6.6/10
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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

This went into production in May 1965 as " The Centurions ". See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[Thanks, you just broke my chains]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deadfall (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hollywood movie on the Algerian War that was banned in France for ten years (1966-1976)
27 December 2018 | by politfilmSee all my reviews

Main protagonist of the "Lost Command" is a French peasant determined to become a newcomer to the military aristocracy. He was decisive on becoming a general, even if it meant climbing over a mountain of dead bodies, up to the generals' epaulets. For this goal, he is willing to cover up war crimes, to participate in their execution, to kill civilians, to organize torture and to participate in it...

"Lost Command", in a very clear but also very subtle way, shows the class character of the French military and colonial order. Main focus of the movie is the brutality of the colonial war that France waged against the Algerian liberation movements during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962), until Algeria has won its independence. It is quite clearly shown how big business protects its interests and pressures politicians, who then push senior military officers, who than issue orders and send plain soldiers to die for the interests of big business.

It is quite unusual for a Hollywood movie to bluntly show how the war, and capitalism in general, is the best environment for psychopaths and people who have renounced their humanity, or are actively suppressing it, as well as how promotions and bloody medals are given to the murderers and criminals in the service of the state.

Although the unfolding of the film takes place in Algeria, the opening scene takes us to the siege of Dien Bien Phu, the key battle of the First Indochina War, an anti-colonial conflict in Indochina (now Vietnam), where the forces of Viet Minh defeat the French army. It is interesting that in 1954 Alain Delon, actor that plays French officer whose integrity gets him into conflict with his superiors, voluntarily participated in the Indochina War as a French soldier. This armed conflict lasted from 1946 until the mid-1950s, when France left Indochina and was immediately followed by Vietnam war waged in the same area by the US between the mid-1950s up to 1975.


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