Le vieux fusil
|Le vieux fusil|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Enrico|
|Written by||Robert Enrico
|Music by||François de Roubaix|
|Edited by||Ava Zora
Les Productions Artistes Associés
TIT Filmproduktion GmbH
|Distributed by||Mercure Productions|
Le vieux fusil (English title: The Old Gun a.k.a. Vengeance One by One) is a 1975 French film directed by Robert Enrico, and starring Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider and Jean Bouise. It won the 1976 César Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Music, and was nominated for best director, supporting actor, writing, cinematography, editing and sound. The film is based on the Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944.
In Montauban in 1944, during the German retreat from France, Julien Dandieu is an ageing, embittered surgeon in the local hospital. Frightened by the German army entering Montauban, Dandieu asks his friend Francois to drive his wife and his daughter to the remote village where he owns a chateau. One week later, Dandieu sets off to meet them for the weekend, but the Germans have now occupied the village. He finds that all the villagers have been herded into the church and shot. In the château, now occupied by the Germans, he finds his daughter shot and his wife immolated by a flame-thrower.
Dandieu decides to kill as many Germans as possible to avenge his family. He takes an old shotgun he used as a child while hunting with his father and sabotages the chateau's bridge before he starts to kill them one by one, taking advantage of his knowledge of the secret passages within the chateau. Trapped inside the castle, the Germans begin to think they are surrounded by many partisans and do not realise that he is, in fact, the only one. When a Resistance detachment drops by, Dandieu refuses their offer to help him and continues his vendetta on his own. Eventually, with no more cartridges for the shotgun, he collects the flame-thrower which killed his beloved wife and uses it to kill the leading SS officer as he is about to commit suicide.
Alerted by the partisans, the inhabitants of a nearby village and a company of American soldiers arrive to collect the dead. Dandieu is picked up by Francois, but has suffered a nervous breakdown following the aftermath of the slaughter, behaving as if his family was still alive. The film ends with a flashback to one of his happier days now gone, where he and his family had undertaken a bike tour.
- Philippe Noiret as Julien Dandieu
- Romy Schneider as Clara Dandieu
- Jean Bouise as François
- Joachim Hansen as SS officer
- Robert Hoffmann as Lieutenant
- Karl Michael Vogler as Doctor Müller
- Madeleine Ozeray as Julien's Mother
- Bruniquel, in the Tarn-et-Garonne department, the village where the film was shot.
- Château de Bruniquel, the landmark of the village, where most of the film was shot.