1961. Luxemburger Thomas Vlassenroot deserted the French Foreign Legion during the Algiers Putsch. His lieutenant, Fraser, initiated the desertion for the two of them, Fraser believing he ...
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1961. Luxemburger Thomas Vlassenroot deserted the French Foreign Legion during the Algiers Putsch. His lieutenant, Fraser, initiated the desertion for the two of them, Fraser believing he could do more for the French working for an underground organization. However, Thomas readily admits that he no longer has any political motivations or affiliations, and thus is hiding out from the authorities in Algiers. Fraser offers him a proposition: help him kidnap Lyonais lawyer, Dominique Servet, who is in Algiers to defend two Algerian nationalists. Fraser will mastermind the job, but Thomas is required to help him both carry out the kidnapping, as well as stand guard over Dominique for one week. She is only one of two kidnap victims that will be held, each victim with a guard apiece, the other victim's guard being Amerio, a fellow member of Fraser's organization. Unlike Fraser and Amerio, Thomas does the job as a mercenary for pay: the F60,000 he needs to be able to get back home to ... Written by
An excellent Alain Delon stars in a haunting thriller.
This is a little gem. Alain Delon plays a deserted legionnaire who gets hired by the OAS (Organisation de l'armée secrète, which translates to Secret Army Organization, a short-lived French terrorist group) to kidnap a lawyer and hold her prisoner in Algiers for several days. He falls in love with her and helps her to escape. From now on the OAS is after him.
This is a chase film, which starts as a tough thriller and half way through turns into a gripping melodrama which is engaging because of the tender love story which comes to the foreground and slowly starts to get to you.
I recommend this film for fans of slow-paced thrillers and fans of Alain Delon (check out his work in the cult classic Le Samourai) who once again displays his panther-like agility and steely determination. Also watch out for the superb black-and-white cinematography by expert DP Claude Renoir (who later photographed French Connection II). The film makes excellent use of real locations.
I also liked the melancholy feel of the story. The lead character's desire to return home to a place where he once was happy and which now seems so very far away is touching and has always stayed with me since the first time I saw the movie.
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