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France, 1942, during the occupation. Philippe Gerbier, a civil engineer, is one of the French Resistance's chiefs. Given away by a traitor, he is interned in a camp. He manages to escape, and joins his network at Marseilles, where he makes the traitor be executed... This non-spectacular movie (do not expect any Rambo or Robin Hood) shows us rigorously and austerely the everyday of the French Resistants : their solitude, their fears, their relationships, the arrests, the forwarding of orders and their carrying out... Both writer Joseph Kessel and co-writer and director Jean-Pierre Melville belonged to this "Army in the Shadows".
Source : IMDb
When it was originally released in France in 1969, the movie, coming shortly after the events of May 68, had a poor critical reception because of the political context: De Gaulle was rather unappreciated at the time, and the glorification of the resistance had become taboo during the Algerian War. As a result of the poor reviews, the film was not distributed widely outside France, though it was very well received in the late seventies on its British release. American audiences were only able to discover the movie in 2006 when it was reissued, after which the film appeared in many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2006.
Source : Wikipedia