Shock Troops (1967)

Charles Vanel, Bruno Cremer, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Piccoli,
A French resistance group liberates some prisoners from the German. Could one of the prisoners be a spy?
  • 7.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Daniel Boulanger, Writer:
  • Costa-Gavras, Director:
  • Producer:

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7 / 10

Un homme de trop

The writer of the IMDb intro obviously did not watch the movie, as the enigmatic "homme de trop" played wonderfully by Michel Piccoli is not an enemy agent. And why is it labelled here as "shock troops" - an irrelevant title? This marvellous action movie has recently (march 2017) been screened in a restored version on French-German TV channel ARTE. Costa Gavras knows how to buld excitement and the editing is slick. A lot of resources must have gone into the movie which was an Italian-French co-production. The concluding battle with German forces features tanks, aircraft and hundreds of infantry - all very impressive. The closing shot was filmed at the impressive Viaduc de Garabit in the south of France which has been used in several other movies.

10 / 10

Costa-Gavras masterpiece but invisible

Ending 2015 by watching "Un Homme De Trop" is a great piece of luck, this Costa-Gavras still being invisible. I really don't understand why this exceptional war movie shot with absolute genius remains invisible. Be patient, it must get released one day, every powerful movie addicts must rediscover this fantastic and suspenseful war drama, fast-paced from beginning to end. How can we imagine "Un Homme De Trop" staying invisible for again thirty years when so many invisible but dull movies get released (well, there are some exceptions of course). But I believe in Costa-Gavras great reputation, this forgotten gem will soon have a fabulous come-back, it deserves it. The cinematography and editing are so brilliant, the action is tense and very fast-paced, the actors follow that dynamic direction. No particular principal character, just Resistance in the Cévennes mountains. I was so surprised by Brialy tense interpretation, like Cremer, Brasseur, Blain, Piccoli of course, and Vanel as the old timer. Only one woman, not really useful, but it is Julie Dassin, Jules's daughter. What a great day when it will be shown again on a giant screen.

Thank you for the following friends for being fan of this masterpiece : Philippe, Marc, Jean-Pierre and that unknown guy from south.

8 / 10

the most wanted film in my life

I can't say this film is my most favorite in the cinema history. But definitely i can say-this movie is number one in my most wanted list. I never was so depressed and unlucky, as searching for this old and very nice french film by Costa-Gavras. I failed to find this film. I heard this film is lost. Strange. It was showed in many countries and i still hope. Maybe in some country, some people or organizations still have a copy of it. This is one of the best films by Costa-Cavras. And one of the best war thrillers of all time. I would be more then grateful, if anybody can tell any link, any tips or idea: where and how to find and see this movie again.

7 / 10

A baker's dozen!

Following his dazzling directorial debut with 'Compartiment Tuers' Costa-Gavras was approached by producer Harry Saltzman. The director professed a wish to film 'The Human Condition' by André Malraux but unsurprisingly Saltzman showed reluctance! Instead they settled on a film about the French Resistance based upon the novel by Jean-Pierre Chabrol who had served in the communist-led FTP maquis.

The plot concerns a group of Resistance fighters who have succeeded in their mission to help twelve men condemned to death by the Germans to escape from prison. Much to their surprise however there is a thirteenth! Is he a spy, a collaborator or a plant? As the pursuing Germans close in it is decided that he must be eliminated.........

The film boasts an impressive cast list including Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain who had first appeared together in Claude Chabrol's 'Le beau Serge' whilst veteran Charles Vanel again effortlessly steals most of his scenes. Bruno Cremer and Jacques Perrin both play roles not entirely dissimilar to those they had played in the excellent '317th Platoon' but the contrast between that film and this could not be greater. This is more gung-ho and derring-do with a bit of comedy relief thrown in. By far the most interesting part is the 'extra man' of the superlative Michel Piccoli. His character has been written not as a villain but in the director's words as 'a lost one who has chosen not to engage or take sides.' This obviously undermines the myth of the unified resistance of the French and no doubt contributes to the film's commercial failure. Perhaps Saltzman should have gone with the director's first choice!

The film itself never stops to draw breath, contains plenty of rapidly delivered dialogue and the thrilling action sequences had to be shot quickly by Jean Tournier as they only has one camera! Christian Gaudin's contribution towards the editing is particularly impressive.

Costa-Gavras' meticulous approach is never more apparent than in the concluding scenes on the Alés Bridge. The final shot, once seen, is unlikely to be forgotten.

10 / 10

An Unforgettable Film

I, too, had a chance to watch this film for only once, and could never forget it, been even searching for a VHS copy but with no luck, agree with the other 2 reviewers' take on this matter, too many bad movies being released on DVD and Blu-Ray, but nobody want to pay attention on this one. Criterion Collection will release 2 great movies made by Costa-Gavras in May 2015, The Confession and State Of Siege , unfortunately "Un Homme De Trop" is not included, I really hope this film is not lost!! I had sent a request to Criterion Collection to make this film available, hope they will acknowledge it. If it's still being shown on TV, meaning at least there is 4x3 aspect ratio version of it, but no..I'd like to see it with original 2.35:1 ratio on Blu-Ray, please!!

"Un Homme De Trop" was shown in 2013 Champs-Elysees Film Festival stated as: "La projection du film très rare Un homme de trop de Costa-Gavras"

The projection of the very rare film of Costa-Gavras

!!! JUST IN It's coming out as part of Costa-Gavras Film Collection Vol.1 in Nov.