IMDb > Army of Shadows (1969)
L'armée des ombres
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Army of Shadows (1969) More at IMDbPro »L'armée des ombres (original title)

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Army of Shadows -- Trailer for Army Of Shadows

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   12,040 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Joseph Kessel (novel)
Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)
Contact:
View company contact information for Army of Shadows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 September 1969 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
3 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(63 articles)
The Definitive War Movies: 40-31
 (From SoundOnSight. 10 June 2014, 11:20 AM, PDT)

Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Essential Jacques Demy
 (From Disc Dish. 24 April 2014, 11:57 AM, PDT)

'Sorcerer' Blu-ray Review
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 18 April 2014, 11:07 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Recommended-now if only Bush, Blair et. al. could only see this they might learn something about patriotism See more (74 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lino Ventura ... Philippe Gerbier
Paul Meurisse ... Luc Jardie

Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Jean François Jardie

Simone Signoret ... Mathilde
Claude Mann ... Claude Ullmann dit 'Le Masque'

Paul Crauchet ... Felix Lepercq
Christian Barbier ... Guillaume Vermersch dit 'Le Bison'

Serge Reggiani ... The hairdresser
André Dewavrin ... Colonel Passy
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
Georges Sellier ... Colonel Jarret du Plessis
Marco Perrin ... Octave Bonnafous
Hubert de Lapparent ... Aubert, Pharmacien
Colin Mann ... Dispatcher
Anthony Stuart ... R.A.F. Major
Michel Fretault ... Anonymous Patriot
Gérard-Antoine Huart (as Gérard Huart)
Percival Russel
Michel Dacquin ... Cellmate
Jeanne Pérez
Pierre Vaudier
Jacques Marbeuf ... S.S. Interrogation Officer
Franz Sauer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcel Bernier ... L'adjudant douanier
Gaston Meunier ... Controleur des bagages
Adrien Cayla-Legrand ... Général De Gaulle (uncredited)
Nathalie Delon ... Une amie de Jean-François (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jean-Pierre Melville 
 
Writing credits
Joseph Kessel (novel)

Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)

Produced by
Jacques Dorfmann .... producer
 
Original Music by
Éric Demarsan  (as Eric De Marsan)
 
Cinematography by
Pierre Lhomme 
Walter Wottitz 
 
Film Editing by
Françoise Bonnot 
 
Production Design by
Théobald Meurisse 
 
Set Decoration by
Théobald Meurisse 
 
Costume Design by
Colette Baudot  (as Madame Colette Baudot)
 
Makeup Department
Maud Begon .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Alain Quefféléan .... production manager (as A. Quefféléan)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean-François Adam .... assistant director (as J.F. Adam)
Georges Pellegrin .... assistant director (as G. Pellegrin)
Jean-Claude Ventura .... assistant director (as J.C. Ventura)
 
Art Department
Marc Desages .... second assistant set decorator
Henri Sonois .... first assistant set decorator (as Enriqué Sonnois)
Roger Volper .... property master
 
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound director
Jean Nény .... sound director (as Jean Neni)
Alex Pront .... sound director
Victor Revelli .... boom operator
 
Special Effects by
Walter Wottitz .... special photographic effects
 
Visual Effects by
Georges Tornero .... restoration (restored version)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Philippe Brun .... camera operator
Pierre Li .... first assistant camera
Jacques Renard .... second assistant camera
Raymond Voinquel .... still photographer
Walter Wottitz .... camera operator: aerial unit
Walter Wottitz .... camera operator: underwater unit
 
Music Department
Robert Pouret .... music editor
Bob Vatel .... musician: piano
 
Other crew
Betty Elvira .... script girl
Jean-Pierre Spiri-Mercanton .... general manager (as J.P. Spiri-Mercanton)
Howard Vernon .... dialogue: English
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'armée des ombres" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
Spain:140 min | UK:145 min | USA:145 min | Argentina:145 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono | Dolby Digital (2006 restoration)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:14 (1970) | Singapore:PG | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:12A (re-rating) (2005) | UK:AA (1978) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cinematographer Pierre Lhomme claimed that the last surviving, watchable print of the movie had turned completely pink with age. He later supervised the 2k resolution, digital restoration of the film at the Eclair Laboratories in Paris.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the sequence when Mathilde exits the car and silently waves goodbye to Gerbier, in response he rolls his window up completely, yet in the very next shot his window remains open as the car drives away.See more »
Quotes:
Jean François Jardie:She said five minutes, but she'll wait a lifetime.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Broken English (2007)See more »
Soundtrack:
Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)See more »

FAQ

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136 out of 183 people found the following review useful.
Recommended-now if only Bush, Blair et. al. could only see this they might learn something about patriotism, 28 March 2006
Author: max von meyerling from New York

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.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Army of Shadows (1969)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Gerbier's Escape from Interrogation DrNick1
The Mathilde decision (spoiler!) Holden27
This film was suprisingly moving... Goldmund1710
No actual scenes of nazi vs. resistence fighting oacmgm
what a way to spend a resistance vramesh
The French Resistance Film? deveed
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