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The French Detective (1975)
"Adieu, poulet" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  11 March 1979 (USA)
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When political thugs murder an opponent's volunteer and also kill a cop, chief inspector Verjeat believes the politician who hired them is as guilty as the murderous goon. Verjeat's pursuit... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Le commissaire Verjeat
Patrick Dewaere ...
L'inspecteur Lefèvre
Victor Lanoux ...
Pierre Lardatte
Julien Guiomar ...
Le contrôleur général Ledoux
Pierre Tornade ...
le commissaire Pignol
Françoise Brion ...
Marthe Rigaux, la patronne du bordel
Le juge Delmesse
Michel Peyrelon ...
Claude Brosset ...
Antoine Portor
Gérard Hérold ...
l'inspecteur Moitrié
Gérard Dessalles ...
L'inspecteur Ransac
Jacques Rispal ...
Patrick Feigelson ...
Jean-Yves Gautier ...
Pierre Londiche ...
Jeanvier, l'indicateur au chien


When political thugs murder an opponent's volunteer and also kill a cop, chief inspector Verjeat believes the politician who hired them is as guilty as the murderous goon. Verjeat's pursuit of the councilman, Lardatte, gets him a warning from his superiors. When he embarrasses Lardatte while disarming a hostage (the dead volunteer's father), Verjeat is told he's being transferred within a week. He speeds up his hunt for the goon and, with Lefévre, one of his young detectives, he engineers a complicated scheme to buy more time before the transfer. How should Verjeat play out his values of honor and duty? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

11 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The French Detective  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Visa d'exploitation en France #44331 See more »


Featured in Présentation d'Adieu poulet par Clélia Ventura (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Lino Ventura Stars In French Crime Picture That Is Still Timely Today
2 September 2007 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"His face was his fortune" is one description of Lino Ventura, the former wrestler turned actor. In movies like The Sicilian Clan and Adieu Poulet, he played a tough cop as well as any actor on either side of the Atlantic. In Adieu Poulet, as Verjeat the cop on a mission, Ventura's character has almost everyone lined up against him: a cop killer, a political big shot in Rouen who has connections to the national government in Paris and, of course, Verjeat's superiors who consider him a loose cannon. Adieu Poulet already shows the decline in the French film industry from only a few years earlier, when French films were regularly shown in art house theaters in the United States. The production values of this movie are almost non-existent, the budget of this film must have been a tenth of The Sicilian Clan made six years earlier and financed by 20th Century Fox's French movie distribution company. That movie opened in the USA at the Sutton on 57th Street in NYC in 1970 and got a fairly wide release. Adieu Poulet was released in the USA in 1979, playing at the 68th Street Playhouse, where New York Times reviewer Vincent Canby gave the movie a bad review. Then oblivion for Adieu Poulet.

I was able to see the movie with subtitles only because eight years ago CUNY-TV used to show French movies on its cable channel, subtitles courtesy of Julia McPhail. Adieu Poulet's tale involves crooked politicians, the goons they hire to stamp out their opposition and even the operator of a whorehouse who says she has connections, so Verjeat had better lay off her, after an old customer drops dead in a bed with a built in vibrator. You know, the subject of whores, politicians distancing themselves from the deaths of civil servants and cover-ups of corruption are as timely now in New York City as over 30 years ago in Rouen.

Just look at the cover-up of the deaths of the two firefighters at the Deutsche Bank building fire in downtown Manhattan, where Fire Commissioner Scoppetta (who never spent a minute working as a firefighter) is protecting himself and his boss, Mayor Bloomberg, by demoting FDNY brass, convenient scapegoats for a fire at a building demolition project apparently being handled by a firm with organized crime ties. At least in Adieu Poulet, the crooked politicians know that the solution to the Verjeat problem is a promotion, not a demotion. In NYC, whether it is reports by firefighters of massive explosions at the WTC buildings on 9/11 or the giant arson fire at the abandoned Brooklyn rope factory warehouse (whose owner already had cleared out another building he owned with an arson fire) or the $75 million demolition fee paid to demolish the Deutsche Bank building, silence is golden.

But the tough cops played by Lino Ventura are fictional characters. In the real world, in New York City, arson investigators spend their time not investigating crime but chauffeuring Fire Commissioner Scoppetta to meetings. At least Lardatte, the scheming politician in Adieu Poulet, is not a double dipper like Scoppetta, who collects a big NYC government pension on top of his even bigger FDNY Commissioner salary and is only good at lying and covering up arson fires by connected real estate developers. Only in New York, not Rouen.

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