Picks and Pans Review: Coup De Tete

updated 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

The title means "hothead" in French, and it aptly describes the lead character in this moody but often funny film. Patrick Dewaere plays a soccer player who can't seem to make the starting lineup until he knocks out the team star in a bar brawl. Naturally that puts him in the doghouse, but his troubles are only beginning. A short time later he is accused of rape and, though there's some question of identity, he's locked up. The fun begins when, after his release, he suddenly finds himself the hero of the soccer team—and first in the heart of the girl who was raped (France Dougnac). A banquet scene in which the hothead tells everyone off is a comic masterpiece. Dewaere, much praised for his work in Get Out Your Handkerchiefs and Going Places, is quickly becoming one of France's most versatile actors—a kind of James Dean with an impish sense of humor. (In French with English subtitles) (Not rated)

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