The Army of Shadows (image 1)

Selected to celebrate 60 Years of Film Societies – who presented the only previous New Zealand screenings of this astounding film in 1977.

Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

The Army of Shadows 1969

L'Armée des ombres

Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

Classic insider’s account of the French Resistance and one of the all-time great suspense movies (1969). “Tough, adrenaline-charged, utterly uncompromising.” — The Nation

France / Italy In French with English subtitles
143 minutes 35mm


Jean-Pierre Melville. Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel


Pierre Lhomme


Françoise Bonnot


Eric de Marsan


Lino Ventura
Paul Meurisse
Simone Signoret
Jean-Pierre Cassel
Claude Mann
Christian Barbier


The classic insider's account of the French Resistance, this is one of the all-time great suspense movies, and a labour of both love and fidelity for director Jean-Pierre Melville, who himself had been a Resistance fighter. “From its extraordinary opening shot of the Wehrmacht goose-stepping down the Champs-Elysées, Melville's portrayal of French Resistance fighters… grips tighter than a Gestapo handcuff… Lino Ventura, as a fugitive Resistance leader, has the brooding melancholy of a Mafia enforcer." — Anthony Quinn, The Independent

“Any moviegoers with a weakness for dry heroism, dark-toned humour, and storytelling of pantherish pace and grace – in short, lovers of cinema – should reach for their fedoras, turn up the collars of their coats, and sneak to this picture through a mist of rain.” — Anthony Lane, New Yorker

“Tough, adrenaline-charged, utterly uncompromising... There is nothing more to say, except ‘Go.’” — Stuart Klawans, The Nation