L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) (1969) - Rotten Tomatoes

L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) (1969)



Critic Consensus: Originally made in 1969, this recently reissued classic is a masterful examination of the inner workings of the World War II resistance efforts.

L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this war drama set during the French Resistance of WW II, a courageous fighter escapes Gestapo headquarters and returns to Marseille. There he and his gang capture a traitor and throttle him. They then try to rescue a Resistance fighter in Lyons. As they do so, the hero is again captured and his partner killed. Again the hero escapes just before he is executed. He then finds that a female partner has been captured. To avoid having her daughter forced to work in a Nazi brothel, the woman has informed upon the others. She is then released and subsequently killed by another Resistance fighter for revenge. The screenplay is based on Joseph Kessel's novel and became filmmaker Jean Pierre Melville's magnum opus. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jean-Pierre Melville
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 15, 2007
Rialto Pictures LLC. - Official Site


Lino Ventura
as Gerbier
Jean-Pierre Cassel
as Jean-Francois
Claude Mann
as Le Masque
Alain Dekock
as Legrain
Alain Mottet
as Commander of the cam...
Marco Perrin
as Octave Bonnafous
Jean-Marie Robain
as Baron de Ferte-Tallo...
Georges Sellier
as Col. Jarret
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows)

Critic Reviews for L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows)

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (25)

As close to a masterpiece as any film you're likely to see this year.

Full Review… | August 17, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A film to be seen and savored for its moral magnitude.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

The glacial pacing can be an irritant as the film unfolds -- I repeatedly wanted to speed things up -- but Army of Shadows won't leave you alone after you've seen it.

Full Review… | January 26, 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

From the first sight of German soldiers goose-stepping past the Arc de Triomphe to a postscript that spells out the fate of characters whose moral confusion is all too real, Army of Shadows is a movie of its time -- and ours.

January 18, 2007
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

For anyone interested in the impact of war on ordinary men, Army of Shadows proves a sobering and invaluable experience.

September 22, 2006
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

This memorable movie movingly pays tribute to those who chose not to remain silent, to those ordinary men and women who chose to do extraordinary things... from the shadows.

Full Review… | September 21, 2006
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows)

The French Resistance is where this examination begins but there's not a single scene showing a train being blown up or lines being furtively cut in the dead of night ... rather it's a look at the interior damage wrought when choosing to resist tyranny at all, the isolation, the loneliness, the agonizing fear of trusting yourself. Must see.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Unembellished and matter-of-fact. Melville masterfully spotlights the French Resistance without martyring the Nazi regime that spawned it.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


a great depiction of french resistance, melville blends substance with his usual stylistic approach. the film falters at many points with a lack of clarity and direction to the shifty plot, and the film is almost entirely without emotion, but it has striking images and flawless direction in its portrayal of horrific events. overall very good film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

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