A murder detective must follow the footsteps of a brutal killer within the secrets of a classist college.

Director:

Mathieu Kassovitz

Writers:

Jean-Christophe Grangé (novel), Jean-Christophe Grangé (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Reno ... Pierre Niemans
Vincent Cassel ... Max Kerkerian
Nadia Farès ... Fanny Ferreira / Judith Herault (as Nadia Fares)
Dominique Sanda ... Sister Andrée
Karim Belkhadra ... Captain Dahmane
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Dr. Bernard Chernezé
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... The Dean
François Levantal François Levantal ... Pathologist
Francine Bergé Francine Bergé ... Headmistress
Philippe Nahon ... Man at Petrol Station
Laurent Lafitte ... Hubert, the Dean's Son
Robert Gendreu Robert Gendreu ... Cemetery Warden
Christophe Bernard Christophe Bernard ... Skinhead #1
Nicky Naudé ... Skinhead #2 (as Nicky Naude)
Tonio Descanvelle Tonio Descanvelle ... Sarzac Policeman #1
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Storyline

Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Guernon, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor and librarian Rémy Caillois, whose corpse was found 50 meters high on a steep mountain side, naked, horribly covered in bruises and bleeding wounds, the result of some five hours of bestial torture including quasi-surgical amputation of hands cauterized to prevent bleeding to death- and eyes. Guernon is a closed society of virtually incestuous scientists, de facto succeeding to their parents' posts; the eye-doctor, formerly on the staff, says hereditary genetic diseases are the price of such elitism, but in recent years spread to the simple farming families. Inspector Max Kerkerian examines two crimes in the town: a school break-in with theft of old photos and archive papers as well as a graveyard desecration of Judith Herault, the daughter of local nun Andrée, who lives in a dark cell since 15 ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil rises to new heights.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/grisly images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The University library is named Theodor Korner, after the German merchant and politician Theodor Christian Korner (1863 - 1933). His bust is seen in the library as Jean Reno enters. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of the camera can be seen on the dead body in the morgue. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Dahmane: We'll touch base in two hours.
Policeman: Which way do we go?
Captain Dahmane: There. Okay? See you later, guys.
[looks at Niemans]
Captain Dahmane: Can I help you?
Pierre Niemans: Got a light?
Captain Dahmane: Who let you through?
Pierre Niemans: Your men. Commissioner Pierre Niemans.
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Crazy Credits

The Gaumont Films logo used is the 90s version (a trail of Gaumont logos opening up to a space with the current logo). A crimson river runs through the trail, leading to the space background at the end being shaded red. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Virtual Skinfighters
Composed and Performed by David Salsedo, Stéphane Daurs (as Stephane Daurs)
[Performed by] Silmarils
(c) 2000 Editions Musicales Editions La Marguerite - Legende Enterprises
(p) 2000 Production Legende Enterprises - Gaumont
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User Reviews

 
I especially like the dialogue between the two detectives
16 August 2004 | by raymond-15See all my reviews

The isolated University of Guernon specializes in the study of eugenics through which the researchers hope to produce academics of the highest calibre. Chief Inspector Niemans (Jean Reno) is called from Paris to investigate an horrific murder involving torture of the University's research librarian(close your eyes if mutilated bodies offend you)...At the same time a local police officer is looking into the desecration of a grave in the local cemetery. Some intriguing clues ( a bit far-fetched though)bring the two investigations together.

The two policeman have a strange relationship. The Chief from Paris is rather a loner who has his own ideas while the energetic local officer is kept at arm's length until he producers a clue of his own. The dialogue between these two keeps the film alive. The rest of the characters behave in suspicious ways of course but on the whole play minor roles.

Dissection of bodies and opening of grave sites are always gruesome and not every one's idea of entertainment. In this film they are important parts of the plot and certainly add to the atmosphere. It's strange when you come to think of it that police have to do so much of their work by torch light. But then the shadows are greatly enhanced and who knows what may jump out at them!

The police get very little help from the suspicious-looking University staff, a fact which surprises me considering their lives are possibly in danger.

For me the final scene when all is revealed is quite a let-down after a reasonably interesting investigation. The solving of the crime in this way seems just a little too convenient. The final avalanche was more exciting than the solving of the crime.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 July 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimson Rivers See more »

Filming Locations:

Albertville, Savoie, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$111,026, 28 January 2001

Gross USA:

$594,966

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,103,680
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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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