France, 1893. Joseph Bouvier, a former Sergeant in the French military, shoots his beloved and attempts to kill himself. Having survived with two bullets in his brain, he is released from ... See full summary »
France, 1893. Joseph Bouvier, a former Sergeant in the French military, shoots his beloved and attempts to kill himself. Having survived with two bullets in his brain, he is released from the Dole medical facility, a place of mental and physical filthiness. Then begins a five-year period of wandering on the roads of the South East of France, during which Bouvier rapes and eventually kills two dozen defenseless shepherds and farm servants of both sexes. Judge Rousseau thinks this case would help his career as a right wing politician and therefore issues warrants of arrests to find any hobo fitting the description. But if Bouvier was declared insane, the Judge's plan may become a trap... Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
This is a fairly straight-forward account of the crimes of Joseph Vacher. "Vacher" and "Bouvier" both mean "cowherd" in French. The names of many of the characters - like Lacassagne - have not been changed. See more »
Histoire de la Francais dans affaire Dreyfus par despotisme
The judge and the assassin is a strange and ironic title for this film. It does not represent what your mind immediately leads you to believe. It is about the arrest and trial of a psychopath, alas French auteur style. It bears in odd-about way a resemblance to Lacombe Lucien which was released two years earlier. Featuring a bravura performance by Michel Galabru ( he worn the Cesar, the French Oscar) as the serial killer, his trial becomes a study into the mind and evil of nation at the turn of the last century. Dealing with anti-semitism, civil unrest, disobedience and the tyranny of the France and the Church can make anyone crazy and an assassin. With strong performances by Tavernier favorite actor Philippe Noiret and a young Isabelle Huppert, it is a fine film in the tradition of French cinema prior to the advent of the New Wave.
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