The Vintagent Classics: The films that inspired us. 


Run Time: 1:34:00
Producer: Gaunt International
Director: Gérard Pirès
Writer: John Buell, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Gérard Pirès
Key Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Catherine Deneuve, Claude Brasseur


A French motorcycle picture which, though based on John Buell’s novel The Shrewsdale Exit, transcends the limitations of imitating the American genre, and offers in its place a sustained attack on French middle class values. Trintignant goes on a trail of revenge after the rape and murder of his wife and daughter; bourgeois dream disintegrates into nightmare, but the seeds of destruction are shown to be internal. Deneuve, as Trintignant’s sister-in-law, provides the film’s emotional core with a fine performance, her presence questioning male assumptions, even when her lines don’t. – Time Out, 2012

Spoiler alert, it wasn’t the bikers at all (though their hooliganry set the scene for what was to come)… Instead it’s discovered that a grizzly rape and double murder came at the hands of a friendly, local psycho.


“Act of Aggression,” vie French a melodrama that opened yesterday at two theaters, is so bad that it makes a film as vicious as “Death Wish” look good.

Like the Charles Bronson character in “Death Wish,” Jean‐Louis Trintignant, the hero of “Act Of Aggression,” is a mild‐mannered, middle class businessman who is transformed into a killer ape after his wife and daughter have been trutalized by hoodlums. But where “Death Wish” exalted revenge, the French movie simply trivializes it with a plot that twists less easily than a dried noodle. Gerard Pires, the director, makes things even worse by employing the kind of flashy cutting and camerawork you might expect in a television commercial that’s amok.

Mr. Trintignant does a lot of driving of automobiles and looks quite understandably driven. Catherine Deneuve, who plays his sister‐in‐law, looks magnificent. She is not only one of the world’s great beauties. She now possesses such substance and ease as an actress that she almost persuades us the movie couldn’t possibly be as terrible as it is.

ACT OF AGGRESION (L’ Agression), directed by Gerard Pires; sceenplay (French with English subtitles) by JeanPatric Manchette and Mr. Pires, based on the novel “The Shrewsdale Exit,” by John Buell; produced by Alain Poire and Pierre Braunberger; director of photography, Silvano Ippoliti; music, Robert Chariebois; a co‐production of S.N.E. Gaumont, Les Films du Jeudi, Les Films de la Seine (Paris) and Primez Italians (Rome), distributed by Joseph Green Picture. Running time: 94 minutes. At the Trans‐Lux 85th Street, at Madison Avenue, and the Eighth Street Playhouse, west of Fifth This film has not been rated. – The New York Times, Dec 4th, 1975


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