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Les Carabiniers (1963)

Cast: Matino Mase, Albert Juross, Genevieve Galea, more...
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, British Drama, UK, War
Running Time: 80 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
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Jean-Luc Godard directed this brutal and purposefully harsh satire (adapted from a play by Benjamino Joppolo) which explores the grim folly of war. Ulysses (Marino Masé) and Michel Ange (Albert Juross) are a pair of thickheaded peasants living in a nameless country who receive a visit from a pair of military recruiters informing them the king wants a favor of them. Impressed that the king regards them as friends, Ulysses and Michel Ange join the army and set out to see the world's battlefields, having been told they can claim any spoils as their own and live a lawless life on the nation's behalf. Ulysses and Michel Ange often write their equally dim girlfriends, Venus (Geneviève Galéa) and Cleopatre (Catherine Riberio), with tales of the places they've seen and the people they've killed, but when the soldiers return home, their women discover the riches they were promised are not quite what they imagined. Filmed and recorded in a deliberately harsh and murky style, Les Carabiniers (aka The Riflemen and The Soldiers) features a brief appearance from Barbet Schroeder, years before he would become an acclaimed director, as a car salesman. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Staff Pick: Our staff pick this week actually comes straight outta one of our primers: French New Wave. And for some reason, a forty year-old anti-war allegory which depicts the whole idea of warfare as a dirty exercise built on lies and deceit seems sort of timely. In that primer, Craig Phillips wrote of Jean Luc-Godard's Les Carabiniers (The Riflemen): "Godard's fairly extreme expose on the stupidity of war, is one of his (and this is saying a lot) strangest movies; archival footage is mixed with the story of two idiots who become soldiers. It's dark, cold, and worthy of study for Godard fans." It's also surprisingly funny, in a twisted sort of way, of course. "This is an antiwar film in the same sense Breathless was a gangster movie," wrote Roger Ebert, and he's right.

GreenCine Member Reviews

vintage godard by cammelltoe August 25, 2004 - 1:56 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
ah, "vintage godard", a denotation of a films value which, while encomppassing the superalatives "radical" and "hilarious", also comes equipped with "frustrating" and "can be a tad boring". LES CARBINIERS is a film more to be admired than liked, and I found myself squarely in the admiration camp. In the end, if you need to be told that war is bad and that war movies mytholize war by their very exsistance, you probably won't be renting a godard movie anyway.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.74)
78 Votes
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