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La Bandera

3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Pierre Gilieth (Jean Gabin) kills a man after a violent argument and must flee Paris. He finds sanctuary in Barcelona, Spain but while there, his wallet is stolen. Destitute and to the point of no recourse, Pierre decides to join the Spanish Foreign Legion. Two other Frenchmen, Mulat and Lucas, who are also joining at the same time befriend Pierre. He tries to forget the violent act that caused him to flee his home but one day, one of his newfound friends drops an identity card in front of Pierre with disturbing consequences.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Annabella, Jean Gabin, Robert Le Vigan, Raymond Aimos, Pierre Renoir
  • Directors: Julien Duvivier
  • Writers: Julien Duvivier, Charles Spaak, Pierre Dumarchais
  • Producers: André Gargour
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vanguard Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087F0R
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,321 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Bandera" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Mendelssohn on May 3, 2003
Format: DVD
La Bandera is an earlier pairing of actor Jean Gabin and director Julien Duvivier prior to their much-imitated classic, Pepe le Moko. In La Bandera, both Duvivier and Gabin show flashes of their later brilliance in Pepe, but never quite hit the same level.
Bandera tells the story of Pierre Gilieth (Gabin). The film opens with Gilieth killing a man in Paris. The scene quickly shifts to a cheap boarding house in Barcelona, where Gilieth is hiding from the law... He is robbed one night and joins the Spanish Foreign Legion just to eat. His Legion unit is stationed in North Africa, and this is where the film shines. The African scenes were all filmed on location at actual Spanish Foreign Legion forts and towns. Locals and tribesmen are constantly sniping at the soldiers, but Duvivier makes these seem larger than life by never actually showing them. You never see the enemy in any of the combat sequences, and somehow this makes them seem more threatening.
Once in Africa, Gilieth and his mates start to frequent a brothel and Gilieth falls in love and marries a local girl. He also develops a conflict with another soldier, who may or may not be a real threat to him...
If you see the trivia section, you'll notice that this film was originally dedicated to Spanish General Franco, and that this was removed after the Spanish Civil War. Its interesting as this film had to be made just prior to the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, and in fact uses scenes of real Spanish Legion soldiers. These soldiers were in fact Franco's shock troops of the civil war and his real power base both prior to the conflict and during it. I suppose its nothing more than historical trivia, but in a way it accounts for the way La Bandera has been generally forgotten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Scanlon VINE VOICE on March 20, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this still has the power to shock even with all we have seen in cinema

one almost feels Renoir viewed this before placing a more mature Gabin in the greatest movie ever made: "Grand Illusion"Grand Illusion (The Criterion Collection) particularly in the cross dressers in the Barcelona bar, and the amazing veil dancer (they did this back then??)

amazing stuff nearly all the way through

but some overstressed elements that mislead, like the tail who bums a light, etc.

all in all winds up a mess, but who cares. GO back to pre-Franco Barcelona . . .


Gabin's signature understated acting style really carries the day here, as throughout his charismatic cinematic career. One sleepy eyed glance says volumes

and check out the trope on tattoos, in the end one of Legionaires has his whole head done skull style like we see so commonly now.

but please tell me I am not so wrong to love so strongly a single veil dancer in Barcelona born one hundred years ago . . .
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on September 13, 2011
Format: DVD
"La Bandera," ("The Regiment"), 1935, is, in its 96 minutes, an odd, little-known adornment of French cinema. It's a black and white war picture/drama/romance/men's adventure film that brings together the great French actor Jean Gabin (Le Quai des Brumes (Port of Shadows); La Bete Humaine (The Criterion Collection);Essential Art House: Le Jour se Lève), and the director Julien Duvivier at the outset of their careers, shortly before they made the greatly admired and influential Pepe Le Moko (The Criterion Collection) together in 1937. Apparently, at this time in the 1930s, the French were newly fascinated by their African colonies and the exoticism thereof; at any rate, both LA BANDERA and PEPE were largely set and filmed in the French colonies of North Africa, and many critics consider the first picture a dress rehearsal for the latter. Duvivier is considered one of the big five of the classic French film directors, though he is largely neglected today; still, he is an honored maker of world-class cinema. LA BANDERA is based on the novel by Pierre Dumarchais.

Gabin plays Pierre Gilieth, a Parisian murderer. He flees to Barcelona, Spain, where he's robbed by some Frenchmen he meets in a nightclub. He's penniless, can't pay his rent nor eat, so he joins the Spanish Foreign Legion for a cot and three hots.
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