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L'Armée des Ombres (1969)

War | 145 minutes
3,74 378 votes

Genre: War / Drama

Duration: 145 minuten

Alternative titles: Army of Shadows / Army in the Shadows / Een Leger Vecht in de Schaduw

Country: France / Italy

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Melville

Stars: Lino Ventura, Simone Signoret and Jean-Pierre Cassel

IMDb score: 8,1 (25.954)

Releasedate: 10 September 1969


L'Armée des Ombres plot

"Betrayal. Loyalty. Collaboration. Resistance."

Members of the French resistance group during the Second World War, for security reasons, by no means all know each other's identities and must also be concerned that arrested comrades will break out after torture by the Gestapo, which makes both liberation actions and mutual liquidations necessary as a precaution.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Philippe Gerbier

Jean-François Jardie

Claude Ullman / The Mask

Félix Lepercq

Guillaume Vermesch / The Buffalo

Paul Dounat

Baron de La Ferté-Talloires

Reviews & comments


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avatar van Vinokourov


  • 3143 messages
  • 2909 votes

Slight setback, this film about resistance fighters from Melville. In terms of atmosphere it has become a sober film, not a speck of heroism is involved. His clinical use of color (grey and especially a lot of dark) seems boring, while I thought that was so cool in Le Samouraï. A bit bland perhaps, because the approach of the film is precisely that clinical, but it really didn't do anything for me. Occasionally L'armée des ombres still had some pretty impressive scenes, but in general I can't give more than an average score.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van scorsese


  • 11871 messages
  • 10246 votes

Mediocre film about a number of members of the French resistance during the Second World War. Due to the lack of a clear story structure, the whole thing became rather long-winded. Nevertheless, there are some good scenes in between. Sombre portrayed with little color.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Insignificance


  • 3220 messages
  • 5581 votes

Blown away. Resistance drama (with the emphasis on the latter) without bells and whistles. If you like an exciting and romanticized story with heroes and such, it's better to ignore this one. There is not an ounce of adventure or glamor in the film. Melville does it with a sort of grim reality of some shadows who have already accepted their fate.

Operating in pale, faded colors that only tell each other the essentials. Like at the hairdresser. Occasionally Melville uses a calm voice-over to accentuate Gerbier's petrified mentality. Ventura's icy looks and harsh decisions do the rest. The scene with the traitor goes to the bone. Practical and efficient. Then with a cloth.

Melville takes the time for this ice-cold world, his staging is impressive (the chair made it to the poster for a reason) and the timing of the otherwise beautiful music is perfect. When it becomes precarious, it is quiet and all senses are thus also on the viewer's mind. Mathilde's reaction when she hears about Lepercq says everything about this modest, sober pearl.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original