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The Vultures (1984)

Les morfalous (original title)
In 1943 in Tunisia, a unit of the French Foreign Legion fights the Germans over possession of a bank treasure in gold bars.

Director:

Henri Verneuil

Writers:

Michel Audiard (dialogue), Michel Audiard (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Sgt. Pierre Augagneur
Jacques Villeret ... Béral
Michel Constantin ... Adjudant Édouard Mahuzard
Michel Creton Michel Creton ... Boissier
Matthias Habich ... Karl
François Perrot ... François Laroche-Fréon, le directeur de la banque
Maurice Auzel Maurice Auzel ... Borzik
Gérard Buhr ... L'officier du camp de ravitaillement
Junior John David Junior John David
Robert Lombard Robert Lombard ... M. Chanterelle
Pierre Semmler Pierre Semmler ... Capt. Ulrich Dieterle (as Peter Semler)
Caroline Silhol Caroline Silhol ... Mme Chanterelle (as Caroline Sihol)
Marie Laforêt ... Hélène Laroche-Fréon
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Storyline

April 5, 1943: a battalion of the Foreign Legion arrives in El Ksour, Tunisia, to escort a fortune in gold bars to the home front. A German ambush awaits, and all but four die. Thanks to the street smarts of Sergeant Augagneur, the Legionnaires successfully counter attack. The bank manager and his seductive wife arrive, and so does a German lieutenant, whom the French arrest. Augagneur wants to steal the gold; warrant officer Mahuzard wants to do his duty. A series of alliances form and break apart, the group dwindles in number, and the gold heads south toward Betahoua. But in whose possession? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Did You Know?

Trivia

5th highest grossing movie of its year in France but after starting fast, dropped quickly because of negative word of mouth. See more »

Goofs

Karl's tank is a post-war French AMX-13, camouflaged as German. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the German theatrical and video version 11 minutes are missing. 08:52: Beral (Villeret) explains his situation while Mahuzard (Constantin) seeks for volunteers going back outside the Turkish bath (3 min.). 23:35: On their way to the flak Augagneur (Belmondo) and Beral are creeping over a cemetery (2:30 min.). 44:30: Augagneur tells Helene (Laforet) about his favorite cinema Roxy-Palace and why he decided to become a foreign legionnaire. Mahuzard is listening to Edith Piaf on the radio. Then he goes to the door and frightens Beral by explaining to him what they usually do with disloyal french soldiers (5 min.). 79:52: Karl (Matthias Habich) and Augagneur in the tank. With help of headsets and microphones both speak about El Ksour and Paris. The tank is driving through the Tunesian desert (2 min.). See more »

Connections

References Kelly's Heroes (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Augagneur Fait Sa Cour
Written and Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

 
Jean-Paul Belmondo Is Fine In Played Out War Movie
20 July 2005 | by gerrythreeSee all my reviews

At one point in Les Morfalous, Jean-Paul Belmondo's character tells the warrant officer: "I'll be frank, Edouard. It's not polite to mock us." Pause. "It's not polite." Although this war story seems often to be a bargain basement version of Kelly's Heroes, it has its moments. Another moment comes when the bank director's wife, observing her husband for the last time, gets a chance to make one really mean comment that is a play on words. Those moments do not include the cheap explosions that do no damage to the Tunisian town set where most of the action takes place in. Les Morfalous is the last of seven (by my count in IMDb) pairings of Belmondo and director Henri Verneuil. Belmondo in this movie seems as spry as ever, fighting, running and chewing the scenery. But age was catching up to him, which shows in close ups. Verneuil, a great action director, decided to end his career, after this movie, by making a series of dramatic movies about the Turkish genocide of the Armenians during World War One. I think he made the right decision, by ending his career making movies he cared about. Les Morfalous is a star vehicle that lacks the usual production gloss of Belmondo's movies in the 60s and 70s. The version I saw on the NYC CUNY Channel had subtitles but the print was grainy and washed out. Even a great print could not hide this movie's flaws: cheap action, choppy editing and too many dull characters. Belmondo is fine, the actor who plays the German officer is fine, the bank director's wife is very good looking and on target when she lists the mistakes Belmondo's sergeant made. In the end, Les Morafalous is a tired movie with too small a budget and not enough interesting action for a war movie.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

28 March 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vultures See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF30,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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