Near the Baie de la Seine swamps, opposite the Port of Le Havre, Auguste Maroilleur, an elderly farmer, exploits 400 hectares of crop land with the help of his family, over which he rules ...
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Near the Baie de la Seine swamps, opposite the Port of Le Havre, Auguste Maroilleur, an elderly farmer, exploits 400 hectares of crop land with the help of his family, over which he rules with an iron hand. Things go awry the day he discovers one of his grandsons is involved in drug traffic. To make matters worse, the reckless youth has hidden the white powder in the Maroilleur farm. Without a moment's hesitation, Auguste gets rid of the toxic substance but, of course, the mob has different views...Written by
This one was the first of a series of "rural" thrillers which began to appear in the first part of the seventies.We can also mention "la veuve Couderc" "les granges brûlées" and mainly "l'affaire Dominici",a true story which also featured Gabin,in a part very similar to the one he played in "la horse" .
The clannishness in a rural milieu was not new in 1971: Becker's great "Goupi Mains Rouges" is the granddaddy of "la horse" .Granier-Deferre was never looked upon as an auteur and however his movie has stood the test of time quite well.It's a short movie (about 85 min) and the audience is never bored.Gabin is excellent in this part of a grumpy die-hard farmer.He rules over his family and no one dares to contradict him.He lives in a world that no longer exists but he is not prepared to accept another one,so the others must follow.He never contradicts himself,and even if it's difficult to side with him,because taking the law into your hands is hard to swallow for a normal human being,one cannot deny Gabin's behavior its internal logic. The villains -traffickers in drugs- are cardboard characters but it does not matter,cause it's Gabin's one man show.When he learns his grandson is involved in this dirty business,he sees red: no one in his family has already been arrested ,and his family is sacred,the only way of getting out of this mess is striking back.
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