La Horse

La Horse (Italian: Il Clan degli uomini violenti, German: Der Erbarmungslose) is a 1970 French-language thriller directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre and based on Michel Lambesc's novel.

La Horse
Directed byPierre Granier-Deferre
Written byPierre Granier-Deferre
Pascal Jardin
StarringJean Gabin
Marc Porel
Music bySerge Gainsbourg
CinematographyWalter Wottitz
Release date
  • 22 February 1970 (1970-02-22)
Running time
77 minutes
Box office$15.9 million[1]


In Normandy, the widower Auguste Maroilleur rules his family and his farm with an iron hand. Bien Phu, a disabled veteran of the war in Indochina, is a valued employee. Out shooting duck, Auguste and Bien Phu discover a huge cache of heroin. Auguste deduces that his grandson Henri, whose vacation job is on a ship, must be a courier. He destroys the drug, worth millions, and confines Henri to a cellar. When the gangsters cannot find their man or their merchandise, they try to destroy Auguste's livelihood and peace of mind. They burn a barn, brutally kill his cattle and rape his virgin granddaughter. He and Bien Phu fight back, eventually killing all five villains by shotgun and grenade. This private war does not go unnoticed and the police bring the whole family in for questioning. Following Auguste's orders, none of them give a thing away and all are released.


Though massacred by French critics, the film was loved by the French public. As well as the magisterial presence of Jean Gabin, it carried echoes of the unsolved Dominici affair of 1952 and the 1943 film Goupi Mains Rouges.




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