Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) (1981)

Coup de torchon (Clean Slate)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) Videos & Photos

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jean Aurenche, Bertrand Tavernier
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 1, 1998

Watch it now


as Lucien Cordier

as Le Peron, Le Peron's...

as Hughuette Cordier

as Chavasson

as Vanderbrouck

as Mercaillou

as Col. Tramichel
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Coup de torchon (Clean Slate)

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Coup de torchon (Clean Slate)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Shifting the locale of Jim Thompson's novel to Colonial Africa, Tavernier has made a compelling, well acted film.

Full Review… | June 10, 2011

Clean Slate is a compelling offbeat morality play.

Full Review… | February 4, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

It's often hilarious. It's just that that humor is so mordant that it's sometimes hard to accept.

Full Review… | July 16, 2002

Audience Reviews for Coup de torchon (Clean Slate)

This was not my favorite Jim Thompson book, but Tavernier's vision is brilliant. Truly a film of nihilism, even more awry by the jazzy score and jumpy camera revealing Noiret's diminishing psychological state. The French African colony setting was a perfect for this translation.

Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


Coup de Torchon (Clean Slate) shifts the action of Jim Thompson's rural noir novel Pop 1280 from Texas around the time of World War One to Senegal on the eve of World War Two. Despite the geographic change the film is largely true to the novel's plot and style. Philippe Noiret is brilliant as the sole police officer of a small French colonial town on the edge of the desert. The supporting cast is also excellent. Direction, cinematography, sets, musical score and use of local color are all superbly handled. Like much of Thompson's oeuvre the story blend particularly violent noir style with brilliant dark humor and a nihilistic amorality. A great piece of entertainment for the viewer who is not easily offended.

An awesome,strong,and disturbing black comedy based on Jim Thompson's pulp novel "Pop. 1280",but reset in 1936 Equatorial Africa. Philippe Noiret is pitch-perfect as a saintly madman in a world where the concepts of good and evil have no meaning,and Isabelle Huppert is also wonderful as his sexy and beautiful mistress. A film that force us to identify with someone whom circumstance force to do terrible things. Fascinating and enthralling all the way,with an evocative and jazzy score and great cinematography,it's one of the best film-noir from France,one of the best examination of the dark side of man from the master hands of Bertrand Tavernier,an incredible film!

Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) on our Movie forum!