Coup de torchon (1981)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  4 November 1981 (France)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,538 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 36 critic

1938, in a French african colony. Lucien Cordier is the cop of this village, populated with blacks and a few whites (usually racialist and lustful). He is a washout, everyone (including his... See full summary »


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Huguette Cordier
Nono - l'amant demeuré d'Huguette
Guy Marchand ...
Irène Skobline ...
Anne - la nouvelle institutrice
Michel Beaune ...
Vanderbrouck - un nouveau riche arrogant
Jean Champion ...
Victor Garrivier ...
Gérard Hernandez ...
Abdoulaye Diop ...
Fête Nat - le serviteur noir de Lucien
Daniel Langlet ...
Paulo - un flic larvaire
François Perrot ...
Raymond Hermantier ...


1938, in a French african colony. Lucien Cordier is the cop of this village, populated with blacks and a few whites (usually racialist and lustful). He is a washout, everyone (including his wife Huguette) humiliates him. He never arrests anyone and looks at elsewhere when a dirty trick occurs. But one day, he turns into a machiavellian exterminating angel. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

4 November 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Coup de torchon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tavernier has said about "Coup de Torchon," "It's about revenge, of course, but it's about something else as well. It's about God and free will, and it has a lot of religious and metaphysical implications, some of which Jean Aurenche and I invented, and some of which are in the book." See more »


Towards the end, Rose is walking on the pier and after they say in a loudspeaker 'Attention! Curfew tonight at 9 o'clock...', she turns around and the shadow of the cameraman can be clearly seen on the ground on her right. See more »


Lucien Cordier: Do you know why dogs sniff each other's butts? When dogs still ruled the world, they held a convention to vote new laws. The head dog said: "I suggest that due to poor hygiene here, our assholes we leave at the door." The dogs agreed and de-assholed. But just then, a tornado blew in and mixed all the assholes up. Not one dog recognized his own. Ever since, they smell each other's asses. And it'll go on till the end of time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, we are correctly informed that the film is based on the novel "Pop. 1280"; but during the end titles, we are informed that it is based on "Pop. 1275". This is consistent with the official title retained for the translation into French, which is "1275 Ames" (literally: "1275 Souls"), and which reflects the fact that 5 people have died during the course of action. See more »


Featured in Scenes Under the Midnight Sun (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

POP. 1280 on film
24 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After reading some of the reviews on here, I felt compelled to write one myself simply because it seems most of the people who reviewed this film did not read the book it was based on (POP 1280 by Jim Thompson). Some found it astonishing that one would actually seek out this book in the first place (including the director), but I happen to be a Jim Thompson junkie and I would say POP 1280 stands as his best work in the "psycho-lawman" sub-genre that he single-handedly created. It's far superior to the Killer Inside Me although many would disagree with that. Long ago, when I found out there was an actual film based on this book, I had to find it and see it. Luckily it was at my local blockbuster, and I rushed home to view this take on one of my favorite Thompson books. I have to say, it was a bit off-putting to see the whole story transposed to Senegal. However, as the film played, I realized that this was actually quite a brilliant move by Bernard. Aside from the location and French actors, everything else is mostly retained from the book in terms of the dark humor and over-the-top situations. The acting is superb and the cinematography is just gritty enough to give it the feel it needs. This is one of the best Thompson adaptations and I highly recommend it, especially if you have read the novel. I also recommend seeking out Serie_Noire which is the French adaptation of A Hell of A Woman. It's not as good as this one, but it's still excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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