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War of the Buttons (1962)

La guerre des boutons (original title)
The school boys of two villages in France are fighting. Their trophy are the buttons they will snatch from the enemy. This fight will bring those kids to everlasting friendship...eventually.


Yves Robert


Louis Pergaud (novel), François Boyer (adaptation)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Jacques Dufilho Jacques Dufilho ... L'Aztec's father
Yvette Etiévant ... Lebrac's mother
Michel Galabru ... Bacaillé's father
Michèle Méritz ... L'Aztec's mother
Jean Richard ... Lebrac's father
Pierre Tchernia ... Bédouin
Pierre Trabaud Pierre Trabaud ... School teacher
Claude Confortès Claude Confortès ... Nestor the postman
Paul Crauchet ... Touegueule
Henri Labussière Henri Labussière ... A countryman
Yves Peneau Yves Peneau ... Le préfet des études / The prefect
Robert Rollis Robert Rollis ... Le père de 'Migue la Lune' / Migue la lune's father
Louisette Rousseau Louisette Rousseau ... Bacaillé's mother


The school boys of two villages in France are fighting. Their trophy are the buttons they will snatch from the enemy. This fight will bring those kids to everlasting friendship...eventually.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


tres funny, tres zesty, very unbuttoned


Comedy | Family


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

18 April 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

War of the Buttons See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The gang of Lebrac and Petit Gibus sings the first section of the Le chant du départ after their victories. The composer José Berghmans uses the theme by Étienne-Nicolas Méhul at one point in his music. See more »

Alternate Versions

West German re-release (1984) was cut by ca. 6 minutes to secure a "Not under 6" rating. This re-release version was used for all subsequent home video releases. The uncut version was released as a bonus feature on the 2005 DVD release (with the missing scenes in French with German subtitles, despite the fact that the complete film was dubbed in 1962). See more »


Referenced in La guerre des boutons n'aura pas lieu (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

This is what cinema should be like
8 March 1999 | by elfqueenSee all my reviews

The war of the buttons is one of those films that warms the cockles even at a tender age (where such nostalgic sentimentality like cocklewarming is not even a concept yet). The artful description of human nature at its early stages, the heartache of being young, the struggle of empowering onself and of feeling powerless in a world dominated by grown-up violence and/or indifference is so tender, so enchanting that it should be compulsory on school curricula, at least for students of French. Seeing this film makes me yearn for the French countryside, it makes me laugh, it makes me happy, it makes me want to be child and to have a child of my own. And it also moves me to tears, and makes me remember the agonies of childhood. In short, this film is true art in the old philosophical sense: it produces emotion, true emotion, it depicts beauty and it involves its audience in thorough katharsis. A gem.

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