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Le couperet
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The Ax (2005) More at IMDbPro »Le couperet (original title)

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The Ax -- The resistible rise of a social serial killer or the final consequences of unbridled competition.


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Release Date:
2 March 2005 (France) See more »
Some people would die to get (him) this job. [Scandinavian DVD.]
A chemist (Garcia) loses his job to outsourcing. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to genuinely eliminate his competition. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 5 nominations See more »
(11 articles)
Rendezvous with French Cinema at Mumbai Film Fest’13
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Park Chan-wook Given The Axe
 (From Dread Central. 20 April 2012, 12:04 AM, PDT)

Park Chan-Wook Wielding Axe
 (From EmpireOnline. 19 April 2012, 5:01 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Family, Work and Society See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

José Garcia ... Bruno Davert

Karin Viard ... Marlène Davert
Geordy Monfils ... Maxime Davert

Christa Théret ... Betty Davert

Ulrich Tukur ... Gérard Hutchinson

Olivier Gourmet ... Raymond Machefer

Yvon Back ... Etienne Barnet

Thierry Hancisse ... Inspecteur Kesler
Olga Grumberg ... Iris Thompson

Yolande Moreau ... Préposée poste
Dieudonné Kabongo ... Quinlan Longus (as Dieudonné Kabongo Bashila)
Jean-Pierre Gos ... Garagiste
Vanessa Larré ... Prédatrice
Serge Larivière ... Inspecteur Police
Jeanne Savary ... La présentatrice TV
Luce Mouchel ... Mme Rick
Philippe Bardy ... M. Rick

Marie Kremer ... Judy Rick
Raphaël D'Olce ... Gradé Gendarmerie
Renaud Rutten ... Motard Gendarmerie
Jean-Michel Balthazar ... Barman Arcadia
Luc Bromagne ... PDG (as Luc Brumagne)
Michel Carcan ... Rolf Kranz
Robert Borremans ... Inspecteur Otto Zirner
Alain Guillo ... Jack
Jean-Maurice Knockaert ... Chef de rayon
Marc Legein ... M. Birch
Marie-Hélène Baleau ... Madame Birch
Corentin Lobet ... Jeune chauffeur
Hervé Pauchon ... Dentiste
Abdelmalek Kadi ... Pompiste
Gérard Kuhnl ... Léon Ringer
Marie-Pierre Chaix ... Madame Ringer
Christophe Brault ... Journaliste TV
Olivier Ravanello ... Journaliste TV
Jean-Claude Grumberg ... Premier témoin
Émilie Raffoul ... Deuxième témoin
Alice Kakou ... Troisième témoin
Michèle Berrebi ... Procureur

John Landis ... Père copain Maxime
Emmanuel Hamon ... Jeune commissaire
Marie-Rose Roland ... Femme de chambre
Robert Guilmard ... Automobiliste
Laurence Bremont ... Femme automobiliste
Julie Gavras ... Jeune femme cabine

Catherine Salée ... Lydia
Nabil Ben Yadir ... Eboueur
Pierre Choul ... Danseur de claquettes
Stéphane Csala ... Directeur du cinéma
Romain Gavras ... Inspecteur civil
Éric Bronchart ... Inspecteur civil
Serge Devos ... Inspecteur civil
Dominique Reding ... Inspecteur civil
Alain Beaufort ... Assistant Kessler
Airy Routier ... Jeune homme entretien
Laurence Lafiteau ... Jeune femme entretien
Francine Martel ... Concierge Blacher
Denis Taurel ... Client Café l'Étape
Hugues Faget ... Client Café l'Étape
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Rapp ... A man in the restaurant (uncredited)

Directed by
Writing credits
Donald E. Westlake (novel "The Ax")

Costa-Gavras  and
Jean-Claude Grumberg 

Produced by
Jean-Pierre Dardenne .... co-producer
Luc Dardenne .... co-producer
Genevieve Lemal .... executive producer
Alexandre Lippens .... executive producer
José María Morales .... co-producer
Michèle Ray-Gavras .... producer
Arlette Zylberberg .... associate producer
Original Music by
Armand Amar 
Cinematography by
Patrick Blossier 
Film Editing by
Yannick Kergoat 
Casting by
Gerda Diddens 
Kris Portier de Bellair 
Production Design by
Laurent Deroo 
Costume Design by
Laurence Maréchal 
Makeup Department
Thi-Loan Nguyen .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Aurore Benoit .... assistant unit manager (as Aurore Benoît)
Paul Bogaty .... assistant unit manager
David Crenn .... assistant unit manager
Yvon Crenn .... production manager
Dimitri Linder .... unit production manager
Florence Masset .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gabrielle Hanne .... trainee assistant director
Joseph Rapp .... first assistant director
Charles Senard .... second assistant director
Caroline Tambour .... second assistant director
Art Department
Laurie Colson .... set dresser
Igor Gabriel .... set decorator: Belgium
Bart van Lint .... carpenter
Sound Department
Benoit De Clerck .... additional sound
Jonathan Gargui Dit Marco .... assistant sound
Thomas Gauder .... sound mixer
Carole Lourtil .... adr supervisor
Nicolas Moreau .... sound editor
Nicolas Naegelen .... sound
Olivier Thys .... assistant foley artist
Philippe van Leer .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Jean-Christophe Bourgeois .... special effects technician
Visual Effects by
Fabrice Blin .... digital color grader
Alexandre Bon .... visual effects supervisor
Berengere Dominguez .... visual effects coordinator
Jerome Fournier .... senior matte painter
Christian Guillon .... visual effects producer
Audrey Kleinclaus .... visual effects coordinator: L'EST
Benjamin Massoubre .... 2k operator
Jean-Francois Theault .... digital compositor
Olivier Veau .... digital compositor
Alain Villain .... stunt driver
Henry Villain .... stunt driver (as Henri Villain)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric Blanckaert .... second assistant camera
Thomas Brémond .... still photographer
Teresa Punzi .... assistant camera
Jan Rubens .... Steadicam operator
Didier Versolatto .... gaffer
Casting Department
Marie-France Michel .... extras casting
Editorial Department
Nicolas Criqui .... digital conformation
Mickael Dumontier .... digital conformation
Frederic Jupin .... digital conformation
Yorgos Lamprinos .... assistant editor
Philippe Reinaudo .... digital intermediate technical director
Music Department
Thomas Jamois .... soundtrack producer
Vincent Joinville .... music editor
Vincent Joinville .... music mixer
Vincent Joinville .... music recordist
Other crew
David Durca .... location scout
Dimitri Linden .... unit manager: Belgium
Matthieu Maunier-Rossi .... location manager
Marika Piedboeuf .... script supervisor
Dominique Segall .... press attache
Charles Senard .... location scout
Oliviero Toscani .... on-screen bills

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le couperet" - Belgium (original title)
See more »
117 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Visa d'exploitation en France: #110116See more »
Gérard Hutchinson:Vous savez, au bout de cinq ans de chômage on est devenu... non, comment on dit en français?
Bruno Davert:Has-been.
Gérard Hutchinson:Ah oui, voilà, has-been.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of A Shock to the System (1990)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Family, Work and Society, 8 April 2007
Author: andrabem from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Costa Gavras is a master of the political film. Political films in general are not my cup of tea. They try to convey some kind of message to the public, and they do it by portraying the persons in a stylized way, losing in depth in the process. People are portrayed realistically but their conflicts are simplified because the political film intends to portray society and its problems - unemployment, hunger, class exploitation and so on - in other words, they talk about the big (lack of bread, for instance) and forget the small (emotions like loneliness and sadness, for instance).

Many political films concerned about their objectivity are quite emotionless, or else their emotions are one-sided - bad and ugly live here, beauty and love live there, or the other way around.

FEW POLITICAL FILMS are able to bridge this gap: to talk about society and at the same time not forget the individual man and his/her very complex universe and contradictions. SOME OF THESE FILMS ARE the masterpieces of neorealism: "Ladri di Bicicletta" and "Umberto D" by Vittorio de Sica, "Los Olvidados" by Buñuel and many others.

Costa Gavras doesn't reach this goal. His films are efficient and convey their message to the public, but they lack warmth.

"Le Couperet" is nonetheless an interesting film - a man that works as a chemist loses his job and after 2 years of unemployment decides to kill whoever stands in his way to get another job - so he places an ad of an imaginary enterprise in the newspaper offering a chemist job (his professional area) and rents a post box to read the answers he gets. He reads all the résumés and proceeds to kill all the people that are equal or more qualified than him - so that in the end he'll get the job because he will be the only remaining choice. All the while he will go on living normally with his family. He will suffer emotional crises, his marriage will become strained but no one will suspect anything at all of his alternative activities.

The film, after all, is very entertaining and gives a sad picture of France (and Western Europe I would say), suffering economic crisis and rising doubts. Is it possible with the globalization to maintain a very expensive Social Welfare and have to face a growing economic erosion? In USA (as far as I know), for instance, some unemployed people live on the streets or under the bridges. In France and Western Europe, unemployed people are still taken care of. Till when? Many enterprises are closing or cutting expenses (that means firing people).

Costas Gavras films are good because they make questions about the world in which we live, they make us think, but his films don't really touch me - I would say they provide food for thought but not food for the heart.

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