1938, in a French african colony. Lucien Cordier is the cop of this village, populated with blacks and a few whites (usually racialist and lustful). He is a washout, everyone (including his wife Huguette) humiliates him. He never arrests anyone and looks at elsewhere when a dirty trick occurs. But one day, he turns into a machiavellian exterminating angel.
Did You Know?
Jean Aurenche, the screenwriter had a publicity agency in the 30s. The agency employed Marcel Carné and Robert Bresson. The short shown before Alerte ... in the outdoors cinema was one of his for the Galeries Barbès in Paris (The subtitles on Criterion write wrongly Barbe's ) The movie has as actors Paul Grimault as the condemned man, Artigas as the captain and Jean Anouilh and Max Ernst as 2 of the soldiers. See more
The movie begins with a scene during a total eclipse of the sun. Between 1933 (Hitler comes to power) and 1939 (invasion of France), no path of totality from any solar eclipse touched French West Africa. See more
Can you excuse a pole for filling a hole? It may squash some rabbits, but is it the pole's fault if it fits that hole?
George Le Peron
But a pole is an inanimate object.
Aren't we all more or less inanimate?
George Le Peron
What do you mean?
In the opening credits, we are correctly informed that the film is based on the novel "Pop. 1280"; but during the end titles, we are informed that it is based on "Pop. 1275". This is consistent with the official title retained for the translation into French, which is "1275 Ames" (literally: "1275 Souls"), and which reflects the fact that 5 people have died during the course of action. See more