Fort Saganne (1984)





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Movie Info

In spite of spending three hours developing the story of French peasant Charles Saganne (Gérard Depardieu), the sweep of this epic skims over the qualities that transformed Saganne from an ordinary officer to a great military leader. Saganne was first sent to a garrison town in North Africa before Colonel Dubreuilh (Philippe Noiret) assigned him to other missions, finally giving him a chance to exercise his innate ability to lead men. After a tragic hiatus in Paris where he fails to promote the colonialist cause, he returns to the Sahara and outshines his past accomplishments, leading a ragtag band of Arab dissidents in some brilliant military maneuvers -- for which he won the French Legion of Honor. His newfound recognition also attracted a society maven who became his wife, and after his tour of duty has ended Saganne moves with her to the village where he was born. But the year is 1914 and Saganne's peaceful village idyll was not meant to endure -- he is again called off to war, and to his destiny. Even though the costuming, landscape, battles, and charisma of Depardieu as Saganne and Noiret as Colonel Dubreuilh are outstanding, and several subsidiary characters deliver emotionally compelling vignettes, the protagonists as an ensemble have not been scripted with much depth of character -- making the three-hour epic seem a bit too long in the end. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
Art House & International , Classics , Drama , Romance
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Gérard Depardieu
as Charles Saganne
Philippe Noiret
as Dubreuilh
Catherine Deneuve
as Louise Tissot
Sophie Marceau
as Madeleine of Saint-Ilette
Salah Teskouk
as Embarek
Florent Pagny
as Lucien Saganne
Roger Dumas
as Vulpi
Said Amadis
as Amajar
Pierre Tornade
as Charles' Father
Sophie Grimaldi
as Lady of Saint-Ilette
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Critic Reviews for Fort Saganne

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Audience Reviews for Fort Saganne

French soldier Gérard Depardieu rises through the ranks by displaying valor and ingenuity in battling Algerian rebels (and other French officers) just before WWI, while getting caught up in a romantic triangle involving heiress Sophie Marceau and free-thinking journalist Catherine Deneuve. Leisurely paced epic boasts gorgeous cinematography by Bruno Nuytten and an exquisite score by Philippe Sarde (both marvelously preserved in this DVD), but despite incidental moments of power, film as a whole is rather inert. I'm probably being too lenient, but you know I'm a sucker for French historical epics

Joseph Jones
Joseph Jones

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