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Choice of Arms (1981)
"Le choix des armes" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  19 August 1981 (France)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 846 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 7 critic

Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with ... See full summary »


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Title: Choice of Arms (1981)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Galabru ...
Jean-Claude Dauphin ...
Jean Rougerie ...
Raymond Constantini
Christian Marquand ...
Etienne Chicot ...
Roland Davout
Pierre Forget ...
Serge Olivier
Roland Blanche ...
Marc Chapiteau ...
Jean-Claude Bouillaud ...
Antoine Baud


Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with his lovely and beloved wife, Nicole. The man dies, and Mickey, a menacing hothead, demands money of Noel. A few days later, Mickey returns to the estate, shoots up a dinner party and threatens them again. Noel sends Nicole to an hotel and goes to his old gang to help him hunt down the dangerous Mickey. Mickey has other problems, too, including heartache for a daughter he hardly knows. Young, eager cops tail Nicole, and all are on a complicated collision course. Written by <>

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Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

19 August 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Choice of Arms  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Girare Le choix des armes (2007) See more »


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User Reviews

Overlong but fascinating
23 December 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

With Melville's death, Tavernier and Corneau became the masters of French film noir, but the latter has the dreamlike mood that the genre really needs to be effective. Le choix des armes has many effective scenes (usually involving either Depardieu or Lanvin) but sometimes leaves us cold. There is a little too much exposition in the storytelling--why show us Montand and his buddy smashing up the gang lord's opulent house when there is no dramatic effect to be gained? Or the elaborate four-way car pursuit (did the budget allow for all those stunt-drivers, so Corneau thought Why not?).

The acting is mostly exceptional. The young Gérard Lanvin gives us a very frustrated young detective, Michel Galabru is his burnt-out superior, Richard Anconina plays a man trying to settle down to happy domesticity and failing, and Depardieu is simply great as Mickey le dingue, crazy and moving at the same time. The woman who plays Dany's wife with burning resentment takes over every scene she's in.

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