Synopsis by Mark Deming
Bertrand Tavernier directed this hard-hitting anti-war drama. In November of 1918, just as World War I had come to a close, Capt. Conan (Phillippe Torreton) and his men await new assignments in Bucharest. Conan regards himself as a warrior, not a soldier: while a soldier will fight in a war, it takes a warrior -- unafraid to take risks, confront death, and spill blood -- to win one. Conan is convinced that it was the bloodthirsty valor of himself and those under his command that won the war against Germany. However, while Conan's dark nature was a boon to the Army during the war, it's a distinct disadvantage in peacetime, as Conan and his friends Norbert (Samuel LeBihan) and De Sceve (Bernard LeCoq) are instructed to patrol the now peaceful border. Conan and his compatriots have become too acclimated to battle to leave it behind and begin staging raids in the mountains of the Balkans. The situation comes to a head when two women are killed in a combination robbery and attack on a nightclub; Conan and his men are to be court martialed for their actions, driving a wedge between him and his close friend Norbert, who respects Conan but lacks his reckless enthusiasm for battle. Capitaine Conan earned Cesar awards for Torreton's performance and Tavernier's direction.
war, anti-war, battle [war], desertion, enemy, execution, friendship, rebel