Lacombe Lucien (1974)

Lacombe Lucien (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Lacombe Lucien Photos

Movie Info

With a superb music score by Django Reinhardt, this is a Louis Malle film about the German occupation of France. Based on his own experiences in France during the occupation, Malle's film does not paint a pretty picture of the French Resistance and eventually he emigrated to America because of the critical reaction to this film. Essentially the tale of a young boy who wants to join the Resistance but is shunned by them because of his youth, he joins the Gestapo. Unfortunately, he then falls in love with a young Jewish girl. Push comes to shove and he suddenly has the unsympathetic Resistance and the Gestapo hot on his trail. Not a pretty picture of either side.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Pierre Blaise
as Lucien Lacombe
Aurore Clement
as France Horn
Holger Löwenadler
as Albert Horn
Holger Loewenadler
as Albert Horn
Therese Giehse
as Bella Horn
Loumi Iacobesco
as Betty Beaulieu
Rene Bouloc
as Faure
Jean Bousquet
as Peyssac, the schoolteacher
Gilberte Rivet
as Lucien's mother
Jacques Rispal
as Monsieur Laborit
Jacqueline Staup
as Lucienne
Cécile Ricard
as Marie, the hotel maid
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lacombe Lucien

All Critics (6)

A generation after WWII, Louis Malle shed light on French collaborators

Full Review… | May 1, 2015
Movie Habit

This coolly detached WWII chronicle, which is critical of the French Resistance, is one of Louis Malles' strongest and most personal films.

Full Review… | June 30, 2011

Malle's absolute faith in his skills as a storyteller and in the inherent power of this true story puts Lacombe, Lucien in the company of the best humanist portraits ever filmed.

Full Review… | August 17, 2010
Cinema Writer

Superbly evocative of the period in both imagery and mood, Lacombe Lucien is a character study of a young man during a dark chapter in French history

Full Review… | August 28, 2009
Urban Cinefile

A controversial WWII drama about the German occupation of France that has a young French Gestapo policeman romance a young Jewess.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The collaborationist anti-hero finds Malle instantly broaching a cultural taboo, compounded when the traitorous young man forces himself into a sexual relationship with a not-entirely unyielding girl named France.

March 27, 2006
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Lacombe Lucien

This is a good movie, perhaps - a very good movie, but really sad. According to Wikipedia, film critic for The New York Times Vincent Canby said that film center character, "must remain forever mysterious, forever beyond our sympathy". While there hardly could be any sympathy indeed, I don't see much of mystery in Lucien. Louis Malle showed us enough to see this undeveloped but sadistic character. He is not hopeless, he could become closer to norm, but on the other side, at this age person must already responsible for himself. Lucien Lacombe fails to be responsible. A reviewer at IMDB said something about "innocence corrupted by war". Oh, no. It's not innocence, it's a brutal under-development. War didn't teach Lucien to kill birds. And I hope a reviewer would never encounter such "innocent" luciens on his way. I served in Russian army and I saw such characters...

Vladimir Kelman
Vladimir Kelman

Rich absurdities abound.

Tom S.
Tom S.

Super Reviewer

The kid in this film is definitely a top contender for the Most Sociopathic Youth award. I was sufficiently entertained by this film but it isn't great. It's incredibly plodding at times and it tends to dead-end or simply leave certain points unended altogether. Lots of blank stares and quiet moments. I don't necessarily mind both or either, except that this film takes them to new extremes. It feels like a robot made this film; there is next to no emotion. I realize that most of these points of contention were, in fact, the point of the film itself; I simply feel that they don't mesh well together at the end of the day.

William Reynolds
William Reynolds

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