The Unvanquished (film)

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L'Insoumis
L'Insoumis.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Alain Cavalier
Produced by Alain Delon
Georges Beaume
Delbeau Prod Cipra (Paris)
PCM (Rome)
Written by Jean Cau
Alain Cavalier
Starring Alain Delon
Lea Massari
Georges Géret
Music by Georges Delerue
Cinematography Claude Renoir
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates France 25 September 1964
United States 1965
Finland 30 April 1965
West Germany 19 March 1965
Sweden 5 July 1965
Running time 114 min[1]
Country France
Language French
Box office 711,339 admissions (France)[2]

The Unvanquished (French: L'Insoumis, literally "Missing without leave")[3] is a 1964 film noir directed by Alain Cavalier and starring Alain Delon opposite Lea Massari.[4][5] The film's background is the Algerian War and Alain Delon plays Thomas Vlassenroot, a deserter of the French Foreign Legion in Algeria during the 1961 uprising.[6] When a former lieutenant who now works for the OAS proposes to him to kidnap lawyer Dominique Servet (played by Massari), who is in Algiers to defend some Algerian nationalists, Thomas agrees. However Thomas falls in love with Dominique and helps her escape back to France. In doing so he comes into inevitable conflict with his OAS colleagues who subsequently hunt them down. The film was not a completely happy experience for Alain Delon.[5] He sustained physical injuries while filming and the reception of the picture by the French public was not good probably because it reminded the French of their defeat in the Algerian war while the censors insisted on a number of cuts which compromised the artistic integrity of the film.[5] Alain Delon along with Georges Beaume were the two producers of the film.[5] Despite Alain Delon's great performance, the film is considered his first failure.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

Thomas Vlassenroot, a citizen of Luxembourg, after his divorce, decides to enlist in the French Foreign Legion.[5][7] He is posted to Algeria but during the 1961 uprising he becomes disllusioned and deserts.[5] While in hiding he receives a visit from his former lieutenant played by Georges Géret, who is also a defector but now works for the OAS, a group opposing Algerian independence.[5] Lieutenant Fraser entices Thomas to join the OAS and also to take part in a plan to kidnap lawyer Dominique Servet by promising him enough money to enable him to return to his home in Luxembourg.[5][7] Dominique Servet is in Algiers defending Algerian nationalists in court and this has made her a target.[5] Thomas soon finds himself conflicted as he falls in love with his prisoner and helps her escape back to France. While Dominique finally escapes and goes back to France alone, Thomas gets injured during a fight with another OAS member and makes a difficult trip back home.[5] While in France he takes the train back to his hometown but during a stop in Lyon he disembarks because he needs to see Dominique again.[5][7] He finds her at her home and she nurses him when she discovers how badly injured he is but his enemies are not far behind and finally track him down and they threaten both of them with death.[5] In the ensuing confrontation he escapes and Dominique drives him in her Citroën DS. On the way back to his home they go through roadblocks, get shot at and finally with the help of Dominique's understanding husband he finally crosses the road to Luxembourg and reaches his farm.[7] He enters his home and finds his little girl sitting at the table.[7] He finally collapses on the floor from his unattended wounds and dies while passing his hand over his face as if to close his eyes. Dominique still waiting outside the fence cries out his name. The film closes on a silent black screen with Thomas Vlassenroot's name and dates of birth and death.

Principal cast[edit]

Actor Character
Alain Delon Thomas Vlassenroot
Lea Massari Dominique Servet
Georges Géret le lieutenant Fraser
Robert Castel Amerio
Viviane Attia Maria

Alternative titles[edit]

Title Country
Hölle von Algier, Die West Germany
Flykten Sweden
A Szökevény Hungary
Eho dikaioma na skotoso? Greece
Have I the Right to Kill? USA
Kostajat Finland
La Muerte no deserta Spain
The Unvanquished Great Britain

Release dates[edit]

Country Release date
France 25 September 1964
Finland 30 April 1965
USA 1965
West Germany 19 March 1965
Sweden 5 July 1965

Books[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ cinema.aliceadsl
  2. ^ Box Office information for film at Box Office Story
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058232/
  4. ^ Neil Coffey. "French Dictionary". French-linguistics.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m filmsdefrance.com Quote: It also features Alain Delon at his near best, bringing pathos and humanity to a typically hard man role. and It was Alain Delon’s first real taste of failure. and The experience was not an entirely happy one – Delon sustained a number of physical injuries whilst making the film, the censors insisted on a number of cuts which compromised the film’s artistic integrity, and, on its release, the film received a distinctly lukewarm reception. It was Alain Delon’s first real taste of failure. The film’s subject matter may have been to blame for its less than stunning box office receipts. The Algerian War had dragged on for so long that virtually everyone in France was fed up with it and the outcome of the conflict was a humiliating defeat for a proud nation.
  6. ^ New York Times review Quote: In this drama that alludes to the Algerian War with France of the 1960s, Thomas (Alain Delon) is a deserter from the French Foreign Legion who is on the run from authorities.
  7. ^ a b c d e "cinema-francais.fr". cinema-francais.fr. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 

External links[edit]