A young journalist stumbles across something much more sinister than a simple suicide in the death of a politician - the death seems to be an assassination contrived by an American ... See full summary »
A fugitive on the run from the law and carrying several million dollars hides out in the house of a farm family. The tables turn when the family turns out to be even more criminally ... See full summary »
The main character is unhappily married and has an affair. When his wife finds out, she lures his girlfriend to a cliff and throws herself of it, making the girlfriend look as her killer. ... See full summary »
In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »
François Perrin plays football at the AS Trincamp. During a training session, he gets into a fight with Bertier, the team's star, and is ordered off the field. The club's boss, who is also ... See full summary »
Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who's blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming ... See full summary »
Hélène, a distracted pill-popping anesthetist, almost runs down Gilles one evening on a Biarritz street. She is still numb from the drowning death earlier that year of her lover, a ... See full summary »
Sadiel, rebel leader in a North African state, takes refuge in Switzerland in the aftermath of a coup. Aware of the threat posed by Sadiel, the ruthless Colonel Kassar contacts the French ... See full summary »
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 »
Judge Patrick Dewaere exposes high-level corruption
"Le Sheriff" is fiction but strongly rooted in the accomplishments of Judge Francois Renaud in exposing the nefarious underworld activities of the Service d'Action Civique (SAC), a summary of which can be found in Wikipedia. This was a group begun by de Gaulle for work in the Algerian War that came to be an underworld organization.
This movie is closely-related to some poliziotteschi movies that show official corruption being battled by some justice officials and/or police in what is an uphill battle. Director Boisset here courageously took on the "system" and was unafraid to depict corruption's links to the SAC.
A "judge" in France is something like a prosecutor who goes to crime scenes, interrogates witnesses, and then decides who might be arrested or indicted. It's a vastly different role than an American judge. Patrick Dewaere plays the young, idealistic, determined and voluble judge. He happens upon a case that naturally opens up into false alibis and the SAC protecting criminals. The policeman working with him is Philippe Leotard. The superior Prosecutor to him is Jean Bouise. The story follows him through the case as he confronts resistance from above and the SAC political influence. Marcel Bozzufi has a part as a skilled SAC operative and gunman who engineers a big robbery and sees to it that the money gets to a Swiss bank where it's laundered and recycled to campaign contributions in France.
The movie is a solid but not exceptional treatment of the subject. It more or less moves ahead without great suspense or pizazz. To me, it seemed predictable, because I've seen so many poliziotteschis that covered some of the same ground as well as some other French thrillers that did likewise. But it's still basically a good film that's hard-hitting in its willingness to confront the system.
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