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Allons z'enfants (1981)

This is a coming of age drama adapted from the 1952 Yves Gibeau novel of the same title. A young anti-militarist is forcibly sent to military school by his father. He's a bookish pacifist ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Simon Chalumot
...
L'adjudant Chalumot
...
Commandant Félix
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Sergent Billotet
Jacques Denis ...
Brizoulet
Eve Cotton ...
Soeur Béatrice
Daniel Mesguich ...
Capitaine Mourre
Jean-Pol Dubois ...
Capitaine des Aubelles
...
Capitaine Maryla
Jean-Marc Thibault ...
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Commandant de la Mazardière
Serge Moati ...
Le professeur de français
Jacques Zanetti ...
Lieutenant Bargueloni
Jacques Debary ...
Camparois
Roger Riffard ...
Oncle Claudius
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Storyline

This is a coming of age drama adapted from the 1952 Yves Gibeau novel of the same title. A young anti-militarist is forcibly sent to military school by his father. He's a bookish pacifist who endures being bullied by his superiors all throughout school, not out of weakness rather out of strength to deny violence it's coveted reciprocity. On the eve of his much anticipated graduation day, Word War II ensues and swaps out the freedom he earned for the brutality of its first front lines. An original score by French composer Phillipe Sarde with photography directed by Yves Boisset sets the atmosphere of 1932 in France. Written by Jennifer Thornton

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Genres:

War | Drama

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Release Date:

4 March 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Chodzmy, dzieci  »

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Trivia

First film of Didier Agostini. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable
11 October 2006 | by (Ulm, Germany) – See all my reviews

It was a couple of years ago that I watched this movie - I never forgot it.

The plot is the coming of age of a young boy who, in the 1930s, is sent by his parents to a military academy in France and becomes, unwillingly, an officer cadet. As kind of a "daydreamer"-type boy, he has his problems adapting to the military, but experiences true friendship with fellow comrades. This helps him through the difficult times of youth. When he is about to graduate from the military academy, it happens to be the eve of WW2, and in autumn of 1939 he is sent as a "grunt" directly to the front. There, he is getting into one of the first German vs. French skirmishes during the "phony war". He witnesses a German soldier being seriously wounded and spontaneously tries to save his enemy combatant from the line of fire. He does not survive this.

At first just getting you stunned, this warm-hearted, humane film after all deeply impresses. Its abstinence from hail of glory, its sensitivity and its straight statement in favor of human dignity - even the more under the terrible circumstances of war - are especially remarkable. The best die the first, they say. Did they die in vain? Anyway - may their deaths be remembered like in this film.


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