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Espion, lève-toi (1982)

Sébastien Grenier,a secret agent eliminates all his rivals in order to decipher who has killed some of his associates.


Yves Boisset


George Markstein (novel), Michel Audiard (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lino Ventura ... Sébastien Grenier
Michel Piccoli ... Jean-Paul Chance
Bruno Cremer ... Richard
Bernard Fresson ... Henri Marchand
Marc Mazza Marc Mazza ... Ramos Bavila
Roger Jendly Roger Jendly ... Le commissaire Lohmann
Heinz Bennent ... Meyer
Krystyna Janda ... Anna Gretz
Beate Kopp Beate Kopp ... La secrétaire de Grenier
Christian Baltauss Christian Baltauss ... Le bibliothécaire
Kurt Bigger Kurt Bigger ... Alfred Zimmer
Jean-Paul Franky Jean-Paul Franky ... Rudy la blonde
Yves Boisset ... L'adjoint de Richard
Daniel Plancherel Daniel Plancherel ... L'inspecteur Vogel
Philippe Brizard Philippe Brizard ... Le collaborateur de Grenier


Sébastien Grenier,a secret agent eliminates all his rivals in order to decipher who has killed some of his associates.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


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Did You Know?


The movie was originally to be directed by Andrzej Zulawski. Zulawski left the project after dissensions between him and Lino Ventura. See more »


At the beginning, the terrorists drive their cars right behind the tram - on a piece of street that is marked not to be used by cars. This would have raised suspicion with the police. See more »

User Reviews

Abstract politics.
15 February 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Yves Boisset has always been a politically committed director,but his stories are always linear and accessible:hence their efficiency,even if people complain about their manicheism or naiveté.One cannot deny their impact on the audience when it comes to depicting the Algerian war (in RAS) or racism (in Dupont Lajoie,probably his best effort).

"Espion lève -toi" moves in another direction ;relatively speaking it shows the influence of Pakula and "the parallax view".A hero (Ventura)fighting against something he does not really understand,estranged from his compatriots in Zurich ,Switzerland,the symbol of the power of money.Around him everybody's dying,even his lover ,a German professor is threatened ,and maybe she's not the woman he thinks she is (hints at Baader's gang and terrorism).When Ventura strikes back,not only it's too late but it may also be absurd and pointless:he 's nothing but a puppet on a string like laurence Harvey in "Mandchourian candidate" .

This movie is unique in Boisset's career:it was initially to be directed by Zulawski,and the snub critics used to say what a better movie it would have been !It's not sure :Zulawski's works are often pretentious and -in France,abroad they do not seem to bother- overrated ("posession" or "l'important c'est d'aimer")and Boisset's simplicity and academic but efficient style fit the screenplay like a glove.Unlike Frankenheimer's and Pakula 's works I Mention above,"Espion lève- toi" is no masterpiece but it should appeal to people who like this genre.

Yves Boisset got lost after this effort:he tackled pure thriller with "le prix du danger" "canicule "or "bleu comme l'enfer",and deprived of his political or social comments he was nothing but another director

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France | Switzerland


French | German

Release Date:

27 January 1982 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Alzati spia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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