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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

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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 »


Suddenly In A Calm Landscape
Written by Philippe Sarde
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie made me laugh
26 May 2008 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

When I saw Yves Montand step outside his stately farm house in his gum boots I could not suppress a snort. From then on I was unable to take that character seriously (and that was pretty early into the movie). The whole set-up of the couple played by Montand and Catherine Deneuve seemed to me absolutely unrealistic and absurd. Horse breeding, buying the biggest mansion in Southern Ireland, while the (almost completely unrelated) story unfolds, come on! It is simply not possible to take that at face value as the movie apparently wants us to. If it was meant as an almost dreamlike fantasy, then it was a pretty corny one, if you ask me.

Montand's acting occasionally had an odd goofball quality which at times came in handy (his great performance in Wages of Fear comes to mind). Here the goofball aspect plainly shines through, but with him as an ex gangster who has become some kind of landed gentry it is anything but an asset to the quality of the movie. I was really amazed to learn that Montand made Police Python 357 with the same director. It is a much better movie and he is brilliant there.

So probably the script is the source of my dissatisfaction. The movie has lengths (a long, inconsequential sequence of a group of cars following another car, an elaborate smashing up of the living room of a fairly unimportant minor character). For Catherine Deneuve this must have been one of the most ungrateful roles in her distinguished career. She mainly drives up and down the access lane of the estate in a little Ford or sits in an anonymous hotel room waiting for her husband to call. Oh yes, there is some mare-trouble back at the farm, but that does not amount to much.

It's strange, the character played by Gérard Depardieu is very convincing as human bulldozer who occasionally has a heart. I feel that this character was somehow let down by the script. He is the only driving force of the whole plot, the surroundings seem to be either passive or undecided. So he becomes undecided himself (and that's poison for a movie that is based on action). No wonder the guy turned into a raving maniac, come to think of it.

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