The Army Game (film)

The Army Game (French: Tire-au-flanc 62) is a 1961 French black-and-white comedy about induction and basic training of army conscripts, co-directed by François Truffaut and Claude de Givray.

The Army Game
Directed byClaude de Givray
François Truffaut
Written byAndré Mouëzy-Éon (play)
André Sylvane (play)
François Truffaut
Claude de Givray
Music byRicet Barrier
Jean-Michel Defaye
CinematographyRaoul Coutard
Release date
  • 1961 (1961)

It recorded admissions of 1,290,967 in France.[1]


The upper-class Jean, amiable but not very bright, is called up to do his military service. Adrift in this strange world, he finds a helpful fellow-recruit in his family's worldly-wise chauffeur Joseph. But nothing can save him from his mental and physical ineptitude, which infuriates his instructors, amuses his fellow-soldiers and humiliates him. The bright light in his existence is Catherine, the colonel's charming daughter, after whom he yearns. Things look up for him when the barracks puts on the play Tire-au-flanc, in which Joseph has the part of the incompetent young aristocrat while he plays the wily servant. His success in the role impresses everybody and Catherine is happy to go out with the new hero.



Based on a stage play, the story had been filmed by Jean Renoir in 1928 and also by Fernand Rivers in 1950. For its third outing on celluloid, the makers adopted a knowingly light-hearted approach to the material, re-using old visual and verbal gags and inserting humorous homages to earlier works such as Vigo's À propos de Nice and Zinneman's Oklahoma!. There were also cameos for André Mouëzy-Éon, who wrote the original play, for François Truffaut, one of the two directors, and for two stars he used in his films, Bernadette Lafont and Jean-Claude Brialy.[2]


  1. Box Office information for Francois Truffaut films at Box Office Story
  2. de Baroncelli, Jean (5 January 1962), Le Monde
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