Capitaine Conan

France

Synopsis

The Balkans, September 1918. Mount Sokol falls in the last great battle of the war, precipitating the surrender of Bulgaria and providing the army on the Eastern front, under the command of FRANCHET D'ESPEREY, its first decisive victory...
At the head of fifty heroic soldiers, most released from military prisons, Conan (Philippe TORRETON) fights like a Sioux warrior, striking fear in the hearts of the enemy.
Conan shows nothing but contempt for the regular army and its enlisted officers, calling them "soldiers"; he considers himself a "warrior". Scve (Bernard LE COQ) is the only one Conan respects. Of noble descent, Scve turned his back on the privileges of his dass to join the infantry. Conan also befriends Lieutenant Norbert (Samuel LE BIHAN), a young literature student, admiring his strong sense of morality.
The French armistice is signed in France, but the Eastern army remains mobilized. It continues to fight. Posted to Bucharest, an allied country, the soldiers left behind turmoil, pillaging and murdering civilians.
Norbert, named judge in this affair, remains faithful to his convictions. His sensitive mission is to stop and sentence those guilty of the more abominable crimes. Conan's men are naturally the first suspects. Despite Conan's wrath and his determination to defend them to the end, Norbert carries out his duty. The two friends are at odds, are driven apart and come together again, finding each other in the most unexpected manner.

Based on the novel by Roger Vercel and set in the Balkans in 1918, the story reveals a forgotten chapter of Gallic military history. Conan is a headstrong creature of war who operates by his own outlaw moral code and fights like a Sioux warrior, striking fear into the hearts of his enemy along with his renegade band of 50 soldiers, most of whom have been released from military prisons. He is contemptuous of the regular army officers, calling them "soldiers" while considering himself a "warrior". De Sceve, a man of noble descent who has joined the infantry, is one of the two men he respects; Norbert, a literature student with a strong sense of morality, is the other. The French armistice is signed but the Eastern army faction remains mobilised ans, posted to Bucharest, Conan´s soldiers continue their military activities while waiting for orders. When Norbert is appointed a military legal representative to investigate this and other warcrime infringements, the two friends find themselves on opposite sides ad are driven apart.

Director's Biography

Since 1973, Bertrand Tavernier, a one-time film critic and movie press agent, has created a body of work of impressive range and eclecticism. His first two features, THE CLOCKMAKER, an adaptation of a Simenon novel, LET JOY REIGN SUPREME, a witty historical drama, brought him immediate international attention. Praised for his talents as an actor's director, Tavernier has enriched the filmographies of his alter ego Philippe Noiret (who has starred in seven of his films), revealed the dark side of funnyman Michel Galabru in LE JUGE ET L'ASSASSIN, and helped launch the careers of a host of young actors from Christine Pascal and Sabine Azérna to Julie Delpy and Marie Gillain. His documentary work includes a portrait of French writer Philippe Soupault, a journey to the American south and its music traditions (MISSISSIPPI BLUES), a look at his home town (LYON, AN INSIDE LOOK), and a four-hour investigation into the Algerian War (THE UNDECLARED WAR).

Filmography:
1973 L 'HORLOGER DE SAINT PAUL
1975 QUE LA FETE COMMENCE
1976 LE JUGE ET L'ASSASSIN
1977 DES ENFANTS GATES
1979 LA MORT EN DIRECT
1980 UNE SEMAINE DE VACANCES
1981 COUP DE TORCHON
1982 PHILIPPE SOUPAULT
1983 MISSISSIPPI BLUES
1984 UN DIMANCHE A LA CAMPAGNE
1986 AUTOUR DE MINUIT
1987 LA PASSION BEATRICE
1988 LYON, REGARD INTERIEUR
1989 LA VIE ET RIEN D'AUTRE
1990 DADDY NOSTALGIE
1991 LA GUERRE SANS NOM
1994 LA FILLE DE D 'ARTAGNAN
1995 L'APPAT
1996 CAPITAINE CONAN
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier

Written by: Jean Cosmos, Bertrand Tavernier

Produced by: Alain Sarde, Frédéric Bourboulon

Cinematography: Alain Choquart

Editing: Luce Grunenwaldt

Production Design: Guy-Claude François

Costume Design: Jacqueline Moreau

Main Cast: Philippe Torreton (Conan), Samuel Le Bihan (Norbert), Bernard Le Coq (Lt. De Scève)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actor 1997
  • European Film 1997
  • Feature Film Selection 1997