6.6/10
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11 user 3 critic

Lost Command (1966)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | May 1966 (USA)
French Army Colonel Raspeguy leads his paratroopers in battle against the Communist Viet Minh in Indochina and against Algerian guerrilla during the Algerian War.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Jean Lartéguy (novel), Nelson Gidding
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Lt. Col. Pierre Raspeguy
Alain Delon ... Captain Phillipe Esclavier
George Segal ... Lt. Mahidi
Michèle Morgan ... Countess Natalie de Clairefons
Maurice Ronet ... Capain. Boisfeuras
Claudia Cardinale ... Aicha
Grégoire Aslan ... Dr. Ali Ben Saad
Jean Servais ... General Melies
Maurice Sarfati Maurice Sarfati ... Merle
Jean-Claude Bercq Jean-Claude Bercq ... Orsini (as Jean-Claude Berq)
Syl Lamont Syl Lamont ... Verte
Jacques Marin ... Mayor
Jean-Paul Moulinot Jean-Paul Moulinot ... De Guyot
Andrés Monreal Andrés Monreal ... Ahmed
Gordon Heath Gordon Heath ... Dia
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Storyline

In 1954 during the final days of French military involvement in Indochina French Army Colonel Pierre-Noel Raspeguy is leading his paratroopers in the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu. A weakened French garrison faces a major assault by Communist Viet Minh troops. Colonel Raspeguy's frantic calls for reinforcements only brings a token force of a planeload of paratroopers and ammunition. When their position is overrun by the enemy Raspeguy and his men are taken prisoners. After the peace treaty they are released and they return to France where Colonel Raspeguy receives the command of a new airborne regiment bound for Algeria. The French are trying to prevent Algeria from obtaining full independence from France. The French Army is engaged in counter insurgency operations in both urban and rural environments against the Algerian guerrilla led by the Algerian National Liberation Front. This is Colonel Raspeguy's last chance to prove his command abilities and to save his military career. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They lived and loved and fought across three continents !

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

May 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Centurions See more »

Filming Locations:

Roma Studios, Madrid, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Red Lion See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The US provided considerable help to the French in Vietnam. See more »

Goofs

The Vietminh Commander played by Burt Kwouk is speaking Cantonese, a southern Chinese dialect, and not Vietnamese. See more »

Quotes

Merle: A message from the airforce, sir. In 10 minutes, they will be overhead to drop in reinforcements!
Lt. Col. Pierre Raspeguy: We haven't got enough firepower left to cover them, they'll be slaughtered before they hit the ground, get back on the radio and warn them off.
Merle: Right sir!
[command bunker with radio blown up]
Merle: [picking up broken pieces of radio] Poor devils, they'll be here in a few minutes!
Lt. Col. Pierre Raspeguy: Well, what the hell can I do!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deadfall (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

If You Liked "Zulu," You'll Like "The Lost Command"
24 July 2000 | by Piper12See all my reviews

Perhaps because it came out so soon after Pontecorvo's classic "La Battaglia di Algeri" (The Battle of Algiers), "The Lost Command" got, well, lost. That's too bad, because I saw this movie only once about 20 years ago, but still recall it vividly as a surprisingly well-done action film spiced with social commentary that doesn't overwhelm the whole.

Anthony Quinn is especially believable as a hard-bitten professional soldier who manages to rise to high command in spite of his peasant birth. Alain Delon is his pretty boy right-hand and George Segal has a particularly interesting turn as an Arab serving with Quinn and Delon in Indochina at the film's beginning who is radicalized upon returning to his native Algeria and takes up arms against his former comrades.

The highlight of the film is its retelling of the Battle of Algiers, with Quinn in the role of the real-life para colonel Jacques Massieu.

The battle scenes are well-done and realistic, especially the opening sequence, which is set in the final, desperate hours at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Despite being well-made and underrated, this film is not often shown on television, so you'll probably have to rent it.


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