Rene the Cane (1977)
"René la canne" (original title)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
René Bornier
Inspecteur Marchand
Stefano Patrizi ...
Riccardo Garrone ...
Jacques Jouanneau ...
Jean Rigaux ...
Orchidea de Santis ...
Venantino Venantini ...
Valérie Mairesse ...
Suzanne Berthois
Evelyne Bouix
Daniel Breton
Philippe Brizard ...
Le chef de la police marseillaise


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based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Comedy | Crime


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Release Date:

16 February 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

3 sympathitikoi katergareoi  »

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User Reviews

Not a Black Comedy, More a Black Hole...
27 March 2002 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

This tasteless and plotless farrago follows the fortunes of three rogues during and after the Nazi Occupation of France. 'Rene the Stick' (Gerard Depardieu) is a vulgar petty crook. 'Fernand the Sneak' (Michel Piccoli) is a corrupt police officer. Krista (Sylvia Kristel) is a whorehouse madam who beds them both turn by turn.

Allegedly, this trio are based on real-life characters. One can't help wondering if director Francis Girod and co-writer Jacques Rouffio saw their cheerful amorality as a metaphor for the moral disintegration of society during wartime. If that is their aim, the film is a wretched failure. Its attempts at black comedy are too crude and obvious to convince. (Are we meant to whoop with delight when Piccoli eats his boss's pet frog?) It is frankly sick-making to see the Nazi persecution of Jews and homosexuals used as a set-up for cheap and unfunny jokes.

To make this movie still worse, both of the 'great' French actors (Depardieu and Piccoli) ham up their roles atrociously. Dolled up in her white tuxedo, la Kristel looks very fetching indeed - but she has precious little to do apart from that. Oh well! At least she does not embarrass herself by overacting.

David Melville

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