7.6/10
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Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008)

L'instinct de mort (original title)
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The story of french gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he was called Public Enemy N°1.

Writers:

Jacques Mesrine (book), Abdel Raouf Dafri (scenario) | 2 more credits »
8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Cassel ... Jacques Mesrine
Cécile de France ... Jeanne Schneider (as Cécile De France)
Gérard Depardieu ... Guido
Gilles Lellouche ... Paul
Roy Dupuis ... Jean-Paul Mercier
Elena Anaya ... Sofia
Florence Thomassin Florence Thomassin ... Sarah
Michel Duchaussoy ... Pierre André Mesrine - le père de Jacques Mesrine
Myriam Boyer Myriam Boyer ... La mère de Jacques Mesrine
Abdelhafid Metalsi Abdelhafid Metalsi ... Ahmed - le proxénète
Gilbert Sicotte ... Le milliardaire
Deano Clavet ... Roger André
Ludivine Sagnier ... Sylvie Jeanjacquot
Mustapha Abourachid ... Le harki
Sofiane Benrazzak Sofiane Benrazzak ... Le Fellagah #1 (as Sophiane Benrezzak)
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Storyline

Mesrine: Killer Instinct -- the first of two parts -- charts the outlaw odyssey of Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel), the legendary French gangster of the 1960s and 1970s who came to be known as French Public Enemy No. 1 and The Man of a Thousand Faces. Infamous for his bravado and outrageously daring prison escapes, Mesrine carried out numerous robberies, kidnappings and murders in a criminal career that spanned continents until he was shot dead in 1979 by France's notorious anti-gang unit. Thirty years after his death, his infamy lives on. Mesrine was helped along the way by beautiful and equally reckless Jeanne Schneider (Cécile de France), a Bonnie to match his Clyde. Mesrine made up his own epic, between romanticism and cruelty, flamboyance and tragedy. Written by Music Box Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

France | Canada | Italy

Language:

French | English | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

22 October 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Mesrine: Killer Instinct See more »

Filming Locations:

Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$152,873, 29 August 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$551,660, 25 February 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Thomas Langmann first contacted Vincent Cassel about the Mesrine project in 2002, after the release of Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips (2001) and Gaspar Noé's Irreversible (2002). Cassel initially accepted, but then bowed out as he found the script too "black and white". Benoît Magimel and Vincent Elbaz convinced by new helmer Jean-François Richet were then successively attached before Cassel returned, and especially Abdel Raouf Dafri's two-part script, claiming the screenwriter had succeeded in bringing the right tone to the picture and the character, bringing out all his darkness and paradoxes. See more »

Goofs

When Mesrine & Mercier are standing on a the roof of the building in Montreal, you can see cars/trucks/vans on the street, you can clearly tell they are modern vehicles and not ones from the '70s when this is supposed to take place. See more »

Connections

Followed by Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want to Go Back There Again
Written by Berry Gordy (as Berry Gordy, Jr.
Performed by Chris Clark
Courtesy of Motown Records
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User Reviews

 
A convincing character study
26 July 2012 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

Charistmatic gangster are a staple of cinema, and Frenchman Jacques Mesrine was actually liked to the most iconic of all such figures, Bonnie and Clyde. In truth, such people are rarely heroes, but this two-part story captures excellently the psychological processes that might have transformed an ordinary man into the public enemy of his day. Vincent Cassel is very good, and the film is full of suspense; it neither demonises nor glamorises its protagonist, and interestingly, sets his story against the backdrop of the political violence of the 1970s, which had a superficial interest to Mesrine as he built his own legend. Even if you're tired of violent criminal dramas, I recommend this one: the (true) story is amazing, and told with a humanistic viewpoint rare in such films.


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