6.8/10
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6 user 3 critic

La sentinelle (1992)

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 & 4 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 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sentinel See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,176, 18 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,548, 25 October 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Prelude & Allegro
by Fritz Kreisler
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User Reviews

Slow moving, but well worth sticking with
12 May 2002 | by maxshreckSee all my reviews

A crackin' suspenseful espionage thriller that thankfully abstains from using Hollywood-style explosions and multiple gunshots to maintain viewers attention. It took me a while and numerous repeat viewings to appreciate and understand this movie, but it was worth the effort. The cast is flawless, particularly Salinger and Todeschini as the reluctant hero and the loathsome villain respectively, who both give galvanizing performances; fantastic cinematography; and a chilling soundtrack which contributes beautifully to the atmosphere- this is French cinema at its best. Mathias' relationship with the head I found particularly compelling, although it may be a bit eerie for all tastes….Basically, if you want a subtle, thought provoking film that doesn't signpost every clever detail, then this is for you.

However, if you are a blockbuster junkie, simply looking for entertainment then steer well clear; I know of only a (very small) handful of people who enjoyed this espionage tale, so beware, this ain't James Bond!

All in all, 7/10 for a thoroughly engrossing, realistic spy story.


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