Le vieux fusil

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Le vieux fusil, or as it has been titled in the United States as "The Old Gun" or "Vengeance One by One," is an award-winning French film from 1975 by director Robert Enrico and based upon the Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane during World War II. In the Mantauban, France of 1944, Germany is retreating from France, with the film focusing on the bitter, aging surgeon of a local hospital, one Monsieur Julien Dandieu. Julien is petrified of the Germans entering his city and asks his friend Francois to take his wife and child to a chateau, hidden within a remote village. A mere week later, Julien leaves for the chateau, but discovers that the German army now occupies his village. Furthermore, Julien's daughter is shot dead while his wife was burnt to nothingness with a flamethrower (but not before sexually assaulting her), both deaths squarely placed at the feet of the inhumane German soldiers.

Filled with rage and revenge, Julien swears vengeance upon as many Germans as he can kill. Julien takes up a shotgun he used when hunting with his father, taking down German after German with the weapon. The Germans begin to believe that they are surrounded by hostiles, unaware that only Julien is performing the killing. This vengeance is assisted by Julien being the sole party aware of secret passages throughout his chateau.

Julien continues his onslaught, bludgeoning an SS officer to death while shooting a few more. Julien even drowns a pair of SS within the chateau's well, locking its gate to ensure they will never escape. Around the same time that Julien realizes he has run out of ammunition, he stumbles upon the flamethrower used to incinerate his wife. Julien takes up the flamethrower and returns the favor upon the final SS officer. With his job completed, Julien prepares to commit suicide, with the film ending upon liberation of the chateau by the French Resistance.

| 1975 | 1 hr 43 min | 7.6/10
Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider, Jean Bouise, Joachim Hansen
Les Productions Artistes Associs, Mercure Productions, TIT Filmproduktion GmbH
Robert Enrico
Le vieux fusil
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