The Unvanquished (film)
|Directed by||Alain Cavalier|
|Produced by||Alain Delon (uncredited)
|Written by||Jean Cau
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
Delbeau Prod Cipra (Paris)
|Box office||711,339 admissions (France)|
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. 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. 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.
Thomas Vlassenroot, a citizen of Luxembourg, after his divorce, decides to enlist in the French Foreign Legion. He is posted to Algeria but during the 1961 uprising he becomes disillusioned and deserts.
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. 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.
Dominique Servet is in Algiers defending Algerian nationalists in court and this has made her a target. 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.
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. 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.
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.
He enters his home and finds his little girl sitting at the table. 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.
|Alain Delon||Thomas Vlassenroot|
|Lea Massari||Dominique Servet|
|Georges Géret||le lieutenant Fraser|
|Hölle von Algier, Die||West Germany|
|Eho dikaioma na skotoso?||Greece|
|Have I the Right to Kill?||United States|
|La Muerte no deserta||Spain|
|The Unvanquished||Great Britain|
|France||25 September 1964|
|Finland||30 April 1965|
|West Germany||19 March 1965|
|Sweden||5 July 1965|
The film was made for Alain Delon's own company. It was distributed by MGM, for whom Delon had also made Any Number Can Win and Joy House. He had a five picture deal with the studio and would go on to make Once a Thief and The Yellow Rolls Royce for them. A film still featuring Delon was used by English rock band The Smiths for the cover of their album The Queen Is Dead.
- Alain Delon, l'insoumis (1957-1970) by Henry-Jean Servat
- Box Office information for film at Box Office Story
- Neil Coffey. "French Dictionary". French-linguistics.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- 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.
- 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.
- "cinema-francais.fr". cinema-francais.fr. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- 'Fair Lady' Stars Free for Next Roles: Warner and Romy Schneider Cite Prime Lures for Actor Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 Dec 1963: B9.
- French Movie Actor Bears Resemblance to Jimmy Dean Tinee, Mae. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 16 Feb 1964: g15.