And Hope to Die

And Hope to Die (French: La course du lièvre à travers les champs, Italian: La corsa della lepre attraverso i campi) is a 1972 French-Italian thriller-drama film directed by René Clément and starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Robert Ryan. It is loosely based on the novel Black Friday by David Goodis.[1][2]

And Hope to Die
Original theatrical poster
Directed byRené Clément
Produced bySerge Silberman
Written bySébastien Japrisot
StarringJean-Louis Trintignant
Robert Ryan
Music byFrancis Lai
CinematographyEdmond Richard
Edited byRoger Dwyre
Release date
  • 1972 (1972)


Blamed for the death of three gypsy children in a plane crash in France, Tony Cardot flees to Canada, pursued by gypsies intent on revenge. In Montreal he witnesses a shootout, takes care of a wounded man who soon dies, but not before giving Tony $15,000 and whispering the enigmatic words: "Toboggan committed suicide." Then Tony is assaulted by two thugs, Mattone and Paul, who can’t find the cash on him and take him back to their hideout on an island. There he meets the group leader Charley who threatens to kill Tony if he doesn't reveal where the money is. Nevertheless, he lets Tony stay, and the two men proceed to play mind games with one another. In the meantime, Charley's girlfriend Sugar and Paul's sister Pepper are both vying for Tony’s attention. Tony succeeds in convincing the group he is also a gangster, and they enlist him in their plan: to kidnap a crucial witness in a mafia trial. After the partial failure of the kidnapping and the dispersal of the gang, Tony and Charley hole up together in the gangsters hideout, waiting for the police.



Sébastien Japrisot was initially hired to adapt the novel Black Friday by David Goodis that was published in France in the Série Noire. In the process of writing the script, Japrisot increasingly deviated from the source novel, adding personal motifs like scenes in Marseille where he grew up.[3] David Goodis’ name does not appear in the film credits. The script also borrows some elements, like gangsters hiding in a fishing cabin, from another David Goodis' novel Somebody's Done For. Japrisot’s screenplay was published by Denoël to coincide with the release of the film in 1972, then republished by Gallimard in the "Folio" collection in 1986.


The original French version ran 140 minutes. The U.S. release version was cut down to 99 minutes.[4] The version released on DVD in 2013 by StudioCanal UK runs 127 minutes.


With only 1,077,246 admissions in France[5], the film was far less successful than the previous Clément-Japrisot collaboration Rider on the Rain (4,763,822 admissions and the third most popular movie of the year.)[6]

Upon release, the film received mostly negative reviews in the U.S. Vincent Canby included it among the Ten Worst Movies of 1972, and added "if you have to, break your leg to avoid seeing it."[7] Tony Mastroianni called it "a pretentious melodrama that aspires to being more then melodrama and which ends up being a good deal less" and said the film lacked a script, "especially one with reasonably believable dialog."[8] TV Guide was more positive, calling it "a moody, somewhat arty gangster film with an outstanding cast."[9]


  1. VV.AA. The New York Times Film Reviews. New York Times, 1973.
  2. "And Hope to Die" in Film Bulletin, Volume 41. Wax Publications, 1972.
  3. "Docteur Japrisot et Mister Rossi -". Repères méditerranéens. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  4. "And Hope to Die". Kino Lorber. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  5. "La Course du lievre a travers les champs (1972) - JPBox-Office". Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  6. "Le Passager de la pluie (1970) - JPBox-Office". Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  7. Canby, Vincent (1973-01-07). "The Ten Worst Movies Of 1972". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  8. Mastroianni, Tony (1973-08-16). ""Hope to Die" lacks a script". Cleveland Press.
  9. "And Hope To Die | TV Guide". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
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