7.8/10
5,374
38 user 46 critic

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.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself between the urge to discover love and the ever-present, dominating affection of his mother.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette
The Lovers (1958)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Saddled with a dull husband and a foolish lover, a woman has an affair with a stranger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Alain Cuny, Jean-Marc Bory
May Fools (1990)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Miou-Miou, Michel Piccoli, Michel Duchaussoy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol. Although he is constantly distressed, he leaves the hospital and tries to meet good ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Maurice Ronet, Léna Skerla, Yvonne Clech
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This merry farce depicts a satirical view of the French society: Ten-year-old Zazie has to stay two days with her relatives in Paris, so that her mother can spend some time with her lover. ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly
Atlantic City (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

New York actors rehearse Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" in a dilapidated theatre.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Wallace Shawn, Phoebe Brand, George Gaynes
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Vibrant scenes of individuals' daily life are filmed in Place de la République.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Louis Malle
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A documentary with almost no words following the production of Citroen cars at a plant in Northern France and their later sales.

Directors: Louis Malle, René Vautier
Alamo Bay (1985)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A despondent Vietnam veteran in danger of losing his livelihood is pushed to the edge when he sees Vietnamese immigrants moving into the fishing industry in a Texas bay town.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Amy Madigan, Ed Harris, Ho Nguyen
Edit

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
Edit

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

29 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lacombe, Lucien  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Betty Beaulieu: Do you know I'm in the movies?
Lucien Lacombe: Really?
Betty Beaulieu: Yes. Last year I had a good part in "Night Raid", with Yvon Nevers.
Lucien Lacombe: People could see you in the movies?
Betty Beaulieu: In Paris you could. In this hole they only show old films!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Manoir de mes rêves
Music by Django Reinhardt
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cruelty, love, and survival in Provincial France, WWII
4 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

Lacombe, Lucien (1974)

A disturbing and sad movie about surviving the Nazi occupation in France. It's unlike any other film of its type, turning from tender to ruthless in a breath, and from joyous to ghastly just as fast. And though the Nazis are behind the violence and fear, they play a mostly indirect role in the cornering of a small Jewish family in the countryside. This is a tale about French and French, about the Resistance against collaborators.

And it's told from the point of view of the collaborators, a gang of opportunistic thugs who have taken over an old hotel and who terrorize, with German supplied documents, ordinary citizens. The title character is Lucien, an utterly heartless but somehow, at times, sympathetic boy who gets pulled into the lure of these thugs. But he shows a scary detachment from all feeling, even from love at first, and certainly from respect for life. There is a hint that he grew to think human life was cheap from his days hunting and killing animals without a flinch as a youth, but it could be the movie is showing that he had almost a disorder, something that made him unfeeling even for the most ordinary, harmless, vulnerable things. I think the former is more accurate, though, because his hunting rabbits and killing a chicken with his hands were probably (and still are) part of country life where rabbit and chicken were part of the cuisine.

But it's people who will eventually be his target, and he is not like his older counterparts. He doesn't want the spoils of war, not money or finery, resisting at first even the suit the Jewish tailor is ordered to make for him. It is here the movie gets to what matters. Lucien is ignorant enough to not quite see why this Jewish man is any different than other men, but he catches on when others around him make clear the Jew is only alive and in hiding as their choice. I guess they need a good tailor, and they need the man's money (the tailor pays when he makes the suits, it seems). The complication of a beautiful (and very French looking) daughter takes some of the expected turns, but not completely, because this very young man doesn't really know how to behave, or how to fall in love.

The director, Louis Malle, is a legend of French cinema, and later even of American cinema. He depends on location shooting, natural light, and naturalistic acting to give every scene a believability that is both beautiful and at times uncanny, especially combined with violence to animals. The lead actor, Pierre Blase, is almost too convincing in his cool and relatively mindless determination. The tailor, played by Holger Löwenadler, a Swedish actor, is a model of patience and continual assessment, trying to play the game with the thugs for his survival. His daughter is less fully realized, with Aurore Clement playing this charming and innocent girl withheld from normal life by the war. But she does in fact learn to love Lucien in her own way, and he responds in his own way.

Needless to say, the end is tragic and rather perfect. And the whole troubling two hours getting there will leave you moved, for sure, but also enlightened. The problem of loyalty and survival takes on new light here.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial