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* ShoutOut: While in London, Gerbier and Jardie go see ''Film/GoneWithTheWind''.


Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Creator/LinoVentura), Mathilde (Creator/SimoneSignoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.

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Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Creator/LinoVentura), Mathilde (Creator/SimoneSignoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), (Creator/JeanPierreCassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.


Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Creator/LinoVentura), Mathilde (Simone Signoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.

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Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Creator/LinoVentura), Mathilde (Simone Signoret), (Creator/SimoneSignoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.


Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Lino Ventura), Mathilde (Simone Signoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.

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Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Lino Ventura), (Creator/LinoVentura), Mathilde (Simone Signoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.


[[quoteright:347:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/army_of_shadows.jpg]]

-> ''In this film, for the first time, I show things that I have seen, that I have experienced.''

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[[quoteright:347:http://static.[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/army_of_shadows.jpg]]

-> ''In ''"In this film, for the first time, I show things that I have seen, that I have experienced.''"''



The film was controversial at the time of its release for its demythologized portrayal of the Resistance and the Occupation (namely how ''few'' the Resistance really was) and did not receive an American release until 2006 where it became an unexpected commercial success in arthouse films.

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The film was controversial at the time of its release for its demythologized portrayal of the Resistance and the Occupation (namely how ''few'' the Resistance really was) and did not receive an American release until 2006 where 2006, when it became an unexpected commercial success in arthouse films.
cinemas.

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* AdaptationExpansion: The memoir was written during the war, in 1943, in London. [[spoiler:Melville adds an epilogue at the end stating that all of the characters were dead, when they were alive in the book. The reason Melville did this, was that many of the characters which served as inspiration for Kessel had all died]].


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* TheFaceless: UsefulNotes/CharlesDeGaulle is briefly glimpsed with his face covered in shadow and then from the back over his shoulder as he [[spoiler:pins a medal on Luc Jardie]] but he's unmistakable on account of his height and his famous army green suit that he sported during the war.


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* RomanAClef: Kessel when he wrote the original novel during the Resistance, based the characters on his comrades, [[CompositeCharacter compositing]] and [[DecompositeCharacter decompositing]] them to better hide them. Melville when adapting the text, chose to make his own additions based on ''his'' wartime experiences. Incidentally this is one of the reasons [[spoiler:why Melville's adaptation killed of the characters still alive when Kessel wrote the book in 1943, some of them would die by the end of the war]]:
** Philippe Gerbier's constant run-ins and near-escapes from the Gestapo was based on two of Melville's associates: Jean-Pierre Bloch and Paul Rivière. The latter's encounter and escape from the Gestapo at the Hotel Majestic is recreated in the film.
** Mathilde, Simone Signoret's character, is based on Marie-Madeleine Fourcade as well as partly on Lucie Aubrac. The former was, like Mathilde, a committed Resistance organizer of multiple groups and the latter was famous for planning and executing daring raids to free captives from the Gestapo.
** The torture of Felix at Nazi hands in Lyon is based on many French Resistance activists who suffered under Klaus Barbie, most notably Jean Moulin.
** Luc Jardie is based on Jean Cavaillès, like Jardie, a major scholar on mathematics and a respected academic. His status as the overall head of the Resistance is based on Jean Moulin, [[spoiler:and the epilogue saying that he died under torture, only giving one name, his own, is a direct reference to Jean Moulin's passing]].

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* MonumentOfHumiliationAndDefeat: What the Nazis try to invoke by staging a full military parade before the Arc de Triomphe at the start of the film.

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[[quoteright:347:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/army_of_shadows.jpg]]

-> ''In this film, for the first time, I show things that I have seen, that I have experienced.''
-->-- '''Jean-Pierre Melville'''

''Army of Shadows'' (French: L'armée des ombres) is a 1969 French film directed by Creator/JeanPierreMelville. Adapted from Joseph Kessel's 1943 book of the same name, it is a dramatic thriller depicting [[LaResistance the French Resistance]] in Occupied France during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Both the author of the novel, and the director of the film, [[WriteWhatYouKnow were actual veterans of the Resistance]].

Set in late 1942-1943, at the height of the French Occupation, around the time of the Nazi advance to Stalingrad and before the opening of the Second Front, the story revolves around a resistance unit comprised of Philip Gerbier (Lino Ventura), Mathilde (Simone Signoret), Jean-François (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Le Masque (Claude Mann), Felix Lepercq (Paul Crachet), Le Bison (Christian Barbier), with their leader being Luc Jardie (Paul Meurisse). The film chronicles a series of missions undertaken by Jardie's Cell, preparing reports, organizing supplies and above all staying hidden and escaping the Gestapo and [[LesCollaborateurs the Milice]]. Much of their time is spent laying low, executing comrades who rat out or break under torture, or aiding the escape of key Resistance leaders.

The film was controversial at the time of its release for its demythologized portrayal of the Resistance and the Occupation (namely how ''few'' the Resistance really was) and did not receive an American release until 2006 where it became an unexpected commercial success in arthouse films.

!! Tropes
* AllForNothing: Most of the missions we see in the film end up like this.
** [[spoiler:The attempt to free Felix from the Gestapo goes through extensive preparations but at the last minute, Jean-François bails out, leading Mathilde, Le Bison and Le Masque to risk it on their own, by posing as a Nazi group arriving at Lyon to escort Felix to Paris. However Felix is so badly tortured that he can't move so the breakout gets cancelled]].
** [[spoiler:The attempt to free Philip Gerbier later leads to Mathilde's arrest and forces the unit to execute her]].
* AristocratsAreEvil: Subverted. One of the associates of Jardie's Cell is the aristocrat Baron de Ferté-Talloire who allows his massive estate to be used as a clandestine location for recon planes to drop off and fly away. The aristocrat notes that before the war, he was a royalist who was opposed to the Republic and even trained his staff in operations should the opportunity for a royalist uprising arise. But now he's part of the Resistance trying to [[HeelFaceTurn restore the Republic]] [[spoiler:and he and his staff, after being discovered, are arrested and executed without a trial by the Nazis]].
* {{Bookends}}: The film opens with the Nazis marching in front of the Arc de Triomphe and the final shot [[spoiler:is of the Resistance group in the car driving through Paris with the Arc de Triomphe visible and then swerving away from it]].
* ChummyCommies: The camp at the start of the film has Gerbier befriending a young Communist named Legrain. During imprisonment, Legrain even befriended a Catholic priest, and he and Gerbier bond despite the latter not sharing his communist views.
* ColdBloodedTorture:
** The Gestapo at Lyon submit French resistors to severe beatings and the film doesn't back away from showing the effects of the violence. Felix in particular [[spoiler:is so badly beaten that his face is covered in purple and black bruises and is so dazed that he can't be moved, and his only mercy is when Jean-François gives him a cyanide pill that he smuggles in]].
** The Nazis also indulge in psychological torture during a particular method of execution [[spoiler:where captives are made to run a trench where a machine gun turret fires at them with the promise that those who make it to the end, will be allowed to run again next time, to test their luck to see if they can survive]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Jardie's unit end up breaking apart when Mathilde gets arrested and seemingly forced to collaborate with the Gestapo who promise her that if she refuses they will force her daughter into prostitution. They are then forced to execute Mathilde and drive away. Then titles inform us that all of them would eventually die in horrific ways before the war ends. The only silver lining is the ForegoneConclusion, that the Nazis eventually lost, and France would be liberated, but none of them would live to see it]].
* {{Epigraph}}: The film opens with a quote by the French poet Georges Courteline:
-->''"Mauvais souvenirs, soyez pourtant les bienvenus [Unhappy memories! Yet be welcome]\\
vous êtes ma jeunesse lointaine...[for you are my distant youth.]"''
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished:
** The aristocrat who helped the Resistance [[spoiler:gets murdered and executed by the Nazis alongside his staff]].
** Mathilde repeatedly risks her life to save Jardie's Unit [[spoiler:and she saved Philip Gerbier from certain death. However she gets arrested and compromised by the Gestapo forcing Gerbier and her colleagues to execute her]].
* ResignationsNotAccepted: Once you join the Resistance, your only options are survive or die before the Nazis capture you. Should you fail to take the cyanide pill, or break under torture, you will be killed. [[spoiler:In the beginning, they execute one colleague for breaking under torture and not taking the pill by strangling him painfully. Near the end, they are forced to kill Mathilde]].
* LaResistance: A decidedly bleak, sad, yet highly heroic portrayal of the attempts by Resistors and Freedom Fighters to combat Nazism, and all the people who paid the price trying to help them and others.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: [[spoiler:After Gerbier escapes from the Gestapo at the start of the film, he runs into a Barber (played by French star and character actor Serge Reggiani in a cameo) who agrees to offer him a shave and allow him place to stay. Gerbier even sees a Petain poster in the saloon but the barber then helps him leave, changing his trenchcoat for a better one]].
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