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Film / Cop or Hood

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Cop or Hood (Flic ou voyou in French) is a 1979 French gangster/action/comedy film directed by Georges Lautner (Les Tontons flingueurs, Le Professionnel) and written by Jean Herman and Michel Audiard.

Stanislas "Stan" Borowitz (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a divisional commissioner from the IGPN (Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale) who's known for using particularly expeditious methods to catch the 'ripoux' (French slang for 'corrupt cops'). Under the identity of a thug named "Antonio Cerruti", he gets sent to the city of Nice to take the local organized crime networks down and enquire on the murder of a notoriously corrupt commissioner.

Borowitz soon triggers a gang war between the two biggest local mob bosses, Théodore Musard aka "the Auvergnat" and Achille Volfoni aka "the Corsican", and corrupt police inspectors Rey and Massard, on the payroll of Volfoni, absolutely want to harm him.


This film provides examples of:

  • Batman Gambit: Borowitz's gambit to destroy both gangs involves the two mob bosses' reactions to the mayhem he causes.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Borowitz's daughter Charlotte can be troublesome, although she can also be sweet.
  • Car Meets House: Borowitz enters the house of Commissioner Bertrand's widowed wife by deliberately ramming his Caterham Super Seven into the living room's terrace doors.
  • Cigar Chomper: Borowitz chomps a cigar in some scenes.
  • Cool Car: Borowitz owns a Caterham Super Seven and drives it around early on in the film.
  • Covers Always Lie: Jean-Paul Belmondo wears a beret on the film's poster. He never does in the film.
  • Cowboy Cop: Borowitz uses very unorthodox methods to solve the cases he's on. As in, punching his way, interrogating at gunpoint, I Shall Taunt You, etc.
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  • Crime Reconstruction: Borowitz gets framed for a murder, and uses the crime reconstitution at the quarry where he was found unconscious near the victim to escape.
  • Da Chief: Commissioner Grimaud (Michel Galabru) scolds Borowitz after the mayhem he caused to mess with the Auvergnat, but soon realizes where Borowitz is headed and goes along with it.
  • Dirty Cop: Commissioner Bertrand (the dead cop) was notoriously corrupt, and inspectors Rey and Massard are in cahoot with mob boss Volfoni. Commissioner Grimaud lets both gangs think he is one, and secretely lets Borowitz take them both down.
  • False Flag Operation: How Borowitz triggers the Mob War, by conducting attacks on one side on false behalf of the other side.
  • House Fire: Borowitz deliberately sets a bar on fire with gasoline on (false) behalf of the Auvergnat to aggravate the Mob War.
  • Improvised Zipline: How Borowitz escapes the interrogation/reconstitution of crime scene.
  • Mob War: Borowitz triggers a war between the gang of the Auvergnat and that of the Corsican in order to take both down.
  • Mugging the Monster: Early on in the film, a gang of thugs threaten Borowitz with a switchblade, a razor blade and a wrench as he's spending the night on a roadside. They ask for his money then order him to strip, which he starts doing until he reveals his revolver's holster. Oh, Crap! ensues from them, they try to flee as he shoots their car's windshield and headlights, then he stops them and forces them to strip.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Borowitz forces the Auvergnat to strip at gunpoint, then drops him fully naked near a phone booth in the city center of Nice.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Borowitz's sidearm is a Colt Python.
  • Sauna of Death: Borowitz traps Rey in a hot sauna at one point.
  • Secret Identity: Borowitz goes under the alias "Antonio Cerruti" when he's in Nice, though it doesn't prevent the mob bosses from finding out about his real identity after a while.