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Coup De Torchon [DVD]

Philippe Noiret , Isabelle Huppert , Bertrand Tavernier    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £14.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Coup De Torchon [DVD] + Horloger De Saint-Paul (The Watchmaker Of St. Paul) [DVD] + The Judge And The Assassin (Le Juge Et L'Assassin) [1975] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Stephane Audran, Eddy Mitchell
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Producers: Henri Lassa, Adolphe Viezzi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Z9ECW8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,880 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Director Bertrand Tavernier's black comedy about a bumbling West African police chief who decides to take revenge on his oppressors. Stationed in a remote town in Senegal, ineffectual police chief Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is routinely harrassed by thugs and nagged by his adulterous wife Huguette (Stephane Audran). Pushed to the limits, Lucien finally flips, embarking on a killing spree aimed at ridding himself of his tormentors and anyone else who has ever slighted him.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Based on pulp master Jim Thompson's Pop. 1280, Bertrand Tavernier's Coup de Torchon is a sardonic thriller that remains true to its source's spirit, even as it transposes the action from the American South to colonial West Africa. Lucien (Philippe Noiret) is the bumbling police chief of Bourkasa, a dusty outpost in rural Senegal. Badgered by local thugs, Lucien initially comes across as a pathetic oaf unable to stand up for himself. Things at home are scarcely better, as Lucien finds himself harried by his nagging wife, Huguette (Stéphane Audran), who is carrying on an affair with a man she claims to be her brother (Eddy Mitchell). Without warning, Lucien embarks on a nonchalant killing spree, murdering everyone who has ever mistreated him. As he sets about 'cleaning the slate,' Lucien intensifies his affair with ditsy Rose (Isabelle Huppert), all the while pining for the newly arrived schoolteacher, Anne (Irene Skobline). Remaining above suspicion even as bodies pile up, the seemingly witless Lucien gradually develops a twisted logic for his actions, animating his crusade with an evangelical purpose. By movie's end, Tavernier leaves little room for redemption, leaving the joyless Lucien mired in a moral quagmire of his own making. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Ceasar Awards, Oscar Academy Awards, San Sebastian International Film Festival, ...Clean Up (1981) ( Coup de Torchon ) ( Clean Slate )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I know it's not nice to kick a dying man but..." 28 July 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
French West Africa 1938.Local police chief Lucien Cordier(Philippe Noiret) is a lazy good natured slob who allows various characters like two local pimps, his wife(Stephane Audran)among others to treat him like dirt until he decides that enough is enough and that he is due some respect even if he doesn't quite believe it himself.The only ray of sunshine in his life is an affair he is having with a local married woman Rose(Isabelle Huppert).
Jet black adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel Pop 1280 is nicely relocated to colonial West Africa and the poverty of the indigenous black population and the rampant rascism exhibited by a majority of the French population is vividly conveyed.
Noiret is simply superb as Cordier balancing his character's roguish charm and natural insousiance with a buried sense of cunning that just needs a firm push to rear it's ugly head.Audran and Huppert are fine as always in support and Tavernier judges the moments of slapstick amongst the carnage with a very deft touch.
Coup De Torchon is just one of Bertrand Tavernier's many fine films in an excellent career and it may well be his best.However Philippe Sarde's score especially at the start seems a trifle overdone and out of synch with the tone of the film.
The widescreen print is very clean and is one of Optimum's better efforts.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just a wonderful film 19 Sep 2009
By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this film once in the eighties, so I was a little apprehensive on finally tracking down the DVD twenty years later. Was it as good as I remembered it?

YES! It is a simply wonderful film, Philippe Noiret is fantastic as the long suffering and unwanted policeman in a remote African village, who turns into a Machiavellian killer. You never stop liking him, but you feel the moral quandaries he faces. My wife has a far lower tolerance for art-house films than me, and she enjoyed it too.

One of my all time favourite films, a complete one off, see it for yourself.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasty, brutish and right 14 April 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
At the moment Tavernier movies are at a premium, but in Cinema Heaven and probably in a couple of years when the passion for box sets catches up with him, we'll be able to see this cinema master for what he is worth, which is a lot.

It has to be said that "Coup de Torchon" is not Tavernier at his best - nowhere near as good as "Life and Nothing But" Life and Nothing But [DVD] [1989] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], Daddy Nostalgie Daddy Nostalgia [DVD] [1990] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], or A Sunday in the Country, his homage to Jean Renoir A Sunday in the Country ( Un dimanche à la campagne ) [ English subtitles ] [DVD]. But it shows why Tavernier is always worth watching, not least because he is a student and lover of literature and cinema, and the cinema he loves is about doubt, ambiguity and harsh truths.

The plot is simply summed up. The worm turns. The local cop, Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is married to a cold wife (Stephane Audran) and lives in a menage a trois with his brother-in-law, Nono, who is knocking his sister off (if indeed she is his sister). With me so far? We are in French West Africa, what is now called Mauritania, on the Atlantic coast on the edge of the Sahara. The locals are Black muslims. It is 1938, the fag end of colonialism. Among the whites there is Rose (Isabelle Huppert), victim of a sadist husband, that Lucien is crazy about. There are pimps, and superiors, and representatives of local companies, and all of them piss on lazy, tolerant, cowardly Lucien.
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