Saturday, November 25, 2006
Coup de Torchon 
Philippe Noiret, with doubt one of the best French actors ever, died a few days ago. He is usually lauded for his performances in the classic Le Vieux Fusil and Marco Ferreri's scandalous La Grande Bouffe. But I have always liked him best in Bernard Tavernier's Coup de Torchon, a film lossely based on Jim Thompson's Pop 1280. Here he plays a sheriff living in a small French colonial village just before World War 2. He is usually considered a softy and gets ridiculed by everyone. Until he turns into an exterminating angel and starts killing just about everyone, with the aid of his mistress, played by an incredibly sexy Isabelle Hupert. And of course he gets away with it. The dialogs are pleasantly immoral and, as is the action. And true to French tradition it is actually one of the funniest films you have ever seen. Great movie. May he rest in peace.