Release date4 November 1981 (1981-11-04) Based onPop. 1280
by Jim Thompson WriterJean Aurenche, Bertrand Tavernier, Jim Thompson (novel) ScreenplayBertrand Tavernier, Jean Aurenche CastPhilippe Noiret (Lucien Cordier), Isabelle Huppert (Rose Mercaillou), Jean-Pierre Marielle (Le Peron), Stéphane Audran (Huguette Cordier), Eddy Mitchell (Nono), Guy Marchand (Marcel Chavasson) Similar moviesDescent Into Hell, Le Boucher, Le Deuxième Souffle, No Country for Old Men, Breathless, Elevator to the Gallows
Coup de torchon trailer 1981
Coup de Torchon is a 1981 French film adaptation of Jim Thompson's 1964 novel Pop. 1280, directed by Bertrand Tavernier. The film changes the novel's setting from a West Texas oil boom town to a small town in French West Africa. The film had 2,199,309 Admissions in France and was the 16th most attended film of the year.
In a little town in French West Africa in 1938, Lucien Cordier is the only policeman. Unable or unwilling to impose his authority, he is treated with scorn by everybody. His sexy wife Huguette has brought a lover, Nono, to live openly with them, claiming he is her brother. Lucien fancies the mischievous young bride Rose, but lets her brutal husband beat her in the street unchallenged. The head of the timber company, Vanderbrouck, daily insults him for all to see. And the bane of his life is a pair of slimy pimps, who flout the law and enjoy humiliating him.
It is the pimps that take him to the brink, so he gets on a train to consult his superior Chavasson, who tells him to act forcefully. On the train home is the attractive new teacher for his town, Anne, who he warms to immediately. Once back, he catches the two pimps alone and, after shooting both dead, throws the corpses in the river. When Chavasson learns of this, he rushes down to question Lucien, who says it was in effect Chavasson who killed them. Having outwitted his boss and removed his prime tormentors, he starts on the others who have made his life a misery. Vanderbrouck is dropped in a privy and Rose's husband, like the pimps, is shot dead and thrown in the river. When his servant retrieves his master's body and brings it back to the house, Lucien has to kill the man too.
Catching Nono peeping at Anne in her shower, he beats him up in the street. Then he steals the money which his wife had been saving up in order to leave him and goes off to see the newly widowed Rose. His wife and Nono, reckoning that he is going to abscond with Rose and the money, storm round there and in self defence Rose shoots both dead. Lucien gives her the money and tells her to get away fast. All he has left in life is Anne, to whom he confesses his general malaise and specific crimes. She is ready to accept him but he says he is now incapable of love. In the closing shot, he is alone under a tree caressing a revolver.
Awards and honors
Academy Awards (USA)
Nominated: Best Foreign Language Film
César Awards (France)
Nominated: Best Actor – Leading Role (Philippe Noiret)
Nominated: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Jean-Pierre Marielle)
Nominated: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Eddy Mitchell)
Nominated: Best Actress – Leading Role (Isabelle Huppert)
Nominated: Best Actress – Supporting Role (Stéphane Audran)
Nominated: Best Director (Bertrand Tavernier
Nominated: Best Editing (Armand Psenny)
Nominated: Best Film
Nominated: Best Production Design (Alexandre Trauner)
Nominated: Best Writing (Jean Aurenche and Bertrand Tavernier)