6.9/10
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25 user 21 critic

Les Carabiniers (1963)

Les carabiniers (original title)
During a war in an imaginary country, unscrupulous soldiers recruit poor farmers with promises of an easy and happy life. Two of these farmers write to their wives of their exploits.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writers:

Beniamino Joppolo (play), Jean-Luc Godard (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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A romance between young Parisians, shown through a series of vignettes.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marino Masé ... Ulysses (as Marino Mase)
Patrice Moullet Patrice Moullet ... Michel-Ange (as Albert Juross)
Geneviève Galéa Geneviève Galéa ... Venus
Catherine Ribeiro Catherine Ribeiro ... Cleopatre
Barbet Schroeder ... Car salesman
Jean-Louis Comolli Jean-Louis Comolli ... Soldier with fish
Gérard Poirot Gérard Poirot ... Carabinier #1
Jean Brassat Jean Brassat ... Carabinier #2
Alvaro Gheri Alvaro Gheri ... Carabinier #3
Odile Geoffroy Odile Geoffroy ... Young Communist girl
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Storyline

During a war, the poor and ignorant brothers Ulysses and Michel-Ange are lured and recruited by two soldiers that promise wealth to them in the name of their King. The greedy wife of Ulysses Cleopatre and her daughter Venus ask them to enlist to pursue fortune. They travel to Italy and become unscrupulous criminals of war. When Ulysses is wounded in one eye, he returns home with Michel-Ange and a small bag full of postcards of famous locations and the promise that they would be entitled of the properties in the end of the war. However, when the King signs the peace treaty with their enemy, they find that the agreement was actually surrender and they have a prize to pay for their actions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

27 September 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Carabiniers See more »

Filming Locations:

Rungis, Val-de-Marne, France

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: Henceforth the two brothers slept for an eternity, believing the brain, in decay, functioned beyond death, and its dreams are what constitute Paradise.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Godard in America (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

An Ugly Film on an Ugly Subject
7 July 2004 | by KrustallosSee all my reviews

While this is certainly not Godard's most enjoyable work some of the negative comments here are world-class examples of point-missing.

Godard had already shown with "A Bout de Soufflé" and "Vivre Sa Vie" that he knew how to make a film with style, romance and flair. Therefore it's clear that the crude editing and sound dubbing, continuity lapses, bad acting and overall cheapness on display here were deliberate.

What we seem to have here is "War for Dummies". Godard spells things out as if talking to backward children and absolutely refuses to invest his subject and his protagonists with any sort of spectacle or dignity, both by giving us moronic and unsympathetic characters and by refusing the audience any catharsis or vicarious pleasure.

Francois Truffaut once said that no war movie can be truly anti-war, since the camera automatically aestheticizes its subject. Godard here goes all-out to disprove that thesis.This does of course make the film hard to watch but it's a deliberate slap in the face, not the result of incompetence.

Incidents from many wars are parodied - for example scenes of the women having their hair cut off refer to the treatment of French women who had consorted with Germans during the Occupation. "America" is represented by a car with tail fins and some French tower blocks, in a prefiguring of "Alphaville"s approach to location. Apparently the letters used as intertitles are genuine letters home from French troops in various conflicts, although this does not seem to be made clear in the film.

I tend to agree that this is a film for Godard completists only and certainly not the best place to start with his work. The best comparison to make would be with Alfred Jarry's "Ubu Roi" which takes the same crude approach, and apparently the project started life as a stage play.

See "Weekend" for a similar approach to 'peace', only with a lot more fun and games.


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