8.3/10
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8 user 5 critic

Orderers (1974)

Les ordres (original title)
A fact-based account of ordinary citizens who found themselves arrested and imprisoned without charge for weeks during the October Crisis in 1970 Quebec.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Guy Provost ...
Dr. Jean-Marie Beauchemin
...
...
Claudette Dusseault
Louise Pratte ...
Louise Boudreau
Martine Pratte ...
Martine Boudreau
Monique Pratte ...
Monique Boudreau
Amulette Garneau ...
Mrs. Thibault, The Neighbour
Louise Latraverse ...
Claire Beauchemin
...
Ginette Lavoie
...
Esther
Claire Richard ...
Mrs. Vezina
...
The Grocer
José Rettino ...
The Foreman
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Storyline

October 1970: Under the pretext of waging war against the terrorist group Front de libération du Québec, the Canadian Parliament passes the War Measures Act. The Police and the Army use it and try to break-up popular groups in the Province of Quebec. More than 400 people are arrested for what appears to be their social activities. No charges are ever filed against them. This is their story. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

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Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

27 September 1974 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Orderers  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 260,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission from Canada for the 1975 Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

When Richard Lavoie is arrested, officers ask him his age and birthday. He answer he's 34 and born on January 31th, 1939. Since the events of the movie are all set in October/November 1970, he would only be 31. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

La Complainte de mon frère
Written by Philippe Gagnon
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User Reviews

 
And the Banality Award goes to...
23 September 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Les Ordres: made in the infancy of Canadian cinema, as far as feature films go. Canada's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for 1974, and not nominated. It's easy to see why, and indeed, I imagine a country putting this up against the cinema of the entire non-English speaking world would have raised a few eyebrows in the Academy. Okay, so you have a historically significant event (at least significant to Canada). But that's all you have. The direction has all the creativity, imagination and style of a TV movie. That's all it looks like, it never rises above that level for the entirety of the film. The sole "innovation" you have is interviewing the actors about the characters in the film itself- but that's a stunt just ripped off from Ingmar Bergman's The Passion of Anna (1969). I didn't particularly care for it there, either, but at least Max von Sydow had something to say. None of these television actors know what they're doing here, except to say "My name is X, and I play Y..." It would have been more accurate to say "I'm nobody, and the 'character' I play is barely a character at all."

It's not enough to have a human rights violation as a subject matter (and as far as world history goes, a few days in prison is small potatoes). You have to have to *do* something with it to have a film.

I can see why this would have made the Toronto International Film Festival's Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time when that list was first assembled in 1984. There were a lot less good films to choose from then, and Les Ordres having inexplicably won Best Director at Cannes in 1974, I might have felt obligated to write the film in, too, for its strictly historic interest. Whether it deserved to stay on the Top 10 in the 1993 update is more debatable. Why it didn't fall off in 2004 is puzzling. The fact that it's still wasting space on the list in 2015 is laughable, especially when far worthier films like Les Bons Debarras fell off and Incendies and Mommy didn't make it at all. If this, and Mon oncle Antoine, were really the best we could do as a country, that's not inspiring- that's embarrassing.


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