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Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (2008)
"L'ennemi public n°1" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 19,213 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 35 user | 105 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

The story of notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine.

Writers:

(scenario), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Michel Ardouin
...
...
Georges Wilson ...
Michel Duchaussoy ...
Le père de Jacques Mesrine
...
L'avocate de Jacques Mesrine
...
La journaliste interview
Alain Fromager ...
Jacques Dallier - journaliste pour Minute
Alain Doutey ...
Le président du tribunal à Compiègne
Arsène Mosca ...
Jojo - un policier
Christophe Vandevelde ...
Inspecteur Gégé
Luc Thuillier ...
Le commissaire OCRB / Lucien Aimé-Blanc
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Storyline

The story of Jacques Mesrine, France's public enemy No. 1 during the 1970s. After nearly two decades of legendary criminal feats - from multiple bank robberies and to prison breaks. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody brutal violence, a scene of sexuality, nudity and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

19 November 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€21,166,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$100,242 (USA) (3 September 2010)

Gross:

$275,125 (USA) (11 February 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Thomas Langmann first contacted Vincent Cassel about the Mesrine project in 2001, after the release of Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips (2001). Cassel initially accepted, but then bowed out as he found the script too "black and white". Benoît Magimel and 'Vincent Elbaz'convinced by new helmer 'Jean-Francois Richet' were then successively attached before Cassel returned' and especially Abdel Raouf Dafri's two-part script, claiming the screenwriter had succeeded in bringing the right tone to the picture and the character, bringing out all his darkness and paradoxes. See more »

Goofs

When policemen are looking for Mesrine and Besse, one may see from the air their buses stopped beside a freshly mowed wheat field. Straw is packed in round and wrapped in black plastic (French name for this is "embubanage"). This technique was not invented in the 1970s and straw was squared packed. See more »

Quotes

La journaliste interview: [Begins interview] Why are you doing this?
Jacques Mesrine: [long pause] Because I don't like laws.
Jacques Mesrine: I don't like the laws and I don't want to be a slave of the alarm clock my whole life.
Jacques Mesrine: I don't want to spend my entire life dreaming. I don't want to always think how I have to work half a year just so I could buy some thing.
La journaliste interview: What do you expect from your life? Recognition? Money?
Jacques Mesrine: [chuckles] What a question! Money, money, money... all of you just keep talking about it, always the same. But I'm completely different.
Jacques Mesrine: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Follows Mesrine: Killer Instinct (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A man of principle; albeit criminal principle
17 November 2010 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

'It's pronounced may-reen!' Jacques barks at a police officer for mispronouncing his name while recording a statement for one of his latest misdemeanours. Jacques now claims his crimes are politically motivated, but if anything, they have become less a means to an end than an end in themselves. Sustaining his role as France's number one outlaw becomes a vocation in itself.

As his weight increases, so too do his risks. He starts a tradition of stealing from one bank then immediately stealing from another; he cheekily goes incognito to a police station to obtain information they have about him; and he even kidnaps a judge whilst on trial for yet another bank robbery.

It can't have been an easy thing for the director to capture or for Cassel to personify, but what is impressive about this modern-day Robin Hood is that no matter how bad he gets he is never quite an Al Capone or a John Dillinger. But it's not long before his inner Mr Hyde resurfaces – this time with catastrophic consequences.

Jacques arranges an interview with a policeman-turned-journalist, but it's a set-up, for Jacques confronts him about negative coverage he has given him. What ensues is a highly graphic display of violence. It proves to be one crime too far and prompts the minister of the interior to order police forces to hunt him down.

Jacques's vulnerability is exposed in a number of emotional scenes, especially one with his father. When questioned about why he does what he does, there is a heavily pregnant pause before a powerful soliloquy, 'I don't like laws… I won't dream my life away, and I won't pass every store thinking: that'll cost me 10 months' work'.

The brilliance of these two films is that both flagrantly show Jacques's demise in their opening scene. However, you either ignore this fact or convince yourself it is not real; testimony no doubt to the allure of the main character and the manner in which his story his conveyed.

'Death is nothing to someone who knows how to live.' This matter-of-fact proclamation from Jacques sums up his philosophy from the beginning. Forget politics, forget justice, forget morality. None of these were his motives. Crime was the motive and an addiction to crime was his punishment. Jacques Mesrine always knew that once dead he would be 'guilty of nothing'. And I for one agree.

www.scottishreview.net


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