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Scoumoune (1972)

La scoumoune (original title)
| Crime, Drama | 1974 (USA)
Episodic portrait of a criminal, from 1934 until after the war. Roberto Borgo is tough, cool, sardonic, loyal, and deadly. He comes to Marseilles to help his friend Xavier Saratov get out ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roberto Borgo
...
Georgia Saratov
...
Xavier Saratov
Enrique Lucero ...
Le Mexicain / Migli
Alain Mottet ...
Ficelle
Michel Peyrelon ...
L'élégant
Philippe Brizard ...
Fanfan
Marie-Claude Mestral ...
Une prostituée
Aldo Bufi Landi ...
Jeannot Villanova
Luciano Catenacci ...
(as Luciano Lorcas)
Lucie Arnold ...
La chanteuse (as Luci Arnold)
Albert Augier
Bruno Balp ...
L'inspecteur à la morgue
Paul Beauvais
Gabriel Briand ...
Un bagnard
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Storyline

Episodic portrait of a criminal, from 1934 until after the war. Roberto Borgo is tough, cool, sardonic, loyal, and deadly. He comes to Marseilles to help his friend Xavier Saratov get out of jail, first killing a local brothel and casino boss to take over the businesses, and, with the help of Xavier's sister, Georgia, amass money for Xavier's defense. Xavier loses in court, so Roberto gets himself thrown in prison to be with his friend. Escape proves futile, but they are pardoned in exchange for working as sappers. After the war, Xavier is a bitter cripple, but Roberto remains detached, extorting ownership of a casino, which puts his friends at risk. Does he care? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | remake | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scoumoune  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

16th highest grossing movie of its year in France. See more »

Goofs

During the riot - because of the rotten food - in jail, Fanfan sits at the right of Xavier Saratov. He is not supposed to be here yet, since Borgo will welcome him few scenes later. See more »

Connections

Version of A Man Named Rocca (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Intrusions Des Racketteurs Noirs Dans Les Maisons Closes De La Ficelle Et L'Elégant
Written and Performed by François de Roubaix Et Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Second time not so lucky
14 August 2010 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Although there had already been a decent version of Jose Giovanni's novel L'excommunié made by Jean Becker with Belmondo in the lead back in 1961 as Un Nomme La Rocca/A Man Called La Rocca, Giovanni would go on to remake it in 1972 as La Scoumoune with Belmondo reprising his role and Michel Constantin, who convincingly played a vicious deserter running a protection business in the original, playing the Pierre Vaneck role to considerably less effect all round. The author's own adaptation brings color, a bigger budget, better period detail and a more cartoonish feel to the proceedings, but nothing carries any real weight. The violence is pitched firmly on the comic book and playground level, not helped by his poor staging in the first half of the film, though matters do improve for an impressive shootout in a bar. Belmondo lends his body to the part, standing where he's needed and saying what's in the script, but not his presence: it's a curiously unengaged performance, as if genially doing a favor for a friend because it's not as if he has anything better to do that week, but aware that he has scenes but no character to play.

Restored to the novel's period setting, the film is at its most interesting in a lengthy section on French prison life during the war, where one escape attempt is thwarted when the outside man who is inadvertently smuggling gun parts into prison is arrested by the Nazis and where the same guards start the war guarding resistance members and end it guarding collaborators. The mine clearing scenes on the beach work fairly well despite Giovanni's inability to build any suspense, but ultimately they leave little lasting impression because, like so much in the film, they seem little more than colourful episodes to hide the lack of involvement with the bland characters: Constantin's dim thug leaves you unmoved, Claudia Cardinale has little to do as his sister and the object of Belmondo's affection beyond one sweet scene where she finds her first grey hair and sends it to JP in prison, a young Gerard Depardieu turns up briefly at the end, but only Philippe Brizzard's amiable and increasingly philosophical gay hanger-on makes much of an imprint in a minor supporting role.


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