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Thou Shalt Not Kill (1961)

Tu ne tueras point (original title)
At the end of World War II, a French pacifist is arrested for refusing to fight. In prison, he befriends a German priest arrested for murder of a French Resistance fighter. They discuss morality, obedience, and religion.

Director:

Claude Autant-Lara
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurent Terzieff ... Zan Fransoa Kordije (as Loran Terzijev)
Horst Frank ... Adler
Mica Orlovic Mica Orlovic ... Major
Marijan Lovric Marijan Lovric ... Kapetan (as Marjan Lovric)
Suzanne Flon ... Kordijeova majka (as Sizan Flon)
Ivo Jaksic Ivo Jaksic ... Iguman u manastiru
Vladeta Dragutinovic Vladeta Dragutinovic ... Stajn
Petar Banicevic Petar Banicevic ... Rober
Jovan Gec Jovan Gec ... General u zatvoru
Zoran Milosavljevic Zoran Milosavljevic ... Zarobljeni partizan
Zvonko Jovcic Zvonko Jovcic ... Pukovnik
Aleksandar Stojkovic Aleksandar Stojkovic ... Kapetanov posilni
Ljubisa Jocic Ljubisa Jocic ... Mil
Milivoje Popovic-Mavid Milivoje Popovic-Mavid ... Advokat
Slobodan Simic Slobodan Simic ... Predsednik suda
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Storyline

At the end of World War II, a French pacifist is arrested for refusing to fight. In prison, he befriends a German priest arrested for murder of a French Resistance fighter. They discuss morality, obedience, and religion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France | Italy | Yugoslavia

Language:

French | Serbo-Croatian | German

Release Date:

26 July 1961 (Yugoslavia) See more »

Also Known As:

L'objecteur See more »

Filming Locations:

Yugoslavia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The French government refused to help financing the movie because of its pacifist anti-war message, since France was at the time heavily involved in the bloody Algerian War of independence. The budget was finally secured when the Yugoslavian government agreed to pitch in. The movie premiered at the 1961 Venice Film Festival as a Yugoslavian entry, since the French government still wanted nothing to do with it and eventually banned the release of the film in France until 1963, a year after the Algerian War had ended. The French press gave the movie mostly poor reviews. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.39 (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A second look at "TU NE TUERAS POINT"
26 November 2019 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

The status of conscientious objector for all men who refuse to make war did not exist in 1949 when the movie takes place; as I wrote in my first comment ,Louis Lecoin,in his seventies, almost died of a hunger strike and was saved by a group of intellectuals and artists (are you gonna let Lecoin die?),some of whom were cinema people:Henri Jeanson,Simone Signoret , Yves Montand , Suzanne Flon who plays the mom in the film .And in 1963 the status became reality.

indeed ,so many and so horrendous were the chances taken by Claude Autant-Lara on his work that,with any lesser talent ,the result could have ben disastrous .A cursory look at the conditions the director had to work under are revealing :two French actors, a German one ,the rest of the cast being thorougly Yougoslavian thespians.He spent every last penny and had to film in ex-Yougoslavia .The movie was released in summer ,when the audience was limited and the critics panned it ,be they left or right .Much more dangerous than Godard 's "Le Petit Soldat ",reserved for an intellectual elite ,Autant-Lara's work was accessible to anyone ,and it scared all the more the powers that be .Even today ,where you can find H.M.Godard 's movie easily , no " thou shalt not kill" dvd is available except an Italian version with English subtitles!And the film was never ,nerver in a month of Sundays ,screened on TV:Hence its importance and its strength.

The movie did little for the Church's reputation too . All the priests stand together for Adler the priest who had to shoot a resistant fighter during WW2:Anyway,the dice were loaded and his cause was won in advance (" he is not dangerous ,he was given orders and could not refuse") ;or could he? Horst Frank ,who was given the part of the "villain ", shines in the execution scene ,injecting more emotion in his "pater noster" than you might think possible ; apart from this sequence , this priest is cold, unsympathetic,and finally acts cowardly afterward.Hence Cordier 's giggles when he learns his occupation .

Cordier's motivation for refusing to be drafted were mostly his religious belief and Christ's words ;but towards the end, ,defended by a worker priest, he realizes that the political Church and the Army walk hand in hand and then he refuses any help, he's doomed ; he may not be released before a long long long time for ,after one year ,he will be asked again to be a soldier ,and if not...

Autant-Lara did not fall into the trap of showing a ruthless adamant army;on the contrary , the military men mostly want to get rid of this burdensome morally contagious guy : the doctor desperately tries to find a medical reason which would allow him to discharge the recruit ; in desperation ,he suggest he declare himself "crazy " ; Cordier does not want this easy way out.....He will follow his ideas through :after all ,as Gandhi and Luther King showed, non-violence can have its way .

Laurent TERZIEFF ,a cerebral character actor, portrays Cordier with a remarkable restraint of gestures and words ;Suzanne Flon ,a committed actress ,is equally effective as the proud mom whose looks say more than words .

Great scenes:

-the medical exam ,and Cordier's adamant attitude ,proudly refusing a comfortable job (the officer's secretary )or the discharge

-Cordier,leaving the military hospital ,and his mates ' reactions .

-Cordier ,alone in a room full of officers ,refusing to put on the uniform...

Autant-Lara's fight in the sixties had only begun : after this burning subject ,he broached,as nobody had done before, another taboo topic :abortion ;it was 1965 and it took 10 years before Mrs Veil's law was voted.

A man whose mother was dismissed from the Comedie Française in WW1 because of her pacifism ,Autant-Lara,the most liberal (and progressive) director of the sixties ,joined the ranks of the far right wing in the eighties ;many are still wondering why...


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