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Betrayal. Loyalty. Collaboration. Resistance.

“Bad memories, welcome… you are my long lost youth.”

Often seen as a transposition of Melville’s beloved gangster genre to the underworld of the Resistance in wartime France, this unbearably moving reverie faithfully adapts Joseph Kessel’s seminal novel to the screen. The film’s dream-like, almost clandestine sense of geography, place and period is matched to the soulful, autumnal mood created by cinematographer Pierre Lhomme. Perhaps the greatest cinematic testament to the lived experience of the French Resistance. Featuring beautifully modulated performances by Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse and Simone Signoret.

"Much as I admire Jean-Pierre Melville¹s hard-boiled thrillers, I think his best film is L¹ARMEE DES OMBRES, perhaps because it reflects his own experience in the French Resistance during World War II.  It¹s one of those films where the direction seems effortless but its nail-biting depiction of a dangerous, tragic underground war is gripping from start to finish." - David Stratton.

Synopsis by Adrian Danks.

Rating

M

Duration

145

Cast

Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret

Director

Jean-Pierre Melville

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