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Detective (1985)

Détective (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 23 August 1985 (USA)
At a Paris hotel, a hotel detective fired after a murder there, is still investigating helped by his inspector nephew and girlfriend. A boxing manager, owing money to a couple and the mafia, rides on a match next day.


Jean-Luc Godard


Alain Sarde (screenplay), Philippe Setbon (screenplay) | 7 more credits »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurent Terzieff ... William Prospero
Aurelle Doazan Aurelle Doazan ... Arielle
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Inspector Neveu
Nathalie Baye ... Françoise Chenal
Claude Brasseur ... Emile Chenal
Johnny Hallyday ... Jim Fox Warner
Alain Cuny ... Old Mafioso
Xavier Saint-Macary Xavier Saint-Macary ... Accountant
Pierre Bertin Pierre Bertin ... Young Son
Alexandra Garijo Alexandra Garijo ... Young Daughter
Stéphane Ferrara Stéphane Ferrara ... Tiger Jones
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Princess of the Bahamas
Eugène Berthier Eugène Berthier ... Old manager
Julie Delpy ... Wise young girl
Cyrille Dajinckourt Cyrille Dajinckourt ... La fille


In a palace of Paris. Two detectives are investigating a two-year-old murder. Emile and Francoise Chenal are putting pressure on Jim Fox Warner, a boxing manager, who owes them a huge amount of money. But Jim also owes money to the Mafia, and it seems the boxing match he is counting on to bail out will not be sufficient... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Julie Delpy. See more »


Tiger Jones: Tiger Jones - - I'll knock him out!
Françoise Chenal: Isn't he Tiger Jones?
Jim Fox Warner: Yeah, but a champion always fights himself.
See more »


Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »


(Uncredited song)
Music by Arthur Honegger
(music title uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Not entirely successful late Godard film
11 March 2002 | by zetesSee all my reviews

The films in Godard's late (and not yet over) period present some of the greatest challenges to cineasts. Detective is no exception. It is extraordinarily complex in narrative (or, more precisely, anti-narrative), visual composition, and editing structure. Unfortunately, I don't think it's worth it. It's kind of a parody of a detective film (the one in this film is a hotel dick), but it's nearly impossible to figure out what's going on. It can be quite beautiful in its visuals and editing patterns, but never beautiful enough to make it worth seeing. It's not terrible, but, then again, it's not good, either. 6/10

P.S. First off, yes, the little girl IS Julie Delpy, in case you were wondering.

P.P.S. Remember when Martin Scorsese made his version of Cape Fear for MGM because they allowed him to make the highly personal The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ? Well, he may have gotten that idea from Godard. Detective was made as a straight commercial offering to the studio that produced his highly controversial Hail Mary. It's strange to think of Detective as a commercial venture, though!

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French | English | Italian

Release Date:

23 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Detective See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JLG Films, Sara Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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