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   12,187 votes »
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Down 11% 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)
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User Reviews:
Melville's Powerful Epic See more (77 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:
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:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Mémoires pour Simone (1986)See more »
Soundtrack:
Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Melville's Powerful Epic, 2 May 2006
Author: wglenn from Stony Brook, NY

This is a tough, somber film that captures the absurdities involved in war, and, ultimately, in life. The French Resistance "heroes" in the story are never shown conducting sabotage or planned attacks against the Germans, as one would get in a traditional World War II movie. Instead, we follow their claustrophobic and paranoid lives as they move from one hiding place to another (or one prison to another), constantly hounded by those in power, haunted by their own actions and the inability to communicate with those dear to them. Melville shows us their doubts and questions as they deal with betrayal, cowardice, and the murky ethics of killing their own to preserve the larger good.

Every episode in the film seems to lead to a darkly ironic conclusion, and the meaninglessness of their efforts becomes almost overwhelming, except that, somehow, these ordinary people continue to offer resistance in the face of death, so that their heroism lies not in the ability to stop the Germans but in taking action at all while facing the abyss.

While the acting is excellent all around, Lino Ventura's performance as Gerbier deserves special attention. It's hard to imagine any other actor bearing the tremendous weight of this film as well as he does. Gabin, at an earlier age, might have had the physical and emotional strength, but I'm not sure he would've been capable of Ventura's unassuming portrayal, which is so necessary for his character. The "shadows" at the core of this tale are seriously dark, and Ventura's Gerbier is strong enough to face them, yet modest enough to realize he can't conquer them on his own. The only way the Resistance makes sense by the end of this film, is in the collective effort of its members. Similarly, each of us, individually, cannot conquer death, but we as a group of human beings can continue to live on. _L'Armée des ombres_ ultimately moves beyond a story of the French Resistance in World War II and serves as a powerful existentialist epic, with Ventura's performance responsible for much of the film's dignity and humanity.

As with _Léon Morin, prêtre_ (1961), another story set during the war, Melville seems more emotionally present in _L'Armée des ombres_ than he does in his policiers or noir pieces, and after seeing the film, his overall body of work suddenly seems much heftier. While the movie isn't as visually daring of some of his other works, it has a dark beauty all its own, and his pacing, editing, shot selection, and use of sound show him in great artistic control. Forty-eight hours after seeing it, I still find myself caught in its world.

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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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