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The King of Escape (2009)
"Le roi de l'évasion" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 421 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 6 user | 12 critic | 4 from

Armand, a man who sells farm machines in the country, is a popular middle-aged homosexual. Just as he was getting sick of life, he falls in love with a young girl called, Curlie, and goes on the run from her parents and the police.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Armand Lacourtade
Curly Durandot
Pierre Laur ...
Robert Rapaille
Luc Palun ...
Daniel Durandot
Pascal Aubert ...
Paul, le patron
François Clavier ...
Le commissaire
Bruno Valayer ...
Jean Toscan ...
Mauricette Gourdon ...
Mme Rapaille
Georges Vaur ...
Le vieux garagiste
Jeanine Canezin ...
Jean-Pierre Rouane ...
Le patron du bar
Melha Bossard ...
Mme Durandot
Fabrice Poulain ...
Un policier
Frédéric Felder ...
Un policier


Armand, a man who sells farm machines in the country, is a popular middle-aged homosexual. Just as he was getting sick of life, he falls in love with a young girl called, Curlie, and goes on the run from her parents and the police.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Comedy


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Release Date:

15 July 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Der Ausreißer  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

alternative explanation to the polarised comments
13 March 2010 | by (london) – See all my reviews

I had to sleep on this film to really get it.

What happens: An utterly french form of cinematic licence generates classic and true surreal humour. A playful narrative reversal based on an all prevailing rule of 'what if' .

What if:

1.You take a common narrative - the straight married man's midlife crisis leads him to seek comfort in a gay friend and question his sexuality - and reverse that to a partnered non-monogamous gay man has a midlife crisis and seeks comfort in an affair with a teenage girl.

2.You take a common cinematic portrayal of the gay man as young, good looking, urban, sophisticated and inverse that to one of a fat, perhaps unattractive, unsophisticated, small town (straight butch role of) tractor dealer. This narrative inverse generates the unusual context from which we shall experience provincial french life.

From that point, the logic of questioning 'possibility' itself quickly accelerates and dominates the film.

What if the Conservative catholic small minded provincial France commonly portrayed as the real France allows for men to commit sodomy and fellatio each other as a matter of course ?

What if sex is made predominant on all levels of provincial France - gang rape, gay cruising, underage sex, etc so that in the end the 'what if' logic runs out of control and poses the ultimate question, at what point should one stop undoing expectation and to what extent, if you reverse all expectation, do you alter reality ? The excessiveness of narrative reversal turns out to be a classic surrealist strategy.

The English translation of this film is "The King of Escape' - but a better translation would be 'The king of evasion'. Armand carries with him this honour despite on many occasions appearing to look like the ultimate loser. He spends most of his time literally running around France in nothing but his underpants.

The question of evasion is central to the purpose and intent of this film. The evasion of expectation at any cost. Armand's midlife crisis embodies that reflex - indeed you could argue all psychological crisis is a play off between the need for confrontation and the desire to escape.

The film goads conservative France with a relentless uncomfortable matter of fact explicitness. In doing so it forces both hidden realities and fantasies to the fore. A deceptively simple film turns out to be a clever well thought out and powerful form of speculation about how we implicitly engineer society.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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