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Champ d'honneur (1987) HD online

Champ d'honneur (1987) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / History / War
Original Title: Champ du0027honneur
Director: Jean-Pierre Denis
Writers: Hubert Aupetit,Jean-Pierre Denis
Released: 1987
Duration: 1h 27min
Video type: Movie
The Dordogne, 1869. Pierre Naboulet, a poor tenant farmer, has drawn a lucky number in the French Army draft lottery. He will be exempt from a five-year period of military service. But he sells his number to Florent, a rich merchant, and takes the place of Florent's son, Arnaud, who has been drafted. Woodcutting with his brother, Pierre leaves his axe in a tree to await his return home. He spends his last night in the barn with his redheaded sweetheart, Henriette... Emperor Napoleon III declares war on Prussia, and the Prussians invade. In Alsace, Pierre's regiment fights the invaders in a forest. Many French are killed; Pierre escapes, wounded. He finds a cottage. Inside a boy is hiding. The redheaded boy speaks only the Alsatian dialect of German...
Credited cast:
Cris Campion Cris Campion - Pierre Naboulet
Pascale Rocard Pascale Rocard - Henriette
Eric Wapler Eric Wapler - Arnaud Florent
Frédéric Mayer Frédéric Mayer - The Child
André Wilms André Wilms - The pedlar
Marcelle Dessalles Marcelle Dessalles - Pierre's Mother
Marion Audier Marion Audier - Pierre's Sister
Robert Sandrey Robert Sandrey - Florent's Father
Lily Genny Lily Genny - Florent's Mother
Louis-Marie Taillefer Louis-Marie Taillefer - Gang Leader
François Segura François Segura - Roger
Jacques Arne Jacques Arne
Jean-Pierre Beaudeau Jean-Pierre Beaudeau
Gisèle Boubou Gisèle Boubou
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Martin Vincent Martin - Ernest

Reviews: [3]

  • avatar


    I'm a history buff and the first time I saw the movie, it was the result of having found quite possibly the only movie that had anything at all to do with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. It was with good fortune that it was well-done, and I was surprised at really how good the movie was. In terms analogous to recent movies, this movie is more like Thin Red Line or Empire of the Sun than it is Saving Private Ryan or Enemy At The Gates. By this I mean that the movie's setting is historical, and precise, but the events and interactions of the characters transpire this and are more about the conflicts themselves... man vs. man.. man vs. himself.

    The film begins just before the Franco-Prussian War, where rumors that Napoleon III has been diplomatically taunting the King of Prussia are spreading across the French countryside. Again.. this isn't the story per se, it is simply the exposition of the film. If you don't know much about the Franco-Prussian War, then this movie might spark some interest in you doing some internet research on it, but I'll hold back on going into a historical diatribe on the causations and the results. Just know that the result of these diplomatic blunders result, ultimately, in the Prussians calling Napoleon III's bluff, invading France, capturing Napoleon III almost immediately and then crowning their King Wilhelm as the Emperor of all Germany after they take Paris in 1871. The culmination of this war leads to the creation of the German Nation.

    Now, the movie really is the story of a French peasant who has gone to war in place of a rich man (this happened often back then). He has left behind a girl he loves, a classic story. As the Prussians tear through the French lines and cities with terrible precision, the main character finds himself in a predicament where he must choose to die or desert his company. He chooses the latter, and the rest of the movie is his adventure of trying to get back to his home in Sauvignon (pronounced "SHO-veen-yon" for all you wine lovers), back to the girl he loves, and living with the fear of always being stalked, both by enemy and "friend". Along the way, he meets an ethnic-German orphan boy from the Alsace- Lorraine region (which the new nation of Germany annexed after 1871, and thus helped spark the fires of revenge in France that would be a factor in leading up to WWI almost 50 years later), who he protects and tries to take care of.

    Although I've described the historical aspects of this movie mainly, it's only because these are the parts we can nail down for sure. History is written, and movies are made about them constantly. But the introspective nature of this film is more in line with movies about conflict and war that question the purpose of life, its meaning, what is the difference between people on opposing sides of a war, is there a difference really? etc. etc.

    If you enjoyed movies such as A Midnight Clear, Europa Europa or Thin Red Line, you will probably not be disappointed (unless you only like WWII movies) in this film. It also reminds me of Bergman's Seventh Seal, with its "soul searching" that is analogous to the actual adventure that has befallen the characters. It is quiet, very silent and introspective, with an ending that could very well be more somber than any Bergman film.
  • avatar


    I really liked this movie. It's a war movie that is really about, "Why are we fighting this war?" That is never explicitly mentioned, but that's the implicit message that I got from it, anyways. The ending is leaves you wanting more, like so many French flicks, but life really isn't a matchbox that you can close. It is more of a continuum, I think. It does not answer the burning question, however, but as I do not like spoilers, I won't say which. 10/10
  • avatar

    interactive man

    I do not think that this movie is the only one dealing with the 1870 war ."Boule De Suif" ,for instance ,which was the subject of many movies ,particularly Christian-Jaque's ,depicted the adventures of a group lost in what Emile Zola called "La Débâcle" .And the same Christian-Jaque made a movie about the Red Cross ("D'Homme A Hommes" )in which many scenes depicted the conflict (the Prussians before Paris). But this war which was one of Emperor Napoleon the Third's last and biggest mistake was lost and French directors were not ready to film such a demeaning subject.

    "Champ D'Honneur" ,made in 1987,was not unlike " Histoire Du Caporal" ,which took place in WW1.But whereas the latter showed a peasant boy's rebellion ,"Champ D'Honneur " showed the peasant as they were: people to whom ,because the earth was theirs,duty was sacred and fighting was an honor.All the scenes that take place in the village ring true :see how the rich kid is despised ("he 's got a lot of nerve to come ...").It's true that a conscript who drew a "bad " number could be replaced ,provided he paid for a substitute;this situation went on till the beginning of the twentieth century and of course was not allowed anymore in WW1.One should never praise enough the director for the use of patois ,of Alsatian -which is closer to German than to French- which resulted in subtitles for 50% of the movie.

    But the soldier-and-young-boy story only recycles clichés .The young child facing the war subject was much better applied on earlier works such as Robert Enrico's "Au Coeur De La Vie" (1963) .However ,the end of the movie shows cruelty to children as few directors dare.