So Long, Stooge

1983 [FRENCH]

Crime / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2848

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 06, 2022 at 11:56 AM


Top cast

865.78 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hasosch 10 / 10

At the Edge of the Night

Director Claude Berri was often criticized for having tried this "film noir". However, I am not sure if "Tchao Pantin" is a proper film noir. After all, I wonder if this misunderstanding is the reason, why this movie is rated only by a few hundreds of people, and, most of all, why it is still not available on international DVD. The latter is the more astonishing, since Coluche has in French almost the status of a saint. But it is even worse: In the U.S., there is actually not one Coluche-movie available on DVD, although he acted at the side of Louis de Funes, Isabelle Huppert and other international stars. Coluche definitely needs to be reborn for the international audiences; he was a truly unique clown, comedian, actor and an outstanding human being, who is revered for good reason in France.

People who know about Coluche's short life may wonder if he is really acting in this movie, or if he did not rather bring a good part of his personality into "Tchao Pantin". Yet, however it may be, two more reasons did not make it easier for this wonderful and sublime movie to make its way around the world. First, the title which is not translated in English, because it is not translatable. A "pantin" is a jumping Jack, and most people do not understand, why Coluche is a jumping Jack. Consequently, the title has been newly invented in many foreign versions. For example, in German, it is called "Am Rande der Nacht" ("At the edge of the night") and thus settled into a borderline region which has many times proved to be a reservoir of imagination in literature as well as in film. Second, from the assumption that this is a film noir one would interpret what Lambert-Coluche is doing in this movie as a series of revenge. Is it really so? In order not to spoil the movie, let me just say that Lambert realizes, after having killed the murderer of Bensoussan, that behind the small fishes there are bigger fishes. Consistently, Lambert then goes after the bigger ones, until he reaches the point where he finds himself trapped in the net of these fishes. However, Lambert does not seek for simple revenge. He is obsessed by the idea that he can exterminate evil by consistently going to the end. Charles Sanders Peirce wrote: "He who would not sacrifice his own soul to save the whole world, is, as it seems to me, illogical in all his inferences, collectively. Logic is rooted in the social principle". Lambert is consistent, no doubt, and I am convinced that this movie substitutes ethics by logic. However, there are the paradoxes that arise from logic proper, and in the end the killer gets killed. Does "Tchao Pantin" mean that in society somebody who strictly follows logic is a jumping Jack?

Reviewed by writers_reign 8 / 10

Tchao, Tchao, Bambino

Little known outside France but beloved in it Coluche, like Bourvil (of whom the same may be said) excelled at comedy but was more than competent at drama as he demonstrates here. Those who know Claude Berri mostly and/or if only for his international successes Jean de Florette and Manon des Source will perhaps be surprised at the radical change of milieu, from the sunny, well-lit and wide-open spaces of southern France to the dark, murky narrow enclosed world of demi-monde Paris small-time drug-dealers. Coluche is Lambert-no-last-name who is measuring out his life in the litres of gas he pumps as night man at a small filling station; one night a young man of mixed blood, some of it Arab, wanders in to avoid the police - he has an endearing habit of stealing mopeds and motorbikes - and an unlikely bond is slowly forged between the two, easier to understand later with the disclosure that Lambert is an ex-cop whose teenage son died of an overdose. The kid (Richard Anconia) falls foul of his own dealer and gets it where the chicken got the axe and Lambert is moved to avenge him and is himself killed for his pains. Slow to gain momentum it slowly tightens its grip on the viewer and is well worth a look.

Reviewed by gregory-joulin 8 / 10

The film still holds (thanks to Coluche and Bruno Nuytten, director of photography)

26 years later, the movie still has a cult on its own in France (and maybe in some other countries, I'm not aware of that).

Of course the fact that Coluche, a famous french comedy and stand-up artist, died too soon at 42 (in 1986, 3 years after the movie was released) is no stranger to that... not to mention it was his very first (and last) dark role - a deadbeat gas station employee in Paris seeking revenge -and somewhat redemption- by hunting down the killers who murdered his only friend, a young lowlife drug dealer.

Some lazy critics here and there mentioned there was some kind of Melville, Cassavetes and Scorsese influences in the movie but to me, they couldn't be more wrong. Take a close look at it and you won't find any trace of "Taxi Driver" or "Gloria" in it, despite Claude Berri, the director, has tried so hard to put some of these influences in his film.

It's basically a classic urban drama in 2 distinct parts (the "bound of trust / friendship" part 1 and the "hunt/revenge/redemption" part 2, seen in many movies before and after this one) but the tremendous ghost-like interpretation of Coluche (who was facing drug addiction and sentimental issues at the time) and the extraordinary master work of D.P. Bruno Nuytten took it all to rocket the movie to critic and commercial success.

Even if a few script holes might bother some viewers (especially a detective character -called Bauer- who seems to appear/disappear only to provide informations) the wandering of these shadow-like characters won't be forgotten for a long time… and the very ending could ruin your day. Or even your week.

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