MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 7,241 this week

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

 -  Drama | War  -  12 September 1969 (France)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,181 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 77 user | 114 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

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 01 Apr 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 09 Apr 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Army of Shadows" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Army of Shadows (1969)

Army of Shadows (1969) on IMDb 8.1/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of 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  

Corey is a cool, aristocratic thief, released from prison on the same day that Vogel, a murderer, escapes from the custody of the patient Mattei, a cat-loving police superintendent. Corey ... See full summary »

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
Le Samurai (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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 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
A 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
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A down on his luck French ex-paratrooper turned amateur boxer takes a job as a private secretary and bodyguard for a corrupt French banker who is on the run from French authorities.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Come and See (1985)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet Army and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov
Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In a small town in occupied France in 1941, the German officer, Werner Von Ebrennac is billeted in the house of the uncle and his niece. The uncle and niece refuse to speak to him, but each... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Howard Vernon, Nicole Stéphane, Jean-Marie Robain
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care... See full summary »

Directors: Andrei Tarkovsky, Eduard Abalov
Stars: Nikolay Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Evgeniy Zharikov
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
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

During the shooting of this film, Lino Ventura and the director Jean-Pierre Melville did not speak to each other. They only communicated through assistants. 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

Features Gone with the Wind (1939) 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

 
aside from his later crime films, this is Melville at his best, and usual challenging self
7 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jean Pierre Melville, writer/director of Army of Shadows, has said in interviews that the book of which he based his movie from is considered THE book on the French resistance in the second world war. While I can only speculate as to this film being THE film of its category, as I've yet to see other films on the resistance, it sets quite a high standard for painting a very calculated, perfectly cool (or cold on your POV) piece of film-making on the subject.

It's basically as if Melville, having lived through the period- this being perhaps an even more personal film than his other crime films- still takes on some of the true knacks of what he does in the rest of his oeuvre. Taking characters who go by codes of loyalty, professional as can be, and in a true underground in society. However this time their opponent being the Germans instead of the police the stakes are raised. Even as a couple of parts in the middle seem to shake with the deliberate pace Melville sets a couple of times, the main core of the story and the characters is remarkable, and honest in a dark, bleak way.

Lino Ventura is at his best as Gerbier, a main man in the French resistance movement, who gets more involved in the proceedings following a brief prison-camp stint (the escape from which is one of the most daring in any film). The film is fairly episodic, however encompassing a group of the resistance people, including Mathilde (Simon Signet, very good as always), Le Masque (Claude Mann), and Jean-Francois (Jean-Pierre Cassel, at a peak as well in his own way).

Some of their operations are simple, like retrieving weapons or finding more support through certain channels. Though here and there some payback is in due to the traitors. This becomes a higher issue as the film rolls into its final act, as alliances come into question, and the real ties of humanity together are tested in the midst of the German occupation.

As usual with Melville all of this is told, in its own way, fairly simply- almost clinically- by Melville's camera. There are some zooms here and there, some very intense camera positions (though not awkwardly), and exciting when need be. At the same time, there are some scenes like a short scene on a beach (all blue) or a few others at night or in different lighting modes that are the best Melville's done in the midst of a color scheme used perfectly to correspond with the mood; it works just as well if not better than how he uses it for his crime films.

But one of the pleasures of seeing a film like this by a real kind of maverick of European cinema is seeing how much room he gives for his actors. These are not performances that become over-sensational in the slightest. On the contrary, what adds sometimes to the tension in some of the scenes, or the outright tragedy, is how the actors just play as they do professional-wise, sometimes with what's not said meaning more (and how the Melville gets these quiet moments is fantastic). Featuring a superlative musical accompaniment by Eric De Marsan, this is one of the best directed anti-war films ever made.


24 of 29 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 Army of Shadows (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?