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Le sourire du clown (1999)

Coming back from everything and ready to end his life, an old Russian clown experiences a burst of energy following a long chase.


Éric Besnard




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ticky Holgado ... Ian
Bruno Putzulu ... Lucas (as Bruno Putzulu de la Comédie Française)
François Berléand ... Drouot
Vincent Elbaz ... Smalto
Jean-Claude Dauphin Jean-Claude Dauphin ... Vogel
Pascale Arbillot ... Hélène
Vanille Attié Vanille Attié ... Daphnée
Edouard Montoute ... Alex
Alexandre Arjilovski Alexandre Arjilovski ... Kiriakov
Yvon Back Yvon Back ... De Renn
Jürgen Vogel ... Youri
Samir Guesmi ... Le chômeur métro
Pierre Cassignard Pierre Cassignard ... L'homme violent
Christophe Aquillon Christophe Aquillon ... Zamoun (as Christophe Aquilon)
Pascal Jaubert Pascal Jaubert ... Sliman


A room, a bed, a tired man. The finger on the trigger. The gun to his temple. The firing pin slams into the void - Apparently, its time has not yet come. Yet Ian no longer wants to live. This old Russian clown, lost in a shabby hotel, thought he had reached the end of his path. A shooting resounds in the hallway. A man rushes into Ian's room and collapses, dead, on his bed. A moment later, his pursuers burst into the room. The old clown turns his revolver over to defend himself. A survival reflex, but also the starting point for a long chase. Ian wanted to die, but the danger seemed to give him the strength to fight back. And then now he's not alone. He must also save the skin of Lucas, a young priest who took him in after finding him injured in the street. Soon the trap closes on the two fugitives. But the clown's smile is not always innocent.

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User Reviews

Cheesy plot revamped
27 July 1999 | by PhroggySee all my reviews

Bad Russians are after a disk featuring secrets from nuclear

companies. After a failed and bloody attempt, they run after the

fall guy, a suicidal clown, who gains help from a tormented

would-be priest while a grumpy detective is on the trail. Sounds

familiar ? Yes, this basic plot has been used for countless

direct-to-video thrillers. But the fact that this is a French

film with a distinct flavour gives it an honorable twist, and

obviously, the filmmakers never intended it to be more than

entertainment. The characters, though clichéd, are honestly

drawn, the acting is very good and a crisp, lush cinematography

helps disguise an obvious low budget. Ticky Holgado really

shines as this ambiguous, sad clown who turns out to be much

more (The title is ironic, since he never smiles), and his

clown/mime antics are delightful. Nothing impressive, just a

nice little B-movie, unpretentious but crisp, a cut above your

average TV movie.

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Release Date:

21 July 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Clown Smiles See more »


Box Office


EUR3,400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


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