IMDb > Black and White in Color (1976)

Black and White in Color (1976) More at IMDbPro »La victoire en chantant (original title)

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Release Date:
8 May 1977 (USA) See more »
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors... See more » | Add synopsis »
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Won Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1976) *** See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jean Carmet ... Sergeant Bosselet
Jacques Dufilho ... Paul Rechampot
Catherine Rouvel ... Marinette
Jacques Spiesser ... Hubert Fresnoy
Maurice Barrier ... Caprice
Benjamin Memel Atchory ... Assomption
Peter Berling ... Père Jean de la Croix
Marius Beugre Boignan ... Barthelmy
Claude Legros ... Jacques Rechampot
Dora Doll ... Maryvonne
Baye Macoumba Diop ... Lamartine
Jacques Monnet ... Père Simon
Dieter Schidor ... Kraft
Aboubakar Toine ... Fidele
Marc Zuber ... Major Anglais
Mamadou Koulibaly
Helmut Fiker
Klaus Huebl ... Haussmann
Natou Koly ... Charlotte
Bertin Kouakou
T. Kouao ... John
Jean-François N'Guessan ... Marius

Directed by
Jean-Jacques Annaud 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean-Jacques Annaud 
Georges Conchon 

Produced by
Arthur Cohn .... producer
Jacques Perrin .... producer
Giorgio Silvagni .... producer
Original Music by
Pierre Bachelet 
Cinematography by
Claude Agostini 
Film Editing by
Françoise Bonnot 
Set Decoration by
Max Douy 
Makeup Department
Gisèle Jacquin .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dominique Cheminal .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Alain Curvelier .... sound
Music Department
William Flageollet .... music mixer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La victoire en chantant" - Ivory Coast (original title)
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90 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This was the first winner of the Oscar for best foreign language film after the rules for the category were changed requiring all Academy members who wished to vote having to prove they had attended screenings of all five nominees.See more »
Hubert Fresnoy:[writing a letter] To Lucien Herr, College of Advanced Education, 45 rue d'Ulm, Fifth Arrondissement, Paris, in care of Administrator Tarato. St. Pierre de Samba, French Equatorial Africa. Fort Coulais, January 6, 1915. Dear teacher, and if I may, dear friend. Here is my punishment for not excelling in nobler fields of study...See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV)See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
BLACK AND WHITE IN COLOR (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1976) ***, 6 February 2014
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

This Ivory Coast Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner - the country's only ever Oscar contender - that is, however, mostly spoken in French, with the rest being translated into English via burnt-in sub titles(!), had been shown on local TV in the late 1980s as part of a cycle dedicated to such recipients, but I had missed out on it back then. It surprisingly triumphed over the more touted official French and Italian entries, namely COUSIN COUSINE (an upcoming viewing) and SEVEN BEAUTIES (both 1975) - the later of which was even nominated for Best Direction! The film looks great and is well-served by an ironically bouncy score courtesy of Pierre Bachelet (best-known for his electronic accompaniment to several softcore titles of the era!). Still, while the director won his only Oscar here, his debut effort, he would become more renowned for subsequent efforts such as QUEST FOR FIRE (1981), THE NAME OF THE ROSE (1986) and THE BEAR (1988).

The premise is a very original one - albeit still reminiscent of KING OF HEARTS and THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! (both 1966) - involving the reaction of a French military contingent stationed in the West African country at the outbreak of WWI (even if they only learn of the conflict six months after it began and have no idea whether the hostilities were still raging by then!). Still, their code of ethics renders them duty-bound to join in the fight and, under the reluctant leadership of Jean Carmet, lead an assault on the German ranks posted there…but, having been so long out of action, they suffer a mighty trashing!

Following this, a young, soft-spoken geographer (who had opposed the impetuous initial offensive) takes matters in hand – his organized yet stern handling of the situation (such as negotiating with the local tribes to provide experienced warriors in a subsequent onslaught) garners him the respect of his elders (including shifty store owner Jacques Dufilho and his idiot brother – who likes to take it out on the natives! – and a couple of priests) and the admiration of the two women at the settlement (especially Catherine Rouvel, still retaining the sultry looks of her star-making role in Jean Renoir's LUNCH ON THE GRASS seventeen years earlier!). Eventually, he ends up having Kurtz-like delusions of grandeur and lapses in loyalty by taking on an attractive African woman as his lover. Ultimately, they lose the battle on account of the unpredictable elements: the victorious British army turns up to take over control and the wannabe strategist learns he has a lot in common with the similarly learned German commanding officer!

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