This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Djibouti.


Claire Denis
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lavant ... Galoup
Michel Subor ... Commander Bruno Forestier
Grégoire Colin ... Gilles Sentain
Richard Courcet Richard Courcet ... Legionnaire
Nicolas Duvauchelle ... Legionnaire
Adiatou Massudi Adiatou Massudi ... Legionnaire
Mickael Ravovski Mickael Ravovski ... Legionnaire
Dan Herzberg ... Legionnaire
Giuseppe Molino Giuseppe Molino ... Legionnaire
Gianfranco Poddighe Gianfranco Poddighe ... Legionnaire
Marc Veh Marc Veh ... Legionnaire
Thong Duy Nguyen Thong Duy Nguyen ... Legionnaire
Jean-Yves Vivet Jean-Yves Vivet ... Legionnaire
Bernardo Montet Bernardo Montet ... Legionnaire
Dimitri Tsiapkinis Dimitri Tsiapkinis ... Legionnaire


This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup's mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself. Written by L.H. Wong <>

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Drama | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #1,042. See more »


Commander Bruno Forestier: [subtitled version]
[in Russian]
Commander Bruno Forestier: Why did you join the Legion?
Legionnaire: [in Russian] Commandant, you know what it's like in Russia. No money, no work. I was in the army there for two years. I fought for Russia. But it's impossible to fight just for an ideal. An ideal that just keeps changing. You know what I mean?
Commander Bruno Forestier: [in Russian] What ideal?
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Version of Billy Budd (1962) See more »


Sous le soleil brûlant d'Afrique
Performed by French Foreign Legion Music Band
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User Reviews

put it down and walk away.
25 March 2004 | by ahoymematey2000See all my reviews

This is quite possibly the most dull movie I have ever seen. It documents the life of a Sargeant Galoup in the French Legion in Africa who becomes obsessed with competing with one of his soldiers, Sentain. Tensions escalate. Bad stuff happens.

Very predictable, good acting but it isn't enough to save the viewer from utter boredom. I have lost a portion of my life that I can't have back because of Beau Travail. If you want to see a french movie, I assure you that there are thousands of good ones. If you think you would enjoy a more memoir-ish French movie like Beau Travail, Le Gloire de Mon Pere and the more highly rated Chateau de Ma Mere are both said to be classics. I myself have never seen them but I have read the books, so I know they if the film makers did not betray the storyline too much it is a sweet and slow(sometimes TOO slow) movie. But overall, pretty worth it. I personally prefered Le Gloire de Mon Pere.

To simluate Beau Travail: Do some pushups. Sit in front of a blank wall in your home for about 20 minutes. Run around the block. Watch the same wall. Drink some water. Do alot of crunches and jumping jacks. Wash dishes or do laundry. Come back and look at the wall. Repeat until you think you can't do it anymore out of sheer boredom, then continue for about 45 minutes.

In short, save yourself a few hours, a lot of boredom, and about 5 bucks and don't rent this movie. However, it does have a pretty cool song, by Turkish group Tarkan, called Simarik.

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French | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

3 May 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Beau travail See more »

Filming Locations:

Obock, Djibouti See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,003, 2 April 2000

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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