DirectorBertrand Blier Initial DVD releaseMarch 17, 1999 (France) Duration CountryFrance
Release date19 December 1979 (1979-12-19) Initial releaseDecember 19, 1979 (France) CastGérard Depardieu (Alphonse Tram), Bernard Blier (Inspecteur Morvandieu), Jean Carmet (L'assassin), Michel Serrault (Le quidam, comptable), Geneviève Page (Geneviève, la veuve), Jean Benguigui (Le tueur à gages) Similar moviesRelated Bertrand Blier movies
Buffet froid is a 1979 French film written and directed by Bertrand Blier, starring Gérard Depardieu, Carole Bouquet, Bernard Blier and Jean Carmet. The film is a crime thriller, but displays a high degree of black humour, with contemporary urban life depicted as alienating and having a dehumanizing effect on city dwellers. The film won a César Award for Best Writing, and was nominated for Best Cinematography, Editing, and Production Design.
The film begins with Alphonse Tram (Gérard Depardieu), a less than gregarious character, idly chatting to an accountant who is travelling home very late. The accountant, a man of orthodox social outlook and standing is disturbed by and fearful of this rambling loner, more so when Tram attempts to give him his bloodstained knife (in order to reduce the chances of him "doing something silly..."). They argue and the accountant puts the knife on a seat a few feet away behind them. They argue some more and then notice the knife has disappeared.
Later that night, Tram discovers the same man in a tunnel leading from another metro station, lying down with the knife stabbed into his stomach. He has no explanation to the police inspector Bernard (Blier) he reports it to as to how it happened. He speculates, perhaps unwisely but without caring for the potential consequences (as in Camus' L'Étranger), to the police inspector that it was his own knife that killed the accountant. The police inspector, irate at having to consider a complex case while off-duty, pushes Tram out of his apartment saying he has a bellyfull of murders all day and doesn't want another to deal with. This sparks off a series of bizarre occurrences around the city as Tram's wife is killed, and the perpetrator (Jean Carmet) who confesses to the murder is seemingly taken light-heartedly by the police officer and Tram himself.
Gérard Depardieu as Alphonse Tram
Bernard Blier as Insp. Morvandieu
Jean Carmet as The murderer
Liliane Rovère as Josyane
Carole Bouquet as The young woman at the end
Denise Gence as The hostess
Marco Perrin as The man in undershirt
Jean Benguigui as The hired killer
Jean Rougerie as Eugène Léonard, le témoin (the witness)
Bernard Crombey as The doctor
Michel Fortin as L'escogriffe (the "beanpole", a tall lanky person)
Roger Riffard as Le garde de la tour (guard of the tower)
Maurice Travail as Le garde du terrain vague (guard of the waste ground)
Nicole Desailly as La femme divorcée (the divorced woman)
Pierre Frag as L'homme divorcé (the divorced man)
Eric Wasberg as Inspector Cavana
Geneviève Page as The widow, Geneviève Léonard
Michel Serrault as The accountant in the opening scenes (uncredited)
The film had 777,127 admissions in France which was considered average. It has however since gained cult status.