I Stand Alone

February 17th, 1999


I Stand Alone

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A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 7.4/10 (6,482 voted)

Director: Gaspar Noé

Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain

The Butcher (known from Noe's short film Carne) has done some time in jail after beating up the guy who tried to seduce his teenage mentally-handicapped daughter. Now he wants to start a new life. He leaves his daughter in an institution and moves to Lille suburbs with his mistress. She promised him a new butcher shop. She lied. The butcher decides to go back to Paris and find his daughter.

Philippe Nahon - The Butcher
Blandine Lenoir - His Daughter, Cynthia
Frankie Pain - His Mistress (as Frankye Pain)
Martine Audrain - His Mother-in-Law
Jean-François Rauger - Real Estate Agent
Guillaume Nicloux - Supermarket Manager
Olivier Doran - Narrator
Aïssa Djabri - Dr. Choukroun
Serge Faurie - Hospital Director
Paule Abecassis - Junkie
Stéphanie Sec - Female Hospital Patient
Arlette Balkis - Dying Lady
Frédéric Pfohl - Male Hospital Patient
Gil Bertharion Jr. - Bus Driver
Rado - Hotel Manager

Taglines: In the bowels of France

Release Date: 17 February 1999

Opening Weekend: $6,955 (USA) (21 March 1999) (1 Screen)

Gross: $54,735 (USA) (15 August 1999)

Technical Specs


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The main character tells the manager of the abattoir that he is 50 years old. However, the narration at the start of the movie states that the main character was born in 1939, and the movie is set in 1980, which would make him 40 or 41 years old.

[Death Opens No Door: shown in block letters on black screen]
Narrator: Death isn't much of anything in the end. We make such a big deal out of it. But up close, it's like nothing. A body without life, nothing more. People are like animals. You love them, you bury them and then it's over. Still, it's my first time seeing it. Hers too. But she seems all upset. Yet there's nothing to get all mushy over. All right, yeah. I'll walk her home. She looks fragile. Besides... she's pretty.

User Review

A Stunning achievement.


'I Stand Alone' goes where few movies dare these days. It presents a portrait of hatred, disgust, despair and nihilism. Many would probably not like to face up to the fact that people like "The Butcher" exist in our society, but they do. By ignoring them we compound the problems they present and represent.

Philippe Nahon plays a middle aged unemployed French butcher who is trapped in a loveless relationship with his pregnant girlfriend (Frankye Pain). She has some money and uses it as a power trip, promising to set him up with a new shop. When that doesn't eventuate he attacks her in a fit of rage, and leaves with a gun and three bullets. He heads back to Paris with no money and no prospects. As he sinks lower and lower into hopelessness his anger intensifies, and his mind races with fantasies of violence and revenge.

This is a confronting and profoundly disturbing movie, mainly because of it's realism and believability. While it certainly features some scenes of extreme violence, and one scene of explicit pornography (blurred in the print I watched), most of what makes it so powerful and horrible is the almost non-stop venomous monologues of "The Butcher". Director Gaspar Noe self consciously apes Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' in several scenes, but this movie is a truly original vision. Highly recommended for movie buffs with strong stomachs, and the ability to deal with dark and troubling material.


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