Le vieux fusil

Le vieux fusil (English title: The Old Gun or Vengeance One by One) is a 1975 French film directed by Robert Enrico, and starring Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider and Jean Bouise. It won the 1976 César Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Music, and was nominated for best director, supporting actor, writing, cinematography, editing and sound. The film is based on the Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944.

Le vieux fusil
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Enrico
Written byRobert Enrico
Pascal Jardin
Claude Veillot
StarringPhilippe Noiret
Romy Schneider
Jean Bouise
Music byFrançois de Roubaix
CinematographyÉtienne Becker
Edited byAva Zora
Eva Zora
Les Productions Artistes Associés
Mercure Productions
TIT Filmproduktion GmbH
Distributed byMercure Productions
Release date
  • 22 August 1975 (1975-08-22)
Running time
103 minutes
LanguageFrench, English
Box office3,365,471 admissions[1] (France)


In Montauban in 1944, during the German retreat from France, Julien Dandieu is an aging, embittered surgeon in the local hospital. Frightened by the German army entering Montauban, Dandieu asks his friend Francois to drive his wife and his daughter to the remote village where he owns a chateau. One week later, Dandieu sets off to meet them for the weekend, but the Germans have now occupied the village. He finds that all the villagers have been herded into the church and shot. In the château, now occupied by the Germans, he finds his daughter shot and his wife immolated by a flame-thrower.

Dandieu decides to kill as many Germans as possible to avenge his family. He takes an old shotgun he used as a child while hunting with his father and sabotages the chateau's bridge before he starts to kill them one by one, taking advantage of his knowledge of the secret passages within the chateau. Trapped inside the castle, the Germans begin to think they are surrounded by many partisans and do not realise that he is, in fact, the only one. When a Resistance detachment drops by, Dandieu refuses their offer to help him and continues his vendetta on his own. Eventually, with no more cartridges for the shotgun, he collects the flame-thrower which killed his beloved wife and uses it to kill the leading SS officer as he, the last survivor, is about to commit suicide.

Alerted by the partisans, the inhabitants of a nearby village and a company of American soldiers arrive to collect the dead. Dandieu is picked up by Francois, but has suffered a nervous breakdown following the aftermath of the slaughter, behaving as if his family was still alive. The film ends with a flashback to one of his happier days now gone, where he and his family had undertaken a bike tour.


See also


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