Combustible Celluloid
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With: Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Stephane Audran, Eddy Mitchell, Guy Marchand, Irene Skobline, Michel Beaune, Jean Champion, Victor Garrivier, Gerard Hernandez, Abdoulaye Diop, Daniel Langlet, Francois Perrot, Raymond Hermantier
Written by: Bertrand Tavernier, Jean Aurenche, based on a novel by Jim Thompson
Directed by: Bertrand Tavernier
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 128
Date: 11/04/1981

Coup de torchon (1981)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Clean Slate

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Criterion Collection has released director Bertrand Tavernier's Oscar-nominated crime film Coup de torchon (1981) to DVD. Based on Jim Thompson's novel Pop 1280, the film follows a lazy, cowardly small-town police chief (Philippe Noiret), whom Tavernier relocated to Africa for the sake of the film. He uses his reputation as a pushover to begin a killing spree, knowing that no one will believe he actually pulled the trigger. Isabelle Huppert co-stars as Noiret's clandestine lover. The Coup de Torchon DVD comes in a beautiful transfer, emphasizing the rugged, dusty look of the film, plus optional English subtitles. It also includes a long video interview with Tavernier and the theatrical trailer.

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