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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Law Breakers
Directed byMarcel Carné
Written byJean Laborde
Produced byMichel Ardan
StarringJacques Brel
CinematographyJean Badal
Music byMichel Colombier
Release date
  • 7 May 1971 (1971-05-07)
Running time
107 minutes

Law Breakers (French: Les Assassins de l'ordre) is a 1971 French drama film starring Jacques Brel, directed by Marcel Carné. It was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival.[1]

Based on a real-life incident, an idealistic and dedicated magistrate is assigned to examine the case of two policemen and their inspector who have beaten a suspect to death. By the time the case is heard in court, all the witnesses and the widow's counsel have been intimidated into silence, the magistrate himself has come under heavy pressure to drop the case, and the three murderers walk free.


In Provence just before Christmas, a former prisoner suspected of robbery is dragged from his home by two policemen, taken to the police station, and beaten to death. His widow then files a charge and the case is allocated to the magistrate Bernard Level for judicial investigation. Both the two policemen and the inspector on duty deny any wrongdoing, as does the one other policeman in the station and two men then in custody, all of them claiming that the death was an accident, perhaps a heart attack. The autopsy is explicit however, so Level must either break the false testimony of at least one person in the station or find other witnesses.

His efforts unearth two new witnesses: a prostitute who was in custody at the time but was whisked out of town by the police, and a bartender who served the dead man on his way home for the last time. He recommends prosecution of the two policemen and of the inspector who covers up for them. By the time the case comes to court, all the witnesses and the widow's counsel have been intimidated into silence, while Level himself has come under intense pressure. His son has had marijuana planted on him while his girl friend, an Italian antiques dealer, has been sold a stolen object and faces deportation.

Despite the efforts of the presiding judge to get witnesses to tell the truth, the trial is a foregone conclusion and the three guilty men are acquitted. Level has to rethink his future.



  1. ^ "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 September 2022, at 02:10
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