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The Dictator's Guns (1965)

L'arme à gauche (original title)
Jacques Cournot, a freelance skipper, is hired by Mr Hendrix in Santo Domingo, first of all to advise him regarding the acquisition of a sailing boat. After a thorough inspection of a ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jacques Cournot
...
Rae Osborne
...
Morrison
...
Hugo Hendrix
Antonio Martín ...
Ruiz
Jean-Claude Bercq ...
Avery
...
Keefer (as Jack Leonard)
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Storyline

Jacques Cournot, a freelance skipper, is hired by Mr Hendrix in Santo Domingo, first of all to advise him regarding the acquisition of a sailing boat. After a thorough inspection of a prospective vessel, the "Dragoon", Cournot reports his positive appraisal to Mr Hendrix and initiates the negotiations with Mrs Osborne, the owner of the craft. Barely a couple of days later, Cournot finds himself in a bind as the police questions him about the exact kind of cruise he was supposed to organize for his principal. For the "Dragoon" is gone; Mr Hendrix has disappeared; Mrs Osborne is not aware of any deal; and the corpses of mysterious individuals, victims of a violent death, are found on the beaches of Santo Domingo. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

18 June 1965 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Dictator's Guns  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The French title L'Arme à Gauche ("The Clumsy Weapon") is derived from the French military term for the rifle. The saber (the Arme Blanche or "Pure Weapon") was considered more elegant by officers. See more »

Connections

Featured in Claude Sautet ou La magie invisible (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A grounded ketch provides the background for conflict between Lino Ventura and Leo Gordon
20 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All 4 IMDb reviews preceding mine are on target. I can do little more than endorse what they say about the fine directing, solid cast, and quality black/white photography of "L'Arme a Gauche" (1965). The movie is definitely a noir and a noir with a difference, taking place in fictional Caribbean locations, on a 25 meter two-masted ketch, and near a small island.

I was surprised to learn that director Claude Sautet had 5 years earlier done the top-notch "Classe tous Risques", also with Ventura. That's a signal about the quality of "L'Arme a Gauche", even if the latter is not up to the level of "Classe".

When you find a top-notch actor like Lino Ventura, you can pretty well count on the movies in which he stars as being worthwhile, with variation of course. That's clearly the case here. Sea captain Ventura unknowingly assesses a boat for gun-running Leo Gordon, Sylva Koscina being the owner. After the boat is stolen and Ventura has been let go by police, Koscina hires him to find the boat. This leads to an extended, well-staged and realistic confrontation with Gordon and his cronies.

I've seen this picture twice now, most recently in a clear widescreen copy (1.66:1). Koscina impressed me again, as she did in "Vertigo for a Killer" (1970). In a role calling for some muscle, Ventura underplayed as usual and that has made his performance still solid and fresh. The twilight images of Leo Gordon on an isolated bit of sand surrounded by dark boxes of guns and ammunition are striking. The ketch is across several hundred yards of water, but it's grounded. Gordon has a machine gun that he's shown he will use and does use to control everyone and the situation. A small raft links the boat and the sand bar. The conflict is reduced to simple essentials.


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