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Le Colonel Chabert (English title: Colonel Chabert) is a 1994 French historical drama film directed by Yves Angelo and starring Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant and Fabrice Luchini. It is based on the novel Le Colonel Chabert by Honoré de Balzac.

Colonel Chabert
Colonel Chabert-1994.jpg
Film poster
Directed byYves Angelo
Produced byJean-Louis Livi
Screenplay byYves Angelo
Jean Cosmos
Véronique Lagrange
Based onLe Colonel Chabert
by Honoré de Balzac
CinematographyBernard Lutic
Edited byThierry Derocles
Distributed byAMLF
Release date
  • 21 September 1994 (1994-09-21)
Running time
110 minutes
Budget$13.4 million
Box office$13.2 million[1]



In Paris, in February 1817, three years after the fall of the Empire, the lawyer Derville receives a visit from a shabbily dressed old man. He claims to be Colonel Chabert, believed dead at the Battle of Eylau in 1807. He had contributed to the victory by leading a famous cavalry charge against the Russians.

The old man tells how, waking in a mass grave surrounded by corpses, he survived his wounds.

He has returned ten years later and wishes to claim his title, to assert his rights and to live again with his wife. She, during his absence, has married Count Ferraud.

She refuses to recognise her first husband. Derville agrees to help the colonel by proposing a financial settlement with his ex-wife. She refuses and tries to manipulate her ex-husband. Chabert is not deceived, and disgusted by the corruption of men, he sinks into madness and misanthropy, putting an end to the divorce that he had wanted so much.

Rejected by his wife, and condemned for vagrancy, Colonel Chabert will finish his life in poverty in an asylum.



Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Cairo Film Festival (Egypt)
  • César Awards (France)
    • Nominated: Best Actor – Leading Role (Gérard Depardieu)
    • Nominated: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Fabrice Luchini)
    • Nominated: Best Cinematography (Bernard Lutic)
    • Nominated: Best Costume Design (Franca Squarciapino)
    • Nominated: Best First Work (Yves Angelo)
    • Nominated: Best Production Design (Bernard Vézat)


External linksEdit