Reichau, a former army captain, is back in France after serving three years in prison for belonging to the OAS(Secret Armed Organization), a dissident paramilitary group during the Algerian... See full summary »
In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.
Pierre Loti's book took place at the end of the nineteenth century.The script writers transposed it to the late fifties ,and they kept the proper nouns (though Gaud became Gaude) and no much more.For instance Gaude's father becomes Yann's boss ;besides she is wooed by a white-collar dandy who becomes her squeeze' rival -although the latter has a lover too-.There is no Iceland like in the book,almost all the story taking place in Concarneau ,Brittany."Pêcheur D'Islande " is the name of Yann's old tub!And the young Sylvester who dies in a war during his military service gets drowned.And Gaud does not lose her father ,so she does not have to earn her bread and butter.And of course ,happy end.
Loti's true hero was the sea.Schoendoerfer ,with a comfortable budget ,an impressive cast (Jean-Claude Pascal,Charles Vanel and Georges Poujouly) ,color and wide screen -which was rare at the time- does not a good job with it.He is an awful storyteller:the script is ,to put it mildly,desultory and the leading actress (Juliette Mayniel whose only good film is " Les Yeux Sans Visage" ,George Franju's horror classic)quite disastrous.
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