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Rene the Cane (1977)

René la canne (original title)
Rene and Marchand are best friends. What makes their friendship special is that Rene is a professional thief, and Marchand is a policeman, albeit somewhat corrupt.


Francis Girod




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... René Bornier
Sylvia Kristel ... Krista
Michel Piccoli ... Inspecteur Marchand
Stefano Patrizi ... Gino
Riccardo Garrone ... Karl
Jacques Jouanneau Jacques Jouanneau ... Fourgue
Jean Rigaux Jean Rigaux ... Vieuchêne
Orchidea De Santis ... Kim
Venantino Venantini ... Carlo
Valérie Mairesse ... Martine
Jean Carmet ... L'indicateur
Suzanne Berthois Suzanne Berthois
Evelyne Bouix Evelyne Bouix
Daniel Breton Daniel Breton
Philippe Brizard Philippe Brizard ... Le chef de la police marseillaise


Rene and Marchand are best friends. What makes their friendship special is that Rene is a professional thief, and Marchand is a policeman, albeit somewhat corrupt.

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Drama | Comedy | Crime


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Did You Know?


One if the few films where Sylvia Kristel never took her clothes off. In fact, she said in a 1981 interview that that is probably why the film bombed. "For some reason the roles in which I keep my clothes on never become successful movies. No one has heard of 'Rene La Canne,' in which I didn't have a single nude scene. I am more successful nude because my mission in life is to inspire positive fantasies. I could never play a killer or appear in a horror film. My mission is to spread beauty and that is not an easy task." See more »


Referenced in The American Friend (1977) See more »

User Reviews

Not a Black Comedy, More a Black Hole...
27 March 2002 | by dwingroveSee all my reviews

This tasteless and plotless farrago follows the fortunes of three rogues during and after the Nazi Occupation of France. 'Rene the Stick' (Gerard Depardieu) is a vulgar petty crook. 'Fernand the Sneak' (Michel Piccoli) is a corrupt police officer. Krista (Sylvia Kristel) is a whorehouse madam who beds them both turn by turn.

Allegedly, this trio are based on real-life characters. One can't help wondering if director Francis Girod and co-writer Jacques Rouffio saw their cheerful amorality as a metaphor for the moral disintegration of society during wartime. If that is their aim, the film is a wretched failure. Its attempts at black comedy are too crude and obvious to convince. (Are we meant to whoop with delight when Piccoli eats his boss's pet frog?) It is frankly sick-making to see the Nazi persecution of Jews and homosexuals used as a set-up for cheap and unfunny jokes.

To make this movie still worse, both of the 'great' French actors (Depardieu and Piccoli) ham up their roles atrociously. Dolled up in her white tuxedo, la Kristel looks very fetching indeed - but she has precious little to do apart from that. Oh well! At least she does not embarrass herself by overacting.

David Melville

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France | Italy



Release Date:

16 February 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

3 sympathitikoi katergareoi See more »

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Color (Eastmancolor)
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