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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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7.4/10   5,980 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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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
 (From Bollyspice. 17 October 2013, 9:26 PM, PDT)

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:
Everyone for himself and God against all! 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
Mathieu Coupat .... orchestrator
Mathieu Coupat .... piano
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?

Ads on billboards in the background were created by famous Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, a friend of the director.See 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:
References Taking Lives (2004)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Everyone for himself and God against all!, 15 July 2007
Author: dbdumonteil

Costa -Gavras 's body of work does not lack in unity.

Except for his two fist movies,which were thrillers , a romantic tale ("Clair de Femme" ) and a comedy that does not count ("Conseil de Famille' ) all that he has made display social and political concerns.

From his early French classics ("Z "(He is alive) "L'Aveu" ,"Etat de Siège") to his American period ("Missing" "Betrayed" "Music Box" ) to his French comeback ("Amen" ) there is a cohesion which even André Cayatte ,his closest contender in the field,did not reach.

And then "Le Couperet" .Don't be mistaken.It's not that much different from CG's previous efforts.Based on a Donald Westlake novel-a writer whose black humour was fierce- ,it contains lines Henri Jeanson or Michel Audiard would not have disowned.Comedy walks a fine line ,but it walks hand in hand with tragedy .You must watch it seriously to realize what heavy things CG is saying.While making his film verge on parody,he is also putting the French society in a less exalted light than we have been used to seeing it in.Suddenly our world seems frightening (the gas station man who hides a gun in his cash register,the icily impersonal female headhunter -I wish I had had my gun!-)It is really the society of the leave-you-behind and perhaps -I hope not - an omen of things to come in the future.I do not speak of the murders obviously.There are other ways of destroying a human being."When I saw them enter the restaurant ,the German ex-engineer says,I knew that I didn't stand the slightest chance ".

The last picture has (and will be) widely talked about.Actually it reminds me of the ending of Mankiewicz's "All about Eve " when Phoebe tries Eve's crown .When you get to the top,there is nowhere to go but down.

A film noir,a farce,a psychological drama ,a social satire and a movie where CG talks politics.One of his most accessible and one of his strongest works.At seventy plus,CG is as young as the reporter who bothered the fascists in "Z".He is abetted by Jose Garcia on top of his game.

Like this?Try these.....

"Extension du domaine de la lutte" Philippe Harel 1998

"L'adversaire" Nicole Garcia 2002

"Working girl" Mike Nichols 1988

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See more (22 total) »

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