Tricheurs


1h 42m 1983

Film Details

Also Known As
Cheaters, The
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m

Synopsis

Film Details

Also Known As
Cheaters, The
Genre
Drama
Foreign
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m

Articles

Tricheurs (Cheaters)


The opening shot in Tricheurs (aka: Cheaters) (1983), directed by Barbet Schroeder, is a brilliant example of an establishing scene that neatly embodies the entire story about to unfold. A wide shot reveals our protagonist leaving a luxury casino (the film was shot in Madeira, Portugal). The camera then follows Elric (Jacques Dutronc) as he walks down a spiraling walkway, like a sinking roulette ball, until he hits the bottom where he stumbles to the ground and gives himself a sexual release into the dirt. Schroeder wanted to show gambling as a dizzying addiction that sucks its victims into a vertiginous cycle so strong it plays itself out as a substitute for sex where the losing streak ends with a bang, so to speak. As a visually eloquent summation of events, Barbet's gamble pays off.

The inspiration for Tricheurs came to Schroeder when he witnessed a gambling friend (who would later serve as a technical advisor) follow a major loss at the racetrack with what the friend called "the walk of the loser." Rather than a literal walk, it was a unique peace of mind that overcomes the compulsive gambler who loses it all and no longer has anything to gamble with and, as a result, can finally and fully appreciate the beauty of everything around him. The spiritual haven of the complete loser intrigued Schroeder and in Tricheurs one can see the walk of the loser just after the aforementioned opening scene. It is during this reverie that Elric has a chance encounter with a lucky number; Suzie (Bulle Ogier), a woman walking down the street wearing a piece of clothing with the number seven on the back. Convinced this is his lucky break, within moments Elric sucks Suzie into the gambling scene - one she enters reluctantly, but one that will ultimately swallow her up just as it did Elric.

Jacques Dutronc is a popular French singer and composer who began his film career in the 1970's and has worked with such directors as Claude Lelouch, in The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, 1976, Jean-Luc Godard in Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie), 1980 and Alain Resnais, in On Cannait la Chanson, 1997, to name but a few. Bulle Ogier's cinematic history is extensive and impressive as well, having worked with directors that range from Luis Bunuel, in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise (1972) to Olivier Assayas Irma Vep (1996). With Schroeder worried that a story identifying with a loser might be too hard for the audience to follow, it's easy to see why he'd want Dutronc and Ogier to smooth out the procession. On the other hand, this is the same director that Charles Bukowski once said walked into a producer's office with a chain saw and threatened to cut off his own fingers if he could not release Barfly (1987) as he intended - so it's hard thinking of him being too worried about such niceties.

Home Vision Entertainment's dvd release of Tricheurs is digitally remastered, letterboxed, and has new electronic subtitles. It includes a short interview with Barbet Schroeder along with the original theatrical trailer, and includes an essay on the evolution of roulette, and the tricksters that have tried to beat it, by Christopher Pawlicki (who authored and co-authored several books relating to the Casino life).

For more information about Tricheurs, visit Home Vision Entertainment. To order Tricheurs, go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
Tricheurs (Cheaters)

Tricheurs (Cheaters)

The opening shot in Tricheurs (aka: Cheaters) (1983), directed by Barbet Schroeder, is a brilliant example of an establishing scene that neatly embodies the entire story about to unfold. A wide shot reveals our protagonist leaving a luxury casino (the film was shot in Madeira, Portugal). The camera then follows Elric (Jacques Dutronc) as he walks down a spiraling walkway, like a sinking roulette ball, until he hits the bottom where he stumbles to the ground and gives himself a sexual release into the dirt. Schroeder wanted to show gambling as a dizzying addiction that sucks its victims into a vertiginous cycle so strong it plays itself out as a substitute for sex where the losing streak ends with a bang, so to speak. As a visually eloquent summation of events, Barbet's gamble pays off. The inspiration for Tricheurs came to Schroeder when he witnessed a gambling friend (who would later serve as a technical advisor) follow a major loss at the racetrack with what the friend called "the walk of the loser." Rather than a literal walk, it was a unique peace of mind that overcomes the compulsive gambler who loses it all and no longer has anything to gamble with and, as a result, can finally and fully appreciate the beauty of everything around him. The spiritual haven of the complete loser intrigued Schroeder and in Tricheurs one can see the walk of the loser just after the aforementioned opening scene. It is during this reverie that Elric has a chance encounter with a lucky number; Suzie (Bulle Ogier), a woman walking down the street wearing a piece of clothing with the number seven on the back. Convinced this is his lucky break, within moments Elric sucks Suzie into the gambling scene - one she enters reluctantly, but one that will ultimately swallow her up just as it did Elric. Jacques Dutronc is a popular French singer and composer who began his film career in the 1970's and has worked with such directors as Claude Lelouch, in The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, 1976, Jean-Luc Godard in Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie), 1980 and Alain Resnais, in On Cannait la Chanson, 1997, to name but a few. Bulle Ogier's cinematic history is extensive and impressive as well, having worked with directors that range from Luis Bunuel, in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise (1972) to Olivier Assayas Irma Vep (1996). With Schroeder worried that a story identifying with a loser might be too hard for the audience to follow, it's easy to see why he'd want Dutronc and Ogier to smooth out the procession. On the other hand, this is the same director that Charles Bukowski once said walked into a producer's office with a chain saw and threatened to cut off his own fingers if he could not release Barfly (1987) as he intended - so it's hard thinking of him being too worried about such niceties. Home Vision Entertainment's dvd release of Tricheurs is digitally remastered, letterboxed, and has new electronic subtitles. It includes a short interview with Barbet Schroeder along with the original theatrical trailer, and includes an essay on the evolution of roulette, and the tricksters that have tried to beat it, by Christopher Pawlicki (who authored and co-authored several books relating to the Casino life). For more information about Tricheurs, visit Home Vision Entertainment. To order Tricheurs, go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1983

Released in United States November 14, 1986

Released in United States on Video June 26, 1991

Released in United States July 1984

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1983

Released in United States November 14, 1986 (New York City)

Released in United States on Video June 26, 1991

Released in United States July 1984 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (International Cinema - Europe) July 5¿20, 1984.)