IMDb > Coup de torchon (1981)
Coup de torchon
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Coup de torchon (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Coup de torchon -- Trailer for this comedy thriller


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Release Date:
4 November 1981 (France) See more »
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)... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Noir, south of heaven See more (28 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Philippe Noiret ... Lucien Cordier

Isabelle Huppert ... Rose Mercaillou

Jean-Pierre Marielle ... Le Peron et son frère L'adjudant Georges Le Peron

Stéphane Audran ... Huguette Cordier

Eddy Mitchell ... Nono - l'amant demeuré d'Huguette
Guy Marchand ... Marcel Chavasson
Irène Skobline ... Anne - la nouvelle institutrice
Michel Beaune ... Vanderbrouck - un nouveau riche arrogant
Jean Champion ... Priest
Victor Garrivier ... Mercaillou
Gérard Hernandez ... Leonelli
Abdoulaye Diop ... Fête Nat - le serviteur noir de Lucien
Daniel Langlet ... Paulo - un flic larvaire
François Perrot ... Le colonel Tramichel
Raymond Hermantier ... L'aveugle
Mamadou Dioumé ... Mamadou - l'interprète
Samba Mané ... Vendredi - un noir qui en sait trop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irénée Martin ... La femme au cimetière (uncredited)

Directed by
Bertrand Tavernier 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Aurenche 
Bertrand Tavernier 
Jim Thompson  novel "Pop. 1280"

Produced by
Henri Lassa .... producer
Adolphe Viezzi .... producer
Original Music by
Philippe Sarde 
Cinematography by
Pierre-William Glenn 
Film Editing by
Armand Psenny 
Production Design by
Alexandre Trauner 
Set Decoration by
Hubert de Varine 
Franckie Diago  (as Frankie Diago)
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Moreau 
Makeup Department
Paul Le Marinel .... key makeup artist
Ludovic Paris .... hair stylist
Production Management
Jean-Louis Lapassade .... unit manager
Michel Nicolini .... unit production manager
Louis Wipf .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean Achache .... assistant director
Frédéric Bourboulon .... assistant director
Daniel Deleforges .... trainee assistant director
Makhete Diallo .... assistant director
Roland Fruytier .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
René Albouze .... props
Georges Bouillette .... construction manager
Pierre Fontaine .... set dresser
Sound Department
Catherine D'Hoir .... assistant sound editor
Michel Desrois .... sound
Maurice Gilbert .... sound mixer
Luce Grunenwaldt .... sound editor
Jean-Pierre Lelong .... foley artist
Dominique Levert .... boom operator
Claude Villand .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Albert Bonomi .... key grip
Armand Bonomi .... grip
Marc Casi .... grip
Alain Choquart .... second assistant camera
Michael Coulter .... first assistant camera
Pierre-William Glenn .... steadicam operator
Michel Lombardo .... electrician
Rene Rochera .... chief electrician
Abdoulaye Sy .... electrician
Moussa Touré .... electrician
Jean-Claude Vicquery .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yvette Bonnay .... assistant costume designer
Irénée Martin .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Sophie Cornu .... assistant editor
Music Department
William Flageollet .... music mixer
Peter Knight .... conductor
Other crew
Sylvie Crouet .... production secretary
Peter Fernandez .... voice director: English version
Simon Mizrahi .... press attache
Pauline Montel .... production administrator
Claudine Taulère .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
128 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The singer Eddy Mitchell, in a major fictional role for the first time, thought he was so bad after watching the dailies that he insisted to do some of his scenes once again. Because no one would agree, he jokingly stated: "since I'm actually the richest one of the crew, I'll pay for all the scenes I'm allowed to do again" and was almost taken seriously. From then on, he never went to watch the dailies again.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Marcel is playing billiards, he continues his turn even though he has not scored.See more »
[Marcaillou's dog is sniffing his corpse]
Colonel Tramichel:A last adieu to his master.
Rose:He just wants to eat him. Right, Spot?
See more »
Movie Connections:


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Noir, south of heaven, 7 February 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

I saw this as part of a Jim Thompson quest.

The film opens with a solar eclipse, a mythic way perhaps of foreshadowing the eclipse of humanity and values that follows. The West African setting is only proper in that aspect, like the setting of the Jim Thompson book, it's a doomed dusty limbo blotted out of the map where, in the absence of palpable law or ethos, humans are allowed to be the lowest they can be. Elsewhere the world is perhaps striving to maintain a moral appearance, but not so in Bourkassa, no one is looking there. Thompson had a dark view of humanity, for his own reasons, and for his protagonists, his crazed sheriffs and murderous sociopaths, he seems to reserve a last word that justifies their existence.

It's a really funny film, as a comedy it works marvels, and I like how Tavernier shifts the tone light to dark, goofy to perverse.

But what about Codier, the policeman of the small African town at the edge of the desert? Another reviewer reads in him a deranged figure of destiny that smites down people who deserve it, a vengeful Jesus placed on this earth not to save souls but to release them. But, even though his folly is obvious, the lack of retribution for his acts, the lack of a destiny to smite him, is it omission or statement? In an amoral universe that defies order, Codier is perhaps trying to maintain a perverse moral ground, or he's only serving his own bastard self, pushing his luck to see how far it will get him. If the film was a thriller it might have not worked, but I saw an absurd comedy foremost, and the laughter of that amoral universe is also echoed in Codier himself.

When he goes on on his little soliloquis on existence, Tavernier reaches for a solemn tone that seems strange at first, but at least we can understand that this murderous buffoon is no better than anyone else around him. He's likable because he suffers indignity with the nonchalance of a Mr. Hulot, but the next day he'll wake up a coward killer and scumbag. This contrast and his own belief in the incorrigible of his actions makes the movie work.

Perhaps he's so successful at being a scumbag, because the rest of the world permits it. If everyone else around him is either a moron or a scumbag, why should he strive to be any better? As a human being he's pathetic, but as a movie character I find him fascinating to watch. The fatalism that everyone gets what he deserves and there's no escaping the cogs of fate is the icing here.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Coup de torchon (1981)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Trivia Error allandray
Jim Thompson Book sheenarocks
Audran was smoking hot! philistine-985-817685
Why did Cordier kill the man who brought him Mercaillou's body? alexreg
Pop. 1275 PatrickCurren
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