Hors-la-loi (1985) Poster


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French youth in the eighties, violence, rebellion and psychology
Fredericmignard18 December 2001
Those who know current French society and the effects of hooliganism and gangs in cities will find for sure this film a little bit obsolete. And yet it perfectly reflects how uneasy kids were then and how naive adults were face to the rise of juvenile delinquency. Most of Hors La loi takes place in out of time villages or in the far away country, far from the madding crowd... And yet, violence is at the center of the topic. The film depicts the absurd and unavoidable runaway of a group of kids trying to escape adults' incomprehension. The gap between the innocent adolescents and the unaware adults is wide and grows even wider as the teenagers are losing their innocence. They get involved in murder (self defense actually) and the whole (French) world is tracking them down. Robin Davis, the director, likes his kids a lot, understanding their social and psychological plight. He shoots them seeking a forsaken and uninhabited village, a myth, a legend as the globalization would catch these teenagers back to make them even more violent and dangerous in the nineties. Despite its big budget and very good reviews, Hors la loi was a massive flop in France. The audience wasn't ready to accept the social disturbance implied by the screenplay. After all La Boum with Sophie Marceau and its party of gleeful kids wasn't very far behind and comedies are always more entertaining than social dramas. That's life, and life is far from being wonderful, believe me!
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dbdumonteil6 March 2008
Robin Davis did not try to capitalize on the huge success of his precedent work " J'ai Epousé Une Ombre" which was not faithful to writer William Irish's noir spirit.

"Hors -la -loi" was not adapted from a novel and showed more originality.Most of his actors were then unknown (Clovis Cornillac was Asterix in the latest episode)and it lends the story some credibility.Some kind of French "badlands" ,relatively speaking,but they are fifteen instead of two.The subject is not unlike the oldies of the French thirties when the heroes wanted to sail away to the islands in the sun,the mythic village replacing those faraway lands.

But for a French cine buff, the main interest lies in the presence of Madeleine Robinson (as the "ranch woman" ) ,one of the veterans of the silver screen.
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