Capitaine Conan is a 1996 French film directed by Bertrand Tavernier. It is based on the 1934 Prix Goncourt-winning novel Captain Conan (Fr. Capitaine Conan) by Roger Verce,
- jaar uitgave: 1996
- regisseur: Bertrand Tavernier
In the French infantry on the Macedonian Front during the First World War, Conan, an officer of the élite Chasseurs Alpins, is the charismatic leader of a special squad, many from military prisons, who raid enemy lines at night taking no prisoners. Despising career soldiers, his only friend is the young academic Norbert. When the Armistice with Bulgaria is signed in September 1918, his unit is sent to Bucharest, capital of France’s ally Romania, as part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. Neither fighting nor demobilised, morale plummets and courts-martial begin. After a successful defence, Norbert is coerced into becoming the prosecutor by the threat that, if he does not, Conan will be charged. In a brutal raid on a crowded nightclub, some of Conan’s men seized the takings, crippling a female singer and killing the female cashier. With the help of the Romanian police and a French prostitute, Norbert finds the men but gets them light sentences. A widow arrives from France looking for her son, who she finds awaiting trial for desertion. After listening to her story, Norbert thinks that the boy may be blameless and that his officer is out to get him shot. Conan, who hates the officer, agrees and takes Norbert over the old front line where the boy got lost in action. Both become convinced of his innocence. Fighting breaks out again when the French move up to the Danube and come under attack from the Red Army. During the action, Conan empties the prison and leads his men to one final victory. In a sombre coda, years later back in France, Norbert visits Conan to find him no longer the dashing hero but the sick owner of a little shop.