6.9/10
1,615
9 user 14 critic

Colonel Chabert (1994)

Le colonel Chabert (original title)
Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory... See full summary »

Director:

Yves Angelo
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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... Le colonel-comte Amédé Chabert
Fanny Ardant ... Rose Chapotel, comtesse Ferraud
Fabrice Luchini ... Derville
André Dussollier ... Le comte Ferraud
Daniel Prévost ... Amédée Boucard - l'avoué
Olivier Saladin Olivier Saladin ... Hure
Maxime Leroux Maxime Leroux ... Le clerc Godeschal
Eric Elmosnino ... Desroches
Guillaume Romain Guillaume Romain ... Simonin
Patrick Bordier Patrick Bordier ... Boutin
Claude Rich ... Chamblin
Jean Cosmos Jean Cosmos ... Costaz
Jacky Nercessian ... Delbecq
Albert Delpy ... Maître Sarrazin - le notaire
Marc Maidenberg Marc Maidenberg ... Un domestique
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Storyline

Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory, he goes back to Paris, where his "widow", Anne has married the Count Ferraud and is financing his rise to power using Chabert's money. Chabert hires a lawyer to help him get back his money and his honor. Written by Dragomir R. Radev <radev@cs.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 September 1994 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Colonel Chabert See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,101, 26 December 1994

Gross USA:

$464,284

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$464,284
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A reunion for Fanny Ardant and Gérard Depardieu who had previously worked together in 1981 in 'Francois Truffaut''s The Woman Next Door (1981). See more »

Connections

Version of Out of the Depths (1920) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonate K 280
Music by Domenico Scarlatti
Performed by Pierre Hantaï
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
30 March 2009 | by ferdinand1932See all my reviews

This is an unfortunately unrecognized classic.

The look is superb, the design, costumes etc are flawless, the post battle scenes and the cavalry charge are both chilling and exciting.

The characters are vivid and really human. Ardent is right and Fabrice Luchini as the lawyer Derville steals the movie with his clever pedantic rodent-like performance, delighting in the ups and downs of others' misfortunes. Depardieu is good but perhaps too large a presence for this role.

Where the film really excels is the story and also its changes from Balzac's novella. Those changes are editorial in that Balzac has lots of discussion on society and this film breaths with characters. Nevertheless Yves Angelo has retained the key ingredient, not just the missing man trying to regain his place in society but every character has to find their place in society: the Comte Ferraud is trying to buy a peerage, his wife (Ardent) comes from a lowly birth and when she was married to Colonel Chabert they achieved their position in the turbulence of post-revolutionary France. Everyone has something to lose in terms of status and that makes for a good drama as their objectives are in conflict with each other.

It also feels very modern: money is critical to buy status to reach power, but someone can go down as quickly as they go up. Derville enjoys the strategy, he has seen the worst of people he says to Chabert when he takes the case. This speech's original place is at the end of the novella as Balzac sums up the human comedy with huge irony.


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