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War of the Buttons

13 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

War of the Buttons + Le Petit Nicolas (Original French Version with English Subtitles) + The Chorus (Les Choristes)
Price for all three: $45.80

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Editorial Reviews

Set in France during WWII, WAR OF THE BUTTONS tells the tale of two rival groups of kids from neighboring villages. Pre-teen rebel Lebrac (Jean Texier) leads a spirited group of kids in a pint-sized ''war'' where the victory comes from capturing the enemies' buttons, belts, and laces -- forcing them to return home ragged to face their mothers' reprimand. When Violette (Ilona Bachelier), a young Jewish girl, comes to town to hide from the Nazis, Lebrac befriends her and the children put their own conflicts aside to protect their new friend from the very real war happening around them. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Christophe Barratier (The Chorus, Original Song) and produced and co-written by Thomas Langmann (Academy Award® winner for The Artist, Best Picture).


Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Texier, Ilona Bachelier
  • Directors: Christophe Barratier
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DNB1OSU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,068 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By De witte leeuw. on October 7, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There was an older film of this same title, but it dealt with Irish schoolboys and had much the same plot. But this one I think is better because it shows a side of the World War (1939-1945) from a child's point of view. Also, the title in French translates to "The New War of the Buttons," possibly from the fact of the previous film of the same name. As foreign language films go, this one has English subtitles that actually give you enough time to read them. My French is cursory at best, but I did detect the English translations to be slightly off, adding more words than were actually spoken but still maintaining the gist of the conversation. The period clothing is perfect and none of the children had ever acted before which is very surprising by their performance. Some of the scenes of the French countryside are breathtaking. This is a very delightful film and highly recommend for those who are weary of war movies bathed in blood and gore. Imdb website gave it only 5 stars, but I'd give it a 7.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Promise on January 18, 2014
Format: DVD
I loved this film and was amazed when I came to this site to see that so few people had seen it, and that it actually got some bad reviews. This is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. The story is wonderful, and is based on true accounts of real people. The setting in rural France is beautiful and the cast is perfect. Best of all are the child actors! Your heart will be warmed as you watch this terrific film! (Don't be afraid to watch something in French---there are English subtitles---It's well worth it!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reggie Engel on June 7, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is not often that one can recommend a drama about World War II that ne can recommend for middle school students as well as older teens and adults. While there are many documentaries suitable for 12-14 year-olds on this subject--and especially a subject that touches on the Holocaust--there are few dramas that can provide both thoughtful insight as well as an interesting plot. This feature film is a good way to introduce the subject of "empathy" as well as "resistance". There is one warning, however, The two gangs of boys who wage their own kind of "war" shout insults at each other--with some insults referring to a male anatomical member. Although I would not have minded my own young teens hearing those epithets, some parents might have second thoughts about the curse words. The fact that the French is translated in very visible subtitles emphasizes the words. BUt if this is not a worry to you...I highly recommend this remake of an earlier French film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George S. on May 18, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed this version of War of the Buttons, anyone who has seen Yves Robert's 1962 take on Louis Pergaud's classic novel, will much prefer the latter. Robert's story, set in the French countryside before WWll is simply fun - preteen boys from two nearby villages defending their turf as their fathers had done before them. There are no issues such as German occupation, a Jewish girl in hiding, an adult romance, French underground activity, and other subplots to complicate the story Yes, the boys in the current version still battle for the honor of their towns, but the several subplots make this seem to me like a similar but different story - good in its own way, but it's not Pergaud's!
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Format: DVD
Beautiful French countryside is the star of this recent film, along with charming French children who have never acted before and period clothing just right. The setting is WWII and it is Vichy France, the part occupied by Nazi germany. Schoolboys from neighboring towns right over their poaching rights and General turf, in imitation of the adult males at war. They get pretty viscous and cut off a lot of buttons from shirts and short pants. Naturally the wearer is humiliated as his pants fall down. Plenty of crude insults pepper the air, and from the smallest of the boys, a cute little tag along kid, it is funny because it is such blatant imitation and braggadocio. A fortress of sorts is built for meetings and rivals set it on fire with flaming arrows.

A mayor's son turns traitor and is punished with a good belt thrashing, but clearly this is also an imitation of the boys' own fathers' behavior.

What shifts the focus is the arrival of a new girl, a smart city girl called Violette. The male dunce of the class has an instant crush on her. She is supposedly from Brittany and recovering from poor health. Naturally it turns out that she is a Jew and is living in hiding. When this secret gets out through The boys fighting, the film deals with this part of the French behavior towards Jews at that time. When all the girls skipping rope claim to the French policeman that their name is Violette, he is confounded and enraged. I think this was a copy of the Danish people wearing thr yellow star in solidarity with their refugee Jews. I wonder if it really would happen to girls of that age.
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By Tammy Wallace on February 21, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was an excellent movie. Very well done. I watched it with friends and we all enjoyed it very much!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William McNally on April 27, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I thought that I was ordering the Irish version that had been around for many years. This is a french version of the same movie that is using the same film name as the Irish version! Not a bad movie but not what I thought that I had ordered.
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