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Garde à vue (1981)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,324 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 8 critic

A police inspector, suspecting an attorney of two child sex murders, has him held for a questioning session that goes on for hours.

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Title: Garde à vue (1981)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Michel Serrault ...
Jerome / Charles / Emile Martinaud
...
Guy Marchand ...
Didier Agostini ...
Young policeman
Patrick Depeyrrat ...
Policeman
Pierre Maguelon ...
Adami
Annie Miller ...
La mère de Camille
Serge Malik ...
Le mécanicien
Jean-Claude Penchenat ...
Divisional Commissioner
Yves Pignot ...
Policeman
Mathieu Schiffman ...
Le fils Berthier
Michel Such ...
Jean-Marie Jabelain
Elsa Lunghini ...
Camille
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohammed Bekireche ...
Arab
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Storyline

Inspector Gallien is investigating the rape and murder of two little girls. The only suspect is attorney Jerome Martinaud, but the evidence against him is circumstantial. As the city celebrates New Year's Eve, Gallien calls Martinaud to his office and interrogates him for hour after hour while Martinaud continues to maintain his innocence. We learn all about the evidence; we meet Martinaud's wife and learn all about the rift between the two; but will we, and Gallien, finally learn whether Martinaud is guilty? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Grilling  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel was discovered by Michel Audiard who suggested its adaptation to Ariane Films. In their turn, Dancigers and Mnouchkine offered the direction to Claude Miller. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely, singularly French mystery
30 September 2002 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

Nothing revolutionary here; just impeccably elegant, restrained cinema.

GARDE A VUE is confined almost exclusively to a drab police station, and mostly to one interrogation room, but director Claude Miller (who made the wonderful film THIS SWEET SICKNESS, among others) intercalates spare glimpses of exterior tableaux as minimalist locale scenography. Miller's restraint, especially early on, is breathtaking, and his exquisite handling of the consequently-pivotal interior mise-en-scene makes for captivating viewing.

Lino Ventura is superb as usual, succeeding to legitimize a character that, on paper, is cliche: the laconic, hard-nosed, world-weary homicide detective. Ventura lives the role, making it completely believable, even though the script allows us little access to his inner workings; the film ends at the very moment it appears he will be forced to confront his failure for the first time.

Michel Serrault is equal to the task as the suspected child-killer who shrewdly spars with the single-minded flic. The exchanges between the two are more-often-than-not pregnant with tension and the aura of a constantly metamorphosing playing field for a battle of wits. Serrault's character is by turns deplorably haughty and cunning, and pitiable; then later....

The "message" of GARDE A VUE, if one were to search for one, is a condemnation of police methodology and the kind of pressures that make a cop over-zealous to, if necessary, close cases at the expense of justice. For most of its length though the film shines as nothing more than an exemplar of how to turn a potentially soporific set-bound scenario into a suspenseful drama of the utmost cinematic economy.




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