MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,185 this week

The Army of Shadows (1969)
"L'armée des ombres" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  12 September 1969 (France)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 12,454 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 78 user | 112 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

A account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

War
a list of 33 titles
created 09 Feb 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Sep 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Dec 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 20 Mar 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 08 Oct 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Army of Shadows (1969)

The Army of Shadows (1969) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Army of Shadows.
3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volonté
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bob, a old gangster and gambler is almost broke, so he decides in spite of the warnings of a friend, a high official from the police, to rob a gambling casino in Dauville. Everything is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gustave Minda, better known as Gu, a dangerous gangster, escapes from jail. He goes to Paris to join Manouche and other friends, and get involved in a gangland killing. Before leaving the ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin
Le Samouraï (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After killing a night-club owner, professional hitman Jef Costello's seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer
Le Doulos (1962)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. He is also preparing a house-breaking, and his friend ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly
The Cop (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just a asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva, Irène Tunc
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Broke French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer Michel Maudet becomes bodyguard for the fugitive corrupt banker Ferchaux.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Howard Vernon, Nicole Stéphane, Jean-Marie Robain
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a snowball fight between schoolboys the handsome Dargelos hits the chest of Paul, who drops unconscious to the ground. Paul has a deep affection for Dargelos, and later denies that there... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Having recently been uprooted to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers each look for a new way in life when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Meurisse ...
...
Jean François Jardie
...
Claude Mann ...
Claude Ullmann dit 'Le Masque'
...
Felix Lepercq
Christian Barbier ...
Guillaume Vermersch dit 'Le Bison'
...
The hairdresser
André Dewavrin ...
Alain Dekok ...
Legrain
Alain Mottet ...
Commander of the camp
Alain Libolt ...
Paul Dounat
Jean-Marie Robain ...
Baron de Ferte Talloire
Albert Michel ...
Gendarm
Denis Sadier ...
Gestapo's doctor
Edit

Storyline

France, 1942, during the occupation. Philippe Gerbier, a civil engineer, is one of the French Resistance's chiefs. Given away by a traitor, he is interned in a camp. He manages to escape, and joins his network at Marseilles, where he makes the traitor be executed... This non-spectacular movie (do not expect any Rambo or Robin Hood) shows us rigorously and austerely the everyday of the French Resistants : their solitude, their fears, their relationships, the arrests, the forwarding of orders and their carrying out... Both writer Joseph Kessel and co-writer and director Jean-Pierre Melville belonged to this "Army in the Shadows". Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

12 September 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Army of Shadows  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,620 (USA) (28 April 2006)

Gross:

$741,733 (USA) (20 April 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (2006 restoration)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

For the shot depicting German soldiers marching down the Champs Elysees, Jean-Pierre Melville thought that it would be impossible to get regular Frenchmen to provide the proper marching movements. He ended up casting dancers to correctly provide the march steps he wanted from the soldiers. This shot was originally the last in the film and prints were sent to theaters with it in that place. After the first showings, Melville decided the scene was better placed at the start of the film and it was physically spliced into the new position. This apparently resulted in several missing frames in the negative. These frames were restored from another source when the 2005 digital restoration was accomplished. See more »

Goofs

In the end, it says "dimanche 23 février 1943" (Sunday, 23rd February, 1943) even though it was a Tuesday. See more »

Quotes

Philippe Gerbier: See you later, Comrade.
Legrain: ...You're a communist?
Philippe Gerbier: No. But I can still have comrades.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Icicle Thief (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)
(uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Recommended-now if only Bush, Blair et. al. could only see this they might learn something about patriotism
28 March 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Today, watching a film like Mr.and Mrs. North (2005) or one of the Bourne or Mission Impossibles or any of the current crop of 'action' films up to and including the latest Kung Fu spectacular with invulnerable flying fighting machines, seems to have rendered the genre into a profitable degeneracy rendering the depiction of actual human beings or their cinematic similitude obsolete as cave paintings. That anyone could be entertained by the goings on of a Charlie's Angles movie puzzles me. I do know there is no audience for a genuine film detailing the lives and works of a genuine underground resistance like that of the French during the German Nazi occupation.

This might be the most mundane, matter-of-fact war movie since Robert Montgomery's overlooked masterpiece The Gallant Hours. This is because the people, patriots all, who rose to fight, were pretty ordinary people from rather prosaic walks of life. When it come to resisting a foreign tyranny in the form of an occupying army it isn't a bunch of professionally trained assassins who can be counted on but politically aware citizens who organize. These are ordinary people who had to rise to a situation. It is pure Existentialism.

This is a very spare, almost Jansenist version of the true story of the French Resistance. This Melville is, as usual, the opposite side of the coin from his twin, Robert Bresson. At one point the central character played by Lino Ventura, escapes by simply running away. He is helped along the way by a man who doesn't even mention the situation or his role in assisting. Its just done because that is what one does. The German's are hardly seen as this film is simply not about them. Each death, there are very, very few of them, is a moral and ethical agony. At least for the resistance. The torture scenes are all off camera.

Directoral moments are minimal, such as when Ventura buys a new suit and shoes and then must leave them behind. Its like what soldiers say about combat, extreme longueurs of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror.

The truth behind the story is that the German Gestapo commander, Klaus Barbie, the so called Butcher of Lyon, was a war criminal who was spirited out of Europe after the war by the US to train military regimes in South America in the techniques of torture that he perfected in France.

In one of the set pieces British STOL Lysander aircraft land to and take off to bring certain resistance members to London. This scene features the actual aircraft. This was particularly amazing as most Melville films suffer from budgetary constrictions which usually effect the realism of certain scenes (see the helicopter/train transfer in Un Flic) and there were possibly only two airworthy Lysanders at the time of the filming of L' Armée des ombres. The parachuting scene is also so nicely judged in its almost prosaic ordinariness, yet we know its still a jump into the seemingly limitless darkness, but which would aggravate the ADD generation. The dry, almost Islandic renderings of scenes, sometimes to the level of an Industrial film, reminds me of the flat rendering Truffaut did of simply fueling a car at a service station in Le Peau Douce. This is why Melville and Bresson were the honorary mentors of the New Wave. It was a further adaptation of Realism and neo-realism but with an awareness that at all times it was a film and therefore an adaption of reality but distorted only to make the truth more vivid.

It is a pity if, as I think, this film will fail to connect with a generation saturated on the super hero shenanigans of SFX dare-a-doings. One writer pointed out the ridiculousness of someone deliberately sending himself to prison in order to deliver a cyanide capsule, totally discounting true sacrifice for the type of action where the pretty actors manage to survive almost any cataclysm so that in the end, after the death of countless nameless and faceless minions and the elimination of the satanic villain-in-chief, while ankle deep in gore, they can have a nice chuckle. Hey babes, that's entertainment.

Looking at the restored version of L' Armée des ombres just emphasizes the death of film culture, not because there are no writers and directors who can make films like this but because there are no audiences for films like this. Highly recommended.


139 of 186 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what a way to spend a resistance vramesh
Women over 45 really hate this?!?!? vailrulestheworld
Gerbier's Escape from Interrogation DrNick1
Why did Felix not want to wear the bowler hat? ozma-of-oz
This film was suprisingly moving... Goldmund1710
Great Movie, But............... Berdowns2
Discuss The Army of Shadows (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?