7.6/10
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Coup de Torchon (1981)

Coup de torchon (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 4 November 1981 (France)
Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
A pathetic police chief, humiliated by everyone around him, suddenly wants a clean slate in life - and resorts to drastic means to do so.

Director:

Bertrand Tavernier
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philippe Noiret ... Lucien Cordier
Isabelle Huppert ... Rose Marcaillou
Jean-Pierre Marielle ... Le Peron et son frère L'adjudant Georges Le Peron
Stéphane Audran ... Huguette Cordier
Eddy Mitchell ... Nono - l'amant demeuré d'Huguette
Guy Marchand ... Marcel Chavasson
Irène Skobline Irène Skobline ... Anne - la nouvelle institutrice
Michel Beaune ... Vanderbrouck - un nouveau riche arrogant
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Priest
Victor Garrivier Victor Garrivier ... Marcaillou
Gérard Hernandez Gérard Hernandez ... Leonelli
Abdoulaye Diop Abdoulaye Diop ... Fête Nat - le serviteur noir de Lucien
Daniel Langlet ... Paulo - un flic larvaire
François Perrot ... Le colonel Tramichel
Raymond Hermantier Raymond Hermantier ... L'aveugle
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Storyline

1938, in a French african colony. Lucien Cordier is the cop of this village, populated with blacks and a few whites (usually racialist and lustful). He is a washout, everyone (including his wife Huguette) humiliates him. He never arrests anyone and looks at elsewhere when a dirty trick occurs. But one day, he turns into a machiavellian exterminating angel. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

France's official submission as Best Foreign Language Film to the 1983's Oscar. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end, Rose is walking on the pier and after they say in a loudspeaker 'Attention! Curfew tonight at 9 o'clock...', she turns around and the shadow of the cameraman can be clearly seen on the ground on her right. See more »

Quotes

[Rose has just killed Huguette and Nono]
Rose: You saw everything?
Lucien Cordier: Let's say I heard everything.
Rose: And you did nothing?
Lucien Cordier: Why should I have done something?
Rose: Why... to stop me.
Lucien Cordier: It wasn't up to me to stop you. It was up to you, to Huguette, Nono, Marcaillou. If I put temptation in front of you, it's not a reason to use it. I just help folks reveal their true character. It's a dirty job, Rose. And I deserve all the dirty pleasure I get out of it.
Rose: You're not ashamed?
Lucien Cordier: Part of my job is enjoying other folks' misery.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, we are correctly informed that the film is based on the novel "Pop. 1280"; but during the end titles, we are informed that it is based on "Pop. 1275". This is consistent with the official title retained for the translation into French, which is "1275 Ames" (literally: "1275 Souls"), and which reflects the fact that 5 people have died during the course of action. See more »

User Reviews

 
unsettling comedy-drama set in colonial Africa
12 November 2010 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

Bertrand Tavernier once again shows why he's one of his country's most challenging directors with this disturbing dark comedy, loosely adapted from a Jim Thompson novel ('POP 1280') but relocated to French Equatorial Africa just before World War II. The story follows a lazy, ineffective police chief in a dusty colonial city, who begins to manipulate his tormentors in much the same way they earlier abused him, discovering along the way the omnipotence of his position and the immunity provided by his reputation as an incompetent buffoon. After suffering the indignities of a natural born doormat all his life, he strikes back with a vengeance, slowly descending into a rational madness that commands sympathy while simultaneously provoking moral outrage (at one point he callously murders the innocent native servant who mistakenly witnessed on of his killings). Tavernier builds the tension from his characters rather than from the plot, using touches of unsettling black humor to further blur the line dividing comedy and tragedy.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

4 November 1981 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Coup de Torchon See more »

Filming Locations:

Saint-Louis, Senegal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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