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A King Without Distraction (1963)
"Un roi sans divertissement" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  30 August 1963 (France)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 131 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A policeman and a serial killer play cat and mouse in an isolated mountain village in Nineteenth century France.


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Complete credited cast:
Claude Giraud ...
Capitaine Langlois
Colette Renard ...
Le procureur du Roi
Pierre Repp ...
Albert Rémy ...
Le maire
René Blancard ...
Le curé


One Winter in the Ninetenth century. A mysterious crime has been committed in an isolated village of the Aubrac region. A retired prosecutor who lives there asks Langlois, a police captain, to investigate the case. The police officer accepts, settles down in the village and, by dint of obstinacy, winds up finding out who committed the murder. But, while tracking down the slayer, Langlois also discovers something very unpleasant about himself, he too loves killing... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

30 August 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A King Without Distraction  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Having made friends with Jean Giono, Édouard Molinaro was asked by the writer to co-write and direct the film. They did write a first draft of the script and went as far as to scout locations in the Aubrac region but the project failed for production reasons. François Leterrier took over two years later. See more »


Pourquoi faut-il que les hommes s'ennuient?
Written, Composed and interpreted by Jacques Brel
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User Reviews

superb metaphysical thriller
10 February 2005 | by (madrid spain) – See all my reviews

I have just seen a french DVD copy of this film. It is one of the most interesting thrillers I've seen in along time. The visuals are astonishing and the dialogues are as sophisticated as you would expect from someone like Giono. The concept is fascinating: a policeman and a serial killer play cat and mouse in an isolated mountain village in Nineteenth century France. Unlike most thrillers, there is no psychological explanation of the killer's motives, but a metaphysical, existential reflection of the nature of murder, which can be considered highly original, and at least as immoral as De Quincey's thesis.

It is clear that this film was a heavy influence on Chistophe Gans' "Brotherhood of the wolf", although I would suggest that the unexpected (yet totally coherent) twist at the ending has been copied in many films such as Friedkin's "Cruising" (francophile smart ass!) or Von Trier's "Element of crime".

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