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The Elusive Corporal Photos

Movie Info

During World War II, a captured French corporal (Jean-Pierre Cassel) finds himself transferred to a prison in Germany, which he attempts to escape several times. After one such failure, he is reunited with his friend Ballochet (Claude Rich), who in claiming to be a translator, not a soldier, has been treated much better by the Germans. Though tempted to give up on escaping, the corporal finds his resolve renewed by a German dentist's daughter, who has come to love him for his resilience.

Cast & Crew

Jean-Pierre Cassel
Le caporal, The Corporal
Claude Brasseur
"Papa", "Pop"
O.E. Hasse
Le voyageur ivre dans le train
Jacques Jouanneau
Penche-à-gauche
Sacha Briquet
L'évadé grimé en vielle femme
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Elusive Corporal

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1)

  • This late addition to Renoir's impressively wide-ranging oeuvre is nevertheless suffused with the same warm and generous humanism as the great Règle du Jeu or Grande Illusion.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Tthe trace of philosophical implication makes it worth more than lightly passing through.

    May 10, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • An ironic comedy of fake French heroics and real French heroism, the film is delicate and witty and features a delightful performance from Jean-Pierre Cassel.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Jean Renoir gives us the World War II equivalent of his Grand Illusion, and how have the mighty fallen!

    May 9, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Follows along the lines of the director's The Grand Illusion, but without that film's depth.

    January 6, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The tone is light and the repeated escape attempts are played with a comic undertone, yet behind the humor is the feeling of dignity lost...

    April 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • This late addition to Renoir's impressively wide-ranging oeuvre is nevertheless suffused with the same warm and generous humanism as the great Règle du Jeu or Grande Illusion.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Tthe trace of philosophical implication makes it worth more than lightly passing through.

    May 10, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • An ironic comedy of fake French heroics and real French heroism, the film is delicate and witty and features a delightful performance from Jean-Pierre Cassel.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Jean Renoir gives us the World War II equivalent of his Grand Illusion, and how have the mighty fallen!

    May 9, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Follows along the lines of the director's The Grand Illusion, but without that film's depth.

    January 6, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The tone is light and the repeated escape attempts are played with a comic undertone, yet behind the humor is the feeling of dignity lost...

    April 26, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Elusive Corporal

  • May 11, 2010
    "The Elusive Corporal" starts with the French capitulation to German forces in 1940. All Guillaume(Jean Carnet), a soldier, wants to do now is return home and tend his pigs but the Nazis will not let him or any other French soldier leave. While the war may indeed may be over for the French, it is only just the start for the Nazis in trying to conquer all of Europe. That does not stop The Corporal(Jean-Pierre Cassel), Pop(Claude Brasseur) and Ballochet(Claude Rich) from giving it the old college try. Actually, Ballochet backs out at the last second while The Corporal and Pop are captured with a minimum of force. Next time will be harder since they are all being sent to Germany. Directed by Jean Renoir with his customary finesse, "The Elusive Corporal" is a very engaging and life affirming tale of war that is more about rebelliousness than bravery. A lot of class conflict is touched on in the movie, especially around The Corporal who despite his wealthy background is only an enlisted man and I think a lot of that has to do with his problems with authority which never goes down that well in the armed forces. That also explains why he is consistently the only one to go over the wall, risking being sent off to a fortress(Colditz, perhaps?), as most of the other soldiers just try to get along. I did not understand his obsession with returning to France since that is now occupied territory(and I hear Switzerland is nice this time of year) until the final scene.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2008
    a few moments that border on melodramatic for '62 but also nuanced moments of beauty and thoughts about freedom; Cassel is great
    Adam M Super Reviewer

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