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

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,261 users  
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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.



(play), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Workers on a car factory argue with revolutionary students.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard


Complete credited cast:
Marino Masé ...
Ulysses (as Marino Mase)
Patrice Moullet ...
Michel-Ange (as Albert Juross)
Geneviève Galéa ...
Catherine Ribeiro ...
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


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


Comedy | Drama | War


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Release Date:

27 September 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los carabineros  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$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?


[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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User Reviews

An Ugly Film on an Ugly Subject
7 July 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

While this is certainly not Godard's most enjoyable work some of the negative comments here are world-class examples of point-missing.

Godard had already shown with "A Bout de Soufflé" and "Vivre Sa Vie" that he knew how to make a film with style, romance and flair. Therefore it's clear that the crude editing and sound dubbing, continuity lapses, bad acting and overall cheapness on display here were deliberate.

What we seem to have here is "War for Dummies". Godard spells things out as if talking to backward children and absolutely refuses to invest his subject and his protagonists with any sort of spectacle or dignity, both by giving us moronic and unsympathetic characters and by refusing the audience any catharsis or vicarious pleasure.

Francois Truffaut once said that no war movie can be truly anti-war, since the camera automatically aestheticizes its subject. Godard here goes all-out to disprove that thesis.This does of course make the film hard to watch but it's a deliberate slap in the face, not the result of incompetence.

Incidents from many wars are parodied - for example scenes of the women having their hair cut off refer to the treatment of French women who had consorted with Germans during the Occupation. "America" is represented by a car with tail fins and some French tower blocks, in a prefiguring of "Alphaville"s approach to location. Apparently the letters used as intertitles are genuine letters home from French troops in various conflicts, although this does not seem to be made clear in the film.

I tend to agree that this is a film for Godard completists only and certainly not the best place to start with his work. The best comparison to make would be with Alfred Jarry's "Ubu Roi" which takes the same crude approach, and apparently the project started life as a stage play.

See "Weekend" for a similar approach to 'peace', only with a lot more fun and games.

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