5.9/10
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3 user 4 critic

Joë Caligula - Du suif chez les dabes (1969)

A young crook called Joë Caligula and his crew make war on a Parisian gang.

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(screenplay) (as Gérard Trion), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gérard Blain ...
Joë Caligula
Jeanne Valérie ...
Brigitte
...
Ariane
Junie Astor ...
Junie
Maria Vincent ...
Léa
Kim ...
Paul
Jean-Jacques Daubin ...
Alexandre (as Daubin)
Pierre Senor ...
Jean
Marcel Gassouk ...
Antoine (as Gassouk)
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Storyline

A group of brash hard young men from Marseille moves to Pigalle, Paris, and starts knocking over jewelry shops, gas stations, road houses and bistros - wearing wraparound sunglasses and brandishing Luger pistols and Sten guns, bistros in their efforts to conquer part of the violent and brutal criminal underworld until then «owned» by the established criminal organization. They spend time torturing, killing and intimidating the old generation of gangsters and their molls, until they either pay up or die. They hang out at strip joints where the girls do it slowly - to the tune of "I'm Evil". For kicks they watch their sexy molls fight it out in vicious apartment cat-fights where the loser pays the penalty of getting sliced up the back with a stiletto knife. The gang is led by Joë Silverstein ('GERARD BLAIN') nicknamed Caligula, who like the Roman emperor, is an amoral psychopath, image-conscious, sadist, and sickly in love with Brigitte ('JEANNE VALERIE'), his younger sister. At first, ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If John Ford is Homer, then José Bénazéraf is... Marcel Proust.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

8 January 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Joe Caligula  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Trivia

Last film of Junie Astor before her premature death at age 55. See more »

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Abysmal
12 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Joe Caligula" was reportedly forbidden by the censorship at the same time as Jacques Rivette's "la religieuse' ,but not for the same reasons."Joe Caligula" anticipated Quarantino's extreme violence by more than thirty years.That does not make it a good movie for all that,by a long shot.It is actually one of the worst French duds I have ever seen.

The credits go as far as to claim this :If John Ford is Homer (why not after all?the great director compares favorably with the Greek poet) ,then José Bénazéraf is .....(you'll never guess it) Marcel Proust .Well,if it is so,then Ed Wood is Shakespeare .Bénazéraf is known (but only by people who like that kind of stuff) for his porno movies which were to follow in the wake of "Joe" :many scenes of this movie verge on porno anyway: strip tease, nude women in bed ...

Well if Howard Hawks depicted Scarface as some kind of Borgia ,why not Caligula for a young crook?The problem lies in the fact that Joe has absolutely nothing to do with the Roman emperor.Played by the late Gérard Blain,who was a commendable actor when there was a Duvivier,a Chabrol or a Wenders to direct him,but here sank without a trace.Ditto for Ginette Leclerc,who was formerly directed by Pagnol,Clouzot and Duvivier! The rest of the cast is zombie-like ,particularly the female lead Jeanne Valérie .The script is so dismal that the actors often repeat their lines twice ,five times and even more!When the starlet in tears tells the story of her lover (or husband who cares) who was burnt alive (and is still burning,she points out),it is unintentionally highly comic.

The story ? well I shall now come to the question:Bénazéraf pits Joe and his young pack against a bunch of "old" gangsters and their molls. There's no more to say.

That such a turkey can be mentioned in "Guide des Films" ,the Bible of the French cine buff (and granted one star at that!) is beyond me.


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