8 user 9 critic

Choice of Arms (1981)

Le choix des armes (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 19 August 1981 (France)
Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with ... See full summary »


Alain Corneau


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An inspector is having a secret relationship with a woman. When she is murdered by his boss, all proof is against him.

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Yves Montand, François Périer, Simone Signoret
Fort Saganne (1984)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

French civilization in the desert. Saganne is of peasant stock, with courage and a forceful will. In 1911, he volunteers and is posted to the Sahara under the aristocratic Colonel Dubreuilh... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Catherine Deneuve
Série noire (1979)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona, a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Franck would like ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Myriam Boyer, Marie Trintignant
La menace (1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The main character is unhappily married and has an affair. When his wife finds out, she lures his girlfriend to a cliff and throws herself of it, making the girlfriend look as her killer. ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Yves Montand, Carole Laure, Marie Dubois
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who's blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Yves Montand, Michel Piccoli, Serge Reggiani
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1944, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Pierre Brasseur, Philippe Noiret
Je vous aime (1980)
Romance | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman invites all four men she loved in her life for the dinner of New Year's Eve at the same time and unites them all in her house. In sentimental flashbacks they recall the former times.

Director: Claude Berri
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Gérard Depardieu
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Anne Brochet
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Bruno is released from prison. He looks for a job and tries to start a new life. His first stop is at his father's apartment.

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Brigitte Fossey, Jacques Dufilho
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory... See full summary »

Director: Yves Angelo
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Fabrice Luchini
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a vacation camp somewhere in the French country, 1960. Marc et Philippe are two of the counsellors. Marc is very virile, while Philippe is more reserved. A night, Marc surprises Philippe... See full summary »

Director: Claude Miller
Stars: Patrick Dewaere, Patrick Bouchitey, Christine Pascal
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Who is Anton Haliakov, who has just been abducted by the M.I.5 in London? A Soviet scientist apparently. But sixteen years before the man had another identity, Clément Tibère, and another ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Pinoteau
Stars: Lino Ventura, Leo Genn, Suzanne Flon


Cast overview, first billed only:
Yves Montand ... Noel Durieux
Gérard Depardieu ... Mickey
Catherine Deneuve ... Nicole Durieux
Michel Galabru ... Bonnardot
Gérard Lanvin ... Sarlat
Jean-Claude Dauphin Jean-Claude Dauphin ... Ricky
Jean Rougerie Jean Rougerie ... Raymond Constantini
Christian Marquand ... Jean
Etienne Chicot ... Roland Davout
Richard Anconina ... Dany
Pierre Forget Pierre Forget ... Serge Olivier
Roland Blanche Roland Blanche ... Fernand
Marc Chapiteau Marc Chapiteau ... Savin
Jean-Claude Bouillaud Jean-Claude Bouillaud ... Andre
Antoine Baud Antoine Baud


Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with his lovely and beloved wife, Nicole. The man dies, and Mickey, a menacing hothead, demands money of Noel. A few days later, Mickey returns to the estate, shoots up a dinner party and threatens them again. Noel sends Nicole to an hotel and goes to his old gang to help him hunt down the dangerous Mickey. Mickey has other problems, too, including heartache for a daughter he hardly knows. Young, eager cops tail Nicole, and all are on a complicated collision course. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »





French | English

Release Date:

19 August 1981 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Choice of Arms See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Girare Le choix des armes (2007) See more »


Since I've Been Loving You
Written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones
Performed by Led Zeppelin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

the last film of Alain Corneau's first cinematographic phase
15 April 2007 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

2 prison inmates, Mickey (Gérard Depardieu) and Serge escape from jail. After a trap set by other gangsters that leaves Serge badly injured, the two baddies take refuge to Noël Durieux (Yves Montand), a former gangster who leads a bourgeois life by running a stud farm. After Serge dies from his injuries, Noël has the visit of two cops Sarlat (Gérard Lanvin) and Bonnardot (Michel Galabru) who question him about Mickey and Serge and Noël affirms that he doesn't know anything about them. And things take a darker turn for because he believes Noël betrayed him, Mickey gives him a hard time. Noël has no other choice than to eliminate him.

As the heir of Jean-Pierre Melville and Claude Sautet, Alain Corneau brought to French cinema a crop of very well controlled thrillers in their writing and shooting. "Le Choix Des Armes" is part of this league and a valuable illustration of Corneau's stylish approach of French detective film. Adopting a rather sparse directing and a tight, parallel editing, the filmmaker takes pleasure in introducing the main characters and as the film progresses to deepen their personality. Like the greatest filmmakers, Corneau has his style and his set of themes. Communication is a recurrent theme in his filmography, especially the difficulties and absence of it. We learn that the cute little girl is Mickey's daughter and he had it just before he was jailed. The two cops work with different methods which doesn't make their relationships easy. Mickey and Durieux are caught in a vicious spiral that is the result of a happy misunderstanding: because Mickey thinks that Durieux gave him to the police, Durieux has to come back to his former gangster life to get rid of his protégé. As they obey to their respective emotions, the two men and especially Mickey get embroiled in a ruthless system that dwarfs them and prevents any reconciliation between them. A permanent feature (the infernal system) that affects the main characters in Corneau's previous films like in "Police Python 357" (1976) starring Yves Montand.

This somber story is painstakingly built at all levels from the organization of the scenario to the creation of the sequences. Sometimes, one shot or a few ones are sufficient to Corneau to present us the persona of a character in the film like Dany (a young Richard Anconina)'s dumb wife or the duo of cops between ambitious Sarlat and seasoned, disillusioned Bonnardot. The cast lives up to the demands of the story with Depardieu much better than Montand as impulsive, immature Mickey. Horses in Durieux's domain are an evident symbol. One could also hail scenery discerningly chosen that cement the characters' social position, either it is Noël Durieux's lascivious mansion in the country or Dany's shabby flat in popular suburbs. At that time in 1980-1, rare were the directors who dare to shoot in those high-risk outskirts.

This is excellent stuff and it's well known: it's better not to get bogged down in rut. Otherwise, you'll have nothing to say anymore. Thus, Corneau proved his ability at weaving prime thrillers. His next film, "Fort Saganne" (1984) will go in another cinematographic direction: the epic film.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed