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The Little Soldier

1963 1h 26m History Drama War List
80% Tomatometer 20 Reviews 73% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
A French army deserter (Michel Subor) escapes from torturers to his left-wing lover (Anna Karina) and mission. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (20) Critics Reviews
Keith Uhlich Time Out Even this early in his career, Godard knew how to make audiences viscerally experience and contemplate things they might otherwise not have wanted to. Rated: 5/5 Mar 5, 2013 Full Review Scott Foundas Village Voice It's a classic espionage plot shot through with a typically heady mix of art and literary references: Klee and Velzquez, Bach and Haydn, Bernanos and Musil. Mar 5, 2013 Full Review Drew Hunt Slant Magazine In many ways, Jean-Luc Godard's Le Petit Soldat is equal to Breathless in its inventiveness and exuberance. Rated: 3.5/4 Mar 4, 2013 Full Review Brian Susbielles InSession Film As his fourth film, Godard takes direct aim at the French government for their actions in an unpopular conflict, making it his most politically confrontational... Mar 3, 2023 Full Review Kelly Vance East Bay Express A gorgeous blast of cool black-and-white modernity, with the necessary slice of barbarism. Feb 10, 2023 Full Review Scott Nye Battleship Pretension What Le petit soldat, like all Godard's great films, lacks in traditional narrative or aesthetic form it more than regains in its immediacy of thought. Feb 28, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (106) audience reviews
Fra B Godard's second movie shows integrity, seriousness and topicality uncommon to his movies but which pair beautifully with his trademark existentialism, noir style and metacinematic criticism. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/06/22 Full Review Audience Member Tedious. Dull plot development, characters that didn't draw me in at all. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Filmed shortly after 1960's Breathless- The debut that would that would prove to be Godard's International breakout success- Le petit soldat quickly establishes itself as a different thing entirely. The hindsight of history being our guide, such a pronounced shifting of gears should come as no surprise. Godard, still alive and active at the time of this writing, has had more distinct phases, shifts, and comebacks than most legacy pop singers. Even at the crux of his mind-bogglingly prolific 1960s heyday, the filmmaker clearly thrived on the notion of being impossible to pin down. The great film critic Manny Farber, infamously threw up his hands at the self-aggrandizing fluidity of it all, declaring Godard's zoo of "truculently formulated beasts… that includes a pink parakeet (A Woman Is a Woman), a diamond-black snake (Contempt), a whooping crane (Band of Outsiders)." What animal then, one is tempted to ask, would the overlooked Le petit soldat be…? For Farber, probably some kind of termite. Hidden in the wood, and beginning the attempted, instinctual process of devouring the superstructure… Censored by the French government for being too much of a political hot potato, Le petit soldat didn't even see the light of day until after the release of Godard's fourth film, circa 1963. Dealing with, and at times, deeply questioning of France's actions and motivations in regard to the French-Algerian War of 1954 to 1962, it deals head-on with very contemporaneous issues of torture (depicted in the film), and goes as far as to have a character predict that France will lose the war, resulting in a decolonized Algeria. (Which was the eventual result). Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Goddard's unmistakable energy keep the mediocre romance and abrupt conclusion from ruining the tone. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member year s/b 1963 not 2013 Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Possibly the most political of Godard's films I've watched. The best parts were when Anna and Michel were talking philosophically and exploring their budding romance. I wasn't as interested in the political parts, but the movie itself is intended to be Godard's way of talking politics and the rest is inconsequential. As a result, I wasn't a huge fan. The ending was sudden and disappointing. I do believe that's the intention. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Little Soldier

My Rating


Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A French army deserter (Michel Subor) escapes from torturers to his left-wing lover (Anna Karina) and mission.
Jean-Luc Godard
Georges de Beauregard
Jean-Luc Godard
Production Co
Les Productions Georges de Beauregard
History, Drama, War
Original Language
Canadian French
Release Date (DVD)
Dec 11, 2001
Box Office (Gross USA)
1h 26m