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So Long, Stooge (1983)

Tchao pantin (original title)
Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking. Bensoussan, raised in foster homes, now a small-time pusher for a bar owner ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Coluche ...
Mahmoud Zemmouri ...
Philippe Léotard ...
Albert Dray ...
Ben Smaïl ...
Pierrick Mescam ...
First client service station
Mickaël Pichet ...
Momo (as Michel Paul)
Annie Kerani ...
Black Lady
Vincent Martin ...
Second customer service station


Lambert, a burned-out case, works the night shift at a gas station, rarely speaking, living alone, drinking. Bensoussan, raised in foster homes, now a small-time pusher for a bar owner named Rashid, comes to the station needing a spark plug for a stolen Moped. He and Lambert connect somehow, and a few days later, they go for a drink. The young man is too cavalier, and when he swipes Rashid's fancy motorcycle a couple of times, he's expendable. Lambert decides to avenge the young man and seeks information from Lola, a punk who knew Bensoussan. With surprising perseverance, she pierces Lambert's shell; he starts to feel again, tells Lola his story, and finds new enthusiasm for life. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

21 December 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Am Rande der Nacht  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Featured in Un jour, un destin: La face cachée de Coluche (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

The film still holds (thanks to Coluche and Bruno Nuytten, director of photography)

26 years later, the movie still has a cult on its own in France (and maybe in some other countries, I'm not aware of that).

Of course the fact that Coluche, a famous french comedy and stand-up artist, died too soon at 42 (in 1986, 3 years after the movie was released) is no stranger to that... not to mention it was his very first (and last) dark role - a deadbeat gas station employee in Paris seeking revenge -and somewhat redemption- by hunting down the killers who murdered his only friend, a young lowlife drug dealer.

Some lazy critics here and there mentioned there was some kind of Melville, Cassavetes and Scorsese influences in the movie but to me, they couldn't be more wrong. Take a close look at it and you won't find any trace of "Taxi Driver" or "Gloria" in it, despite Claude Berri, the director, has tried so hard to put some of these influences in his film.

It's basically a classic urban drama in 2 distinct parts (the "bound of trust / friendship" part 1 and the "hunt/revenge/redemption" part 2, seen in many movies before and after this one) but the tremendous ghost-like interpretation of Coluche (who was facing drug addiction and sentimental issues at the time) and the extraordinary master work of D.P. Bruno Nuytten took it all to rocket the movie to critic and commercial success.

Even if a few script holes might bother some viewers (especially a detective character -called Bauer- who seems to appear/disappear only to provide informations) the wandering of these shadow-like characters won't be forgotten for a long time… and the very ending could ruin your day. Or even your week.

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