The Apprentices (1995)
"Les apprentis" (original title)

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Black comedy about two best friends, one a budding playwright and the other a motorbike freak, who spend their time annoying their girlfriends and getting into various scrapes. Things turn ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judith Henry ...
Claire Laroche ...
Philippe Girard ...
Bernard Yerlès ...
Jean-Pol Brissart ...
Karate Magazine Editor
Blandine Pélissier ...
Estate Agent
Jean-Michel Julliard ...
Maryvonne Schiltz ...
Fred's mother
Claude Aufaure ...
Fred's father
Hélène Roussel ...
Antione's mother
Marie Riva ...
Woman in Flat 48
Philippe Duquesne ...
Man in Flat 48
Agathe Lepicard ...
Child in flat 48


Black comedy about two best friends, one a budding playwright and the other a motorbike freak, who spend their time annoying their girlfriends and getting into various scrapes. Things turn nasty, however, when the pair are caught burgling the offices of a karate magazine, the consequences of which sends the playwright into a spiraling bout of depression. Written by Jonathan Broxton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Galeres?.. Embrouilles?.. Angoisses? Rencontrez de vrais professionnels!!!




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Release Date:

20 December 1995 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Balfékek  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ah che terra
Written by Philippe Eidel
Performed by Lucilla Galeazzi
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User Reviews

Two Parisian Likely Lads With No Money, No Women And Nowhere To Live
14 January 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

How often does a comedy film actually make you laugh out loud? There were several occasions when this one had me roaring. It's the story of two young men squatting in a Paris apartment and scraping a living of sorts. This is Frenchmen Behaving Badly.

Antione (Francois Cluzot) is the nervy hypochondriac with literary pretensions. His physical resemblance to Dustin Hoffman is remarkable, and he exhibits the same quirky neurotic intensity.

Fred is played by Guillaume Depardieu, son of Gerard. Whereas Antoine has bouts of self-loathing over this down-and-out existence, Fred is the genuine article. He lies and steals as easily as breathing, and he has refined laziness into an art form.

The relationship of the two men is the wellspring of much of the humour, and the pairing works splendidly. Their bitter-sweet partnership is both funny and touching. Their high point, the relief and elation after the burglary, is embodied in their early morning walk through the food market, the symbolic return of colour and prosperity to their lives. When the downturn comes, Fred proves himself to be much more than a vacant layabout, and friendship ultimately triumphs over illness and despair.

The Paris of this film isn't the 'ville lumiere' of monuments and rive-gauche cafes. This is more 19th arondissement than 9th. Rather than designers' studios, these real, gritty streets are lined with carpet shops.

A nicely-observed comedy of human manners and foibles, "Les Apprentis" has liberal helpings of warmth and charm, and its greatest blessing is, it's very funny.

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