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Polar (1984)

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A private detective ponders another profession until a mysterious woman hires him to solve her roommate's murder.



(freely adapted by), (based on the novel by: "Morgue pleine"), 3 more credits »
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Title: Polar (1984)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-François Balmer ...
Sandra Montaigu ...
Pierre Santini ...
Roland Dubillard ...
Théodore Lyssenko
Jean-Paul Bonnaire ...
Gérard Sergent
Marc Dudicourt ...
Le Loup
Gérard Hérold ...
Gérard Loussine ...
Max Vialle ...
Médicin légiste
Catherine Alcover
Jean Barney ...
Inspecteur Conan
Anicette Benjamin
Dominique Briand
Jean Cherlian ...


A private detective ponders another profession until a mysterious woman hires him to solve her roommate's murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Thriller



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 March 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dekkaritarina Polar  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Jean-Francois Balmer, private eye, does a deadpan take on a noir story
4 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Polar" qualifies as neo-noir, knowingly being a noir story that is done with a self-deprecating satiric touch. The beauty of this movie is that it has an appealing mixture of a complex and tough private eye story with a humorous gloss throughout that owes to the deadpan narration, comments and wisecracks of the reluctant and self-deprecating private eye, played by Jean-Francois Balmer. I have seen him before in "Cop or Hood", "La Menace" and "Fear over the city", and he has a definite screen presence and capability that draw in the viewer. His career began in 1973 and he's still acting.

The story has echoes of "The Maltese Falcon" and the complexity of "The Big Sleep". Balmer makes wry comments on the action as the movie proceeds, since he is telling the whole story in flashback. These function to some extent as satire on the older noirs, but not in such quantity as to destroy the illusion within the current story. The script walks a tightrope and doesn't fall.

There is a femme fatale, reminiscent of Mary Astor's Brigid O'Shaughnessy (or Miss Wonderly). Goons appear out of nowhere taking Balmer for rides, and there is even a brief appearance by a heavy like Sidney Greenstreet. The police have that hostile-friendly relation to Balmer that often occurs in classic noir. Balmer's detective has the unlikely name of Eugene Tarpon. Tarpon is a large fish hunted for game but not for eating due to bad taste. Balmer indeed finds himself hunted by all sides, even though he swears off the case.

His client is the mysterious Charlotte Le Dantex (played by Sandra Montaigu), whose roommate has been murdered. Much like Miss Wonderly, she has a habit of lying and Balmer knows it. That doesn't stop him from simultaneously helping her, being attracted to her and being suspicious of her.

Enjoy the ride, especially noir fans.

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