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La sentinelle (1992)

 |  Thriller  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 544 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Mathias, whose dead father was a diplomat in Germany, decides to study the forensic medicine in Paris. In the train, he has some troubles with the border police, and is insulted and ... See full summary »



(original scenario), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: La sentinelle (1992)

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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmanuel Salinger ...
Thibault de Montalembert ...
Jean-Louis Richard ...
Valérie Dréville ...
Marianne Denicourt ...
Marie Barillet
Jean-Luc Boutté ...
Philippe Duclos ...
Fabrice Desplechin ...
Philippe Laudenbach ...
The Priest
László Szabó ...
Pamiat, the Russian (as Laszlo Szabo)
Alexis Nitzer ...
Nadine Alari ...
Mme. Barillet
Jean-Pierre Ducos ...
Customs Officer


Mathias, whose dead father was a diplomat in Germany, decides to study the forensic medicine in Paris. In the train, he has some troubles with the border police, and is insulted and threatened by a strange man, who disappeared quickly. Next day, he discovers in his luggage a shrunken human head. He soons becomes fascinated by it, feeling responsible (sentry of the memory of the head's owner) and starts his own investigation. What will leads him to cope with French secret services. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sentinel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,176 (USA) (16 October 1998)


$7,548 (USA) (23 October 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Prelude & Allegro
by Fritz Kreisler
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User Reviews

Slow moving, but well worth sticking with
12 May 2002 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

A crackin' suspenseful espionage thriller that thankfully abstains from using Hollywood-style explosions and multiple gunshots to maintain viewers attention. It took me a while and numerous repeat viewings to appreciate and understand this movie, but it was worth the effort. The cast is flawless, particularly Salinger and Todeschini as the reluctant hero and the loathsome villain respectively, who both give galvanizing performances; fantastic cinematography; and a chilling soundtrack which contributes beautifully to the atmosphere- this is French cinema at its best. Mathias' relationship with the head I found particularly compelling, although it may be a bit eerie for all tastes….Basically, if you want a subtle, thought provoking film that doesn't signpost every clever detail, then this is for you.

However, if you are a blockbuster junkie, simply looking for entertainment then steer well clear; I know of only a (very small) handful of people who enjoyed this espionage tale, so beware, this ain't James Bond!

All in all, 7/10 for a thoroughly engrossing, realistic spy story.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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