Army of Shadows

Drama · 
Thriller · 

Release Date: September 10, 1969

Original name: L'Armée des ombres

Status: Released

Running time: 2h 25m

Revenue: $741,766

Filming Locations: Lyon · Nice · 16th arrondissement of Paris · Fort de Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France

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Betrayed by an informant, Philippe Gerbier finds himself trapped in a torturous Nazi prison camp. Though Gerbier escapes to rejoin the Resistance in occupied Marseilles, France, and exacts his revenge on the informant, he must continue a quiet, seemingly endless battle against the Nazis in an atmosphere of tension, paranoia and distrust.

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Army of Shadows (French: L'Armée des ombres; Italian: L'armata degli eroi) is a 1969 Franco-Italian World War II suspense-drama film written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, and starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and Simone Signoret. It is an adaptation of Joseph Kessel's 1943 book of the same name, which mixes Kessel's experiences as a member of the French Resistance with fictional versions of other Resistance members.

The film follows a small group of Resistance fighters as they move between safe houses, work with the Allied militaries, kill informers, and attempt to evade the capture and execution that they know is their most likely fate. While portraying its characters as heroic, the film presents a bleak, unromantic view of the Resistance.At the time of its initial release in France, Army of Shadows was not well-received, as, in the wake of the events of May 1968, French critics denounced it for its perceived glorification of Charles de Gaulle. American art-film programmers of the time took their cues from Cahiers du cinéma, which attacked the film on this basis, so it was not released in the United States until 2006, after a reappraisal of the film and Melville's oeuvre published in Cahiers du cinéma in the mid-1990s led to its restoration and re-release. The film was critically acclaimed in the U.S. and appeared on many critics' lists of the best films of 2006.

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