7.8/10
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Lacombe, Lucien (1974)

Lacombe Lucien (original title)
In 1944, an 18-year old boy from small-town France, collaborates with the Nazi-regime and subsequently falls in love with a Jewish girl.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lucien Lacombe
... France Horn
... Albert Horn
... Bella Horn
Stéphane Bouy ... Jean-Bernard
... Betty Beaulieu
... Faure
Pierre Decazes ... Aubert
Jean Rougerie ... Tonin
Cécile Ricard ... Marie
Jacqueline Staup ... Lucienne Chauvelot
Ave Ninchi ... Mme. Georges
Pierre Saintons ... Hippolyte
... mére de Lucien
Jacques Rispal ... M. Laborit
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Storyline

A small town in the south-west of France, summer of 1944. Having failed to join the resistance, the 18 year old Lucien Lacombe, whose father is a prisoner in Germany and whose mother dates her employer, works for the German police. He then meets France Horn, the daughter of a rich jewish tailor. Written by Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

29 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lacombe, Lucien  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was considered rather controversial at the time as it showed a more accurate depiction of the ratio of collaborators to resistance unlike many other French produced films that suggest there were very few collaborators due to the sense of betrayal felt. See more »

Quotes

Jean-Bernard: You understand English, Stéphane?
Faure: No. Why should I? I'm not a turncoat. Know what I think of the English? They make me sick.
Betty Beaulieu: They're better looking than the French. I love Leslie Howard.
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Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lentement Madamoiselle
Music by Django Reinhardt
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User Reviews

 
The arrogance and naivety of youth.
17 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

Having been rejected by the Resistance for being too young, teenager Lucien Lacombe joins the Gestapo in a show of defiance. But upon falling for the daughter of a Jewish tailor, Lucien begins to view his actions in a very different light.

Louis Malle was never a director to worry about public opinion, having ruffled feathers with his intellectual study of incest in 1971s, Soufflé au coeur, Le, he practically ostracised himself with this simmering collaboration piece. Tho it has to be said that the sheer weight of the fall out in his home country would surely have taken him by surprise, however, what remains to this day is a highly accomplished character piece that engrosses from the get go. It's now something of common knowledge that Malle drew from his own upbringing by way of motivation in some of his work, how much of this particular story affected him is not entirely clear, but what isn't in doubt is that the directors time during the occupation of France lends this piece an aura of honesty, it feels personal, and the result is very special indeed.

Each individual viewer can interpret the sequence of events as they may, but just maybe Lacombe Lucien is a simple portrayal of a missed opportunity, and this missed opportunity coupled with naivety bred the wickedness that is viewed in the film. The theme of betrayal hangs heavy in the story, and the mere fact that Malle refused to take sides with his outlaying of the story, only furthers the sense of intrigue that covers the viewer come the stunning ending, an ending that creeps up on you and begs you for another thought process.

Sadly, first time actor Pierre Blaise would perish in a road accident a year after Lacombe Lucien's release, his portrayal of the title character is truly wonderful and it leaves a truly fitting epitaph indeed. Lacombe Lucien is highly recommended cinema, uneasy and itchy at times for sure, but it's never less than masterful in its approach on either side of the camera. 9/10


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