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2,811 Ratings

Army of Shadows

L'armée des ombres

Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
France, Italy, 1969
Drama, War


This atmospheric WWII drama recounts the perilous efforts of a group of underground fighters in the French Resistance, which Melville based on his own personal accounts as a freedom fighter against Hitler’s Nazi regime.

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Army of Shadows Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

Awards & Festivals

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2006 | Nominee: Best Film

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

2006 | Winner: Best Foreign Language Film

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

2006 | Winner: Special Citation

National Society of Film Critics Awards

2007 | Winner: Special Award

The film does endorse the “official” version of the resistance as conducted by General De Gaulle, in whose army Melville had after all served, but its moral strength lies elsewhere. Namely in its resolute sobriety, its anti-spectacular epic that consistently frames the resistance against fascism as an act of conscience, far from stainless, and yet inevitable. Shadows, not heroes, are the protagonists of a film that never exalt them—predestined interpreters they are of a fate they did not choose.
May 02, 2017
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Melville’s grim, kinetic Army of Shadows, an assiduous yet epic account of the French Resistance following the exploits of one determined network, is a superb cinematic example of anti-heroic World War II revisionism.
April 26, 2017
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Melville, who served in the French Resistance, shows the heartbreaking futility of the struggle when one is attacked from both outside and in.
November 18, 2011
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