A Gang Story (2011)

Gérard Lanvin, Tchéky Karyo, Daniel Duval, Lionnel Astier,
After growing up in a poor gypsy camp, Edmond Vidal, aka Momon, has retained a sense of family, unfailing loyalty and pride in his origins. Most of all, he has remained friends with Serge Suttel, with whom he first discovered prison
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Edgar Marie, Edmond Vidal, Writer:
  • Olivier Marchal, Director:
  • Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Producer:


7 / 10

A gang story

A french thriller with terrific actors in the main roles. It is quite predictable all along (the main twist is something you should have figured out sooner rather than later), but the actors make it more than enjoyable to watch.

The suspense is still sustained throughout the movie, which has to do with the settings, the framing and the editing of the movie. Good work has been done in those departments. There's some violence in this movie, but it's not relishing in it. The morals might also be something you have trouble with identifying. A more than solid effort that is not only for Euro thriller lovers

7 / 10

Tense and violent French thriller with intense drama , wonderful acting and spectacular action scenes

Thrilling and intelligent thriller about a powerful thief gypsy , now retired and living peacefully . A stylish , complex movie driven by a main character , dealing with a known delinquent called Edmond Vidal, aka Momon (Gerad Lanvin) whose life radically changes when appears an old friend and he would like to forget that part of his life . After growing up in a poor gypsy camp , Momon, a known robber has retained a sense of family , honesty , camaraderie , unfailing loyalty and pride in his origins . Proud Momom is 60 years old and a veteran leader of a band called Les Lyonnains . Most of all, he has remained friendship with Serge Suttel . The two of them created a dangerous gang who carried out bold robberies . The team they formed, inevitably got involved in organized crime , they are called the Gang Des Lyonnais, made them the most famous armed thieves of the early 1970s . Their irresistible rise and sudden fall ended in 1974 with a surprising arrest by a denouncement proceeded by a traitor . Today nears 60 , he has found peace by retiring from the "business" and taking part in weddings , parties and family celebrations . He protects to his spouse Janou (Valeria Cavalli) , who suffered so in the past a penalty in prison , and to his children and grandchildren , all of whom have great respect for this person of simple and universal values, so clear-headed and full of loyalty , friendship , comradeship and kindness . But then there appears Serge Sutte (Tchéky Karyo) , who has disowned nothing of his past, as he comes back into his quiet life and emerges violence , pursuits , betrayal and relentless vendetta .

This exciting film contains action , violence , thrills , treason , suspense and plot twists . Top-notch thriller in which nothing is the way it seems , the atmosphere is already tense and the twists and turns are the best part of this movie . In other ways, it feels like a tribute to ¨Polar¨ genre or French Noir Cinema , full of attractive characters and edge-of-your-seat intrigue . The story is narrated by means of flashbacks about past and present , realizing a complex as well as interesting crossover . The film was noteworthy for casting some of the finest actors in France . Exceptional acting by Gerard Lanvin as Momon , a notorious criminal who would like to forget that part of his life , as he has found peace by retiring from the "business" and sensational Tchéky Karyo as Serge Suttel, with whom he first discovered prison life - for stealing cherries . The film was dedicated to Bernard Giradeau , a good French actor who played several Noir flicks . Good production design , the prison seen in the film is actually a combination of three filming locations : the exteriors are that of the real prison, and the other interiors . The picture achieved big success and was nominated various prizes César and considered to be one of the best thrillers of the year in which you'll leave the cinema shaken and moved . Excellent soundtrack by Erwann Kermorvant that elevates the emotion and the intensity of the scenes to new heights . Colorful as well as evocative cinematography filmed on location in La Boisse, Ain, La Valbonne, Balan, Ain, France , Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, Rh?ne, Rh?ne-Alpes, France and Lyon, Rh?ne, Rh?ne-Alpes, France .

Olivier Marchal did a formidable job with Les Lyonnais (2011) . He then wrote the first draft of the screenplay himself, and so on ; being based on Edmond Vidal book titled "Pour Une Poignée de Cerises¨ . Olivier is a notorious writer/director and he formerly was a police officer . As Olivier Marchal started taking acting lessons when he still was a police officer. He began his career in television, appearing in supporting parts or writing scripts for detective TV series. In 1989 when Yves Rénier resurrected his TV series Commissaire Moulin (1976) he became his partner as scriptwriter, series supervisor and sometimes actor . In 2000 he starred as Commandant Pierre Rivière in his own TV series "Police district" (1999), written by novelist Hugues Pagan, himself also a former police officer . Olivier Marchal , an actor/writer/director has directed sensational French thrillers , just like "36th Precinct" , ¨Diamond 13¨, ¨Mr73¨ as good as this and ¨Gangsters¨ .

8 / 10

How badass is your grandfather?

The only possible answer to the question raised in this user comment's subject line is simple and straightforward, namely: nowhere near as badass as grandpa Edmon 'Momon' Vidal in "Les Lyonnais"! Or any of his fellow gang buddies, for that matter! "Les Lyonnais" is inspired by the true story and memoirs of Momon Vidal; the poor son of gypsy parents who built himself up to the leader of a feared gang that committed numerous of violent armed robberies in the Lyon region during the sixties and early seventies. However, all the crimes and trials of that era are narrated and illustrated through flashbacks, as the film primarily takes place in 2010 and opens at the baptism party of Momon's grandson. For the past 25 years he has lived a luxurious and relatively honest life, but now his oldest and dearest friend Serge is in trouble. Serge is apprehended by the police, but prison is full of henchmen of the crime boss that he double-crossed. Since friendship is the most important value to Momon, he organizes a plan to help Serge even though he very well realizes this will bring him right back to his old criminal habits. Given the nature of the plot, protagonist characters and a handful of significant sequences (like for example the baptism), "Les Lyonnais" is inevitably reminiscent to "The Godfather" and – like many other reviews so unmistakably state clear – not as good. Yeah well, so what? Hardly any movie is as good as "The Godfather", but that doesn't stand in the way of "Les Lyonnais" being an extremely intense and absorbing thriller with many brutal sequences, tight atmosphere and stellar performances. The main trumps of the film, apart from the charismatic ensemble cast, are the realistic brotherhood portrayals and the swift transitions between the gang's activities in the '60s and present day. During the flashbacks, being a criminal and kick- starting violent gang wars is glorified quite blatantly, but the script also clearly criticizes the contemporary French juridical system. Momon and Serge initially just were two harmless young troublemakers, but they rolled into the criminal life after they were sentenced to six months in prison for stealing a handful of cherries (which aptly also is the title of Edmond Vidal's memories). The flashbacks are the most entertaining parts of the film, since they seem to come straight out those primarily Italian & French euro-crime/Poliziotteschi movies from the seventies; which happens to be my favorite cult cinema sub- genre. You know, exhilarating chases in crummy old cars, characters with gigantic mustaches, harsh drive-by shootings and relentless executions in the middle of crowded streets! The scenes set in the present day are much more sophisticated and dramatic, but they are still fast-paced and loaded with suspense. Gérard Lanvin gives away a downright phenomenal performance as Vidal, and he's brilliantly backed up by Tchéky Karyo and Daniel Duval.

6 / 10

Didn't met my expectations

I found this film ordering some DVDs on Amazon. I thought the high votes should warrant for a solid thriller but this time I was wrong. Why? The first twenty to thirty minutes I could have done a meal in the kitchen. The introduction of the characters of these gangsters took too long in my opinion. I have to admit that the atmosphere and the flashbacks into the 60ies or 70ies are well built. I felt really back in this time. Then the young and older actors did a fine job. What I missed is a fast paced story. Perhaps this was not so easy to create because it is finally a true event. The music was very original and top. For all these reasons my expectations haven't been met. 6/10.

10 / 10

Good Story this Gang Story

Entertainment at the highest levels of engagement. All the emotions are triggered and captured over and over again as we visit with 35 years of a friendship that was tested to the limits. Did it or does it hold is one good question. When it comes to crime, one never knows what to expect as crime doesn't play by the rules but by its own rules. One has to remember that as violent as a gang wants to be, there is always someone more violent that wants to prove that point. Both are motivated but only one can prevail. Everyone knows the police are restricted, dumb and don't catch on quickly, but what if they are not? Furthermore, what about human nature which proves to be unreliable time and again when things get dicey. Good acting, tense direction, clear cut story that makes several points and then does one good thing. It lets you be the judge of the outcome. This is as it should be. Tasty drink and finger foods recommended and this draws you in so no distractions to interfere with that or you will ruin the ten rating for yourself