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Big screen classics

Army of Shadows

L’armée des ombres

Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece is a profoundly personal tribute to the French Resistance, stylistically reminiscent of his gangster movies.

Image from Army of Shadows

France-Italy 1969
Dir Jean-Pierre Melville
With Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret, Jean-Pierre Cassel
145min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate 12A

Often stylistically reminiscent of his gangster movies, Melville’s tribute to the French Resistance is an almost Hawksian study of the dynamics of the group: in order to achieve their ambitions and remain invisible to the occupying Germans, the members of the underground must prioritise absolute professionalism, secrecy and loyalty to colleagues over their own lives. The great Lino Ventura plays the quintessential Melville hero.


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