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The Elusive Corporal (1962)

Le caporal épinglé (original title)
An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic... See full summary »

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Jacques Perret (novel), Jean Renoir (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Le caporal / The Corporal
Claude Brasseur ... 'Papa' / 'Pop'
O.E. Hasse ... Le voyageur ivre dans le train
Claude Rich ... Ballochet
Jacques Jouanneau Jacques Jouanneau ... Penche-à-gauche
Sacha Briquet Sacha Briquet ... L'évadé grimé en vielle femme
Raymond Jourdan Raymond Jourdan ... Hippolyte Dupieu
Guy Bedos ... Le prisonnier qui bégaye
Philippe Castelli Philippe Castelli ... Le prisonnier électricien
Gérard Darrieu Gérard Darrieu ... L'homme qui louche / The cross-eyed man
Lucien Raimbourg Lucien Raimbourg ... L'employé de la gare
François Darbon François Darbon ... Un paysan / The last man
Cornelia Froboess ... Erika Schmidt (as Conny Froboess)
Elisabeth Marcus Elisabeth Marcus
Elisabeth Stiepl Elisabeth Stiepl ... (as Elisabeth Stiepel)
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Storyline

An upper-class corporal from Paris is captured by the Germans when they invade France in 1940. Assisted and accompanied by characters as diverse as a morose dairy farmer, a waiter, a myopic intellectual, a working-class Parisian, and a German dental assistant, the corporal tries to escape from prison camps, sometimes making it a few yards, sometimes reaching the French border. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

23 May 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Elusive Corporal See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.31 (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pure Cynicism
11 March 2013 | by LobotomousMonkSee all my reviews

Le Caporal opens with a montage of WWII documentary footage. "Honor and glory to the survivors" provides a nice interplay between themes in Grande Illusion and more personal philosophies regarding the condition of the human race (Renoir's 'humanism'). The drama moves at a relatively slow pace and the performances are full of affect. More documentary footage has a voice-over narration in French but from the perspective of the Nazis. There is an element of self-reflexivity to the film not just through the use of documentary footage and a more psychologically-based stylistic system but also infused into the themes of coercion and resistance. Le Caporal is more concerned with individualism than Grande Illusion which focused on group dynamics. This is underscored by the obsessive compulsive worry that one character shows for the safety of his cows, regardless of what is happening in the moment. The story does not track the multiple characters but instead folds their offscreen progress in with the corporal at regular intervals. He becomes a transient in their lives (hence elusive). There is a disconnect in this regard and a repetition to the structure of the narrative that underscores this disconnect. The graceful allusions in Regle with Schumacher are replaced by purely cynical portrayals of Germans (the drunken warmonger states "I'm probably a better German than you all"). Scorsese commented that Le Caporal Epingle is "in a different emotional key than La Grande Illusion".


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