and his pitiful attempt at a "Dr Jekill and M.Hyde" "Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier" "Le Caporal epinglé " is a different matter for it has its moments and the cast (Rich,Cassel,Claude Brasseur) is so perfect I do not need to add to the praise they have already received.

When I was a child ,I remember what my mother said when she saw the movie when it was theatrically released ;she did not like it very much.Six or seven years later,when I had the opportunity to see it ,I told her I did not understand her and that I had liked it ."Some day you will find out" was the answer.

At the time,I did not know even Renoir's name.Now that I've seen most of his movies,I do not take the same view as I did:I do not think,as it has often been mooted that it's a remake of "la grande illusion" although there are similarities between the two works.But Autant-Lara's "La traversée de Paris" or Henri Verneuil's "La Vache et le Prisonnier" (aka "the cow and I") which were pejoratively labeled "Cinema de Qualité" by the Young Turks were not inferior to "le Caporal Epinglé".Renoir's humor is sometimes vulgar and you'd better take "Stalag 17" instead.In the twenties his "Tire au Flanc" displays the same questionable coarse comedy side.

"La Grande Illusion" is one of the greatest films of the FRench cinema.Although it takes place during WW1,we never feel how atrocious that war was.

"Le Caporal Epinglé" takes place in a prison camp.And except for a few moments (Claude Rich's escape for instance) ,the soldiers seem to live in a holiday camp.

"LE Caporal Epinglé " is an entertaining movie though and the best scenes ,IMHO,are to be found outside the camp: Cassel on the dentist's chair is worth the price of admission.And the scene on the train with the naughty brat ("Be quiet or the gentleman will take you to war") is hilarious.

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