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The Sentinel (1992)

La sentinelle (original title)
Mathias, whose dead father was a diplomat in Germany, decides to study the forensic medicine in Paris. In the train, he has some troubles with the border police, and is insulted and ... See full summary »

Director:

Arnaud Desplechin

Writers:

Arnaud Desplechin (original scenario), Pascale Ferran (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmanuel Salinger Emmanuel Salinger ... Mathias Barillet
Thibault de Montalembert Thibault de Montalembert ... Jean-Jacques
Jean-Louis Richard ... Bleicher
Valérie Dréville Valérie Dréville ... Nathalie
Marianne Denicourt ... Marie Barillet
Jean-Luc Boutté Jean-Luc Boutté ... Varins
Bruno Todeschini ... William
Philippe Duclos ... Macaigne
Fabrice Desplechin Fabrice Desplechin ... Simon
Emmanuelle Devos ... Claude
Philippe Laudenbach ... The Priest
László Szabó ... Pamiat, the Russian (as Laszlo Szabo)
Alexis Nitzer Alexis Nitzer ... Consul
Nadine Alari ... Mme. Barillet
Jean-Pierre Ducos Jean-Pierre Ducos ... Customs Officer
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Storyline

Mathias, whose dead father was a diplomat in Germany, decides to study the forensic medicine in Paris. In the train, he has some troubles with the border police, and is insulted and threatened by a strange man, who disappeared quickly. Next day, he discovers in his luggage a shrunken human head. He soons becomes fascinated by it, feeling responsible (sentry of the memory of the head's owner) and starts his own investigation. What will leads him to cope with French secret services. Written by Yepok

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Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Prelude & Allegro
by Fritz Kreisler
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User Reviews

 
Dark, haunting story about memory and growing up
18 January 2001 | by jfurioli_2000See all my reviews

A student in medicine finds a severed head, well preserved and embalmed, in his luggage, on a trip from Berlin to Paris. His father is the late French ambasador in Eastern Germany. Why the head is here ? Where does it come from ? Why him ? For what purpose? He doesn't know. At first, he forgets about the head and tries to make friends, builds his life and keep studying but... he soon becomes obsessed with the head. Since he is the only one to know then he bears the responsibility to find out why and for what... The movie starts slowly and gains in intensity as the story develops. The cast is remarkable and the characters are all touching. The magic of the movie is that it possesses the same complexity as a Dostoeivski novel (really). It works in a very subtle way, making its way unnoticed to your mind and memory... I did not like it the first time I saw it, but months after, years after, La Sentinelle came back haunt me... and I had to see it again, just like I sometimes read over again a book that has depths I missed the first time.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az őrszem See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,176, 18 October 1998

Gross USA:

$7,548
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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