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The Soldiers (1963)
"Les carabiniers" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | War  -  27 September 1967 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,880 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 19 critic

During a war in an imaginary country, unscrupulous soldiers recruit poor farmers with promises of an easy and happy life. Two of these farmers write to their wives of their exploits.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marino Masé ...
Ulysses (as Marino Mase)
Patrice Moullet ...
Michel-Ange (as Albert Juross)
Geneviève Galéa ...
Venus
Catherine Ribeiro ...
Cleopatre
...
Car salesman
Jean-Louis Comolli ...
Soldier with fish
Gérard Poirot ...
Carabinier #1
Jean Brassat ...
Carabinier #2
Alvaro Gheri ...
Carabinier #3
Odile Geoffroy ...
Young Communist girl
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Storyline

During a war, the poor and ignorant brothers Ulysses and Michel-Ange are lured and recruited by two soldiers that promise wealth to them in the name of their King. The greedy wife of Ulysses Cleopatre and her daughter Venus ask them to enlist to pursue fortune. They travel to Italy and become unscrupulous criminals of war. When Ulysses is wounded in one eye, he returns home with Michel-Ange and a small bag full of postcards of famous locations and the promise that they would be entitled of the properties in the end of the war. However, when the King signs the peace treaty with their enemy, they find that the agreement was actually surrender and they have a prize to pay for their actions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los carabineros  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$140,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: Henceforth the two brothers slept for an eternity, believing the brain, in decay, functioned beyond death, and its dreams are what constitute Paradise.
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Connections

References Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1896) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another case where Godard was ahead of his time and miraculously didn't have to disguise it through alienating storytelling devices
29 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Les Carabiniers is the fourth feature film French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard made, as he took the sixties by storm with his convention-defying techniques and incredibly layered content that derived greatly from traditionalist French ideas. I can imagine some of the shockwaves this film in particular sent through France and its neighboring lands. The film is essentially a critique of war done with the familiar tunes of satire to some discernible effect. I will say that after watching Godard's incalculably disappointing eight-part series Histoire(s) du Cinéma, sitting down to watch another Godard film wasn't in my best interest, but it paid off considerably this time around.

The film tells the story of two poor souls who are ordered to serve in battle. They are Ulysses (Marino Mase) and Michelangelo (Albert Juross), who were attracted to the job under the false pretenses that it would bring them wealth and sustainable happiness in the world around them. Their wives, Venus and Cleopatra (Catherine Ribeiro and Genevieve Galea) are doing nothing but encouraging them after hearing about the riches that are in order if they do fight. The two men set course for the battlefields, destroying and complicating every situation in their path, recounting their experiences through postcards through their wives that express the horrors and unforeseen ugliness of battle they weren't prepared for.

Watching Les Carabiniers in 2014 America as a teenager, where for more than half of my life my country has been involved in an overseas war, the film undoubtedly expresses ideas that aren't foreign but frighteningly close to home. In a country that provides subpar care and opportunities for its struggling veterans and where families are distraught every day through deaths overseas, the film provides for a painfully familiar idea to people that war is hell and there's no way to sugarcoat it. Even more surprising is that this commentary is pretty extractable because anybody who knows Jean-Luc Godard, clarity and straightforward formulation of thought are not what he likes to do.

There isn't much to say about the film other than it isn't as serious as it may seem; several small chuckles and jokes are made during the film but serious conversations are had between characters that, in turn, replicate a sad reality many have gone on to accept as the norm. This is just one of the many examples of Godard showing that he was ahead of his time and, look, he didn't have to make a message so alienating and ambiguous after all.

Starring: Marino Mase, Albert Juross, Catherine Ribeiro, and Genevieve Galea. Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.


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