This tough and gritty French-language crime drama represents the premier installment in a two-part series of features on the life and doings of notorious Gallic. This is a slick gangster pic about the French and Canadian Public Enemy #1. Based on (I think) the memoirs of the title character, it succeeds in its many. Inspired by Jacques Mesrine’s autobiographical book “L’Instinct de mort” – which he wrote in prison shortly before his magnificent final escape – Jean-François.

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Mesrjne Mesrine French pronunciation: Mesrine repeatedly escaped from prison and made international headlines during a final period as a fugitive when his exploits included trying to kidnap the judge who had previously sentenced him. An aptitude for disguise earned him the moniker “The Man of a Thousand Faces” and enabled him to remain at large while receiving massive publicity as a wanted man.

Mesrine was widely seen as an anti-establishment ‘ Robin Hood ‘ figure. In keeping with his charismatic image, he was rarely without a glamorous female companion. A two-part film which came out in was based on Mesrine’s life.

As a child, he witnessed a massacre of villagers by German soldiers. Mesrine was an extremely unruly pupil and he was expelled from Juilly for attacking the principal.

Mesrine ( film) – Wikipedia

He went on to be expelled from other schools and fell into the lifestyle of a juvenile delinquentmuch to the dismay of his family. Inat age 19, he married Lydia De Souza in Clichy; the couple divorced a year later. While participating in counter-insurgency operations, Mesrine’s duties are said to have included the killing of prisoners.

Although he disliked military discipline, Mesrine enjoyed action and was decorated with the Cross for Military Valour by General Charles de Gaulle before leaving the army in His father was later to claim that the time in Algeria had brought about a noticeable deterioration in Mesrine’s behavior.

He married Maria De La Soledad; they had three children but later separated in InMesrine was sentenced to 18 months in prison for robbery his first prison sentence, although he had been a professional criminal for a number of years. After being released, Mesrine made an effort to reform: However, a downsizing in resulted in him being laid off.

His family bought him the tenancy of a country restaurant, a role in which he was quite successful, but this arrangement ended after the owner paid a visit one evening to find Mesrine carousing with acquaintances from his past.

The lure of easy money and women proved impossible for him to resist and he returned to crime. Overcoming some suspicion about his relatively middle-class background, Mesrine began to establish a reputation in the underworld as a man who was crossed at one’s peril. In DecemberMesrine was arrested in the villa of the military governor in Palma de Mallorca.

He was sentenced to six months in jail and later claimed that Spanish authorities believed he was working for French intelligence.

InMesrine opened a restaurant in the Canary Islands. In December of the same year, he robbed a jewellery store in Geneva and a hotel in Chamonix. The following year, Mesrine robbed a fashion store in Paris. In Februaryhe fled to the province of Quebec with his then mistress, Jeanne Schneider, and worked as a cook and chauffeur for grocery and textile millionaire Georges Deslauriers for a few months. An argument Schneider had with Deslauriers’ long-time respected gardener led to them being dismissed.

They then attempted to kidnap Deslauriers, but it went wrong due to the fact that the ‘knock out drops’ they used were inert and on June 26,Mesrine and Schneider fled to the U. On June 30, Evelyne Le Bouthillier, an elderly lady who may have given them refuge, was found strangled. Mesrine was sentenced to ten years in prison for the bungled kidnapping, but escaped a few weeks later, only to be reapprehended the next day.

Mesrine and Schneider were acquitted of the murder of Le Bouthillier in Mercier, a wanted murderer, and Mesrine then robbed a series of banks in Montrealsometimes two in the same day. By this time it was apparent that Mesrine did not have a normal criminal attitude towards minimizing the danger of being caught.


Deeply resenting the way he had been treated in the prison, Mesrine and Meerine made an extremely risky attempt to precipitate a mass break out from the maximum security block of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul on September 3, However, their own break-out had caused perimeter security to be greatly increased and they found the area swarming with armed guards. There was a shoot-out in which two guards were seriously injured and Mercier was wounded before they managed to get away. The effrontery of escaped convicts returning to attack a prison infuriated Canadian law enforcement; the escapade predictably led to a hugely increased effort to apprehend the duo.

Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct () – IMDb

A week after their foiled attempt to free the prisoners, Mesrine and Mercier went for a target practice session, taking Mercier’s girlfriend along. But the location, though three miles down a dirt track through the forest, was far from being truly remote and the noise of them blasting away at targets all afternoon could be heard in the town of Plessisville where there was a Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife station. The rangers were armed but their jobs had mainly involved enforcing hunting and firearms regulations, and in any case, there was no reason for them to expect that the men who had been making themselves conspicuous by such a disturbance would actually be wanted escapees.

Realizing they were not policemen, Mesrine submitted to a search of the car, but on finding loaded guns in the rear, the rangers informed them that they would have to follow their car back to Plessisville. While Mesrine was trying to talk them out of this, Cote, possibly alerted by the sight of the arsenal of weapons, suddenly recognised the pair, whereupon Mesrine and Mercier shot both officers dead.

By the end ofMesrine had returned to France, where he resumed robbing banks. On March 5,during an argument with a cashier in a coffee bar, Mesrine brandished a revolver and seriously injured a police officer who tried to intervene. He was arrested 3 days later. In a plan likely formulated even before his arrest, Mesrine took a judge sentencing him on another matter hostage with a revolver recovered from the courthouse lavatory where it had been hidden by an accomplice and escaped.

After being at large for four months, he was arrested in his new Paris apartment on September 28,on information supplied by an associate who wanted a reduced sentence. The appearance of Mesrine’s book resulted in France passing a ” Son of Sam law “, designed to stop criminals profiting from the publication of their crimes. In his escapes from his Canadian prisons, Mesrine had required little more than wire cutters and a very high degree of audacity.

During this incarceration, however, he faced security far better than any he had defeated before. A report noted that Mesrine had been seen doing exercises in his cell and was behaving like a man who had received good news. They had a grappling iron with them and Mesrine forced some workmen with an extending ladder to bring the ladder along.

The trio unlocked a yard gate in an inner wall; an armed guard was taken by surprise at his post. They hooked the grappling iron onto the top of the ladder and slid down the rope.

The third man over the wall was shot dead by police in the street outside. On May 26,the duo robbed the Deauville Casino offrancs, but the police arrived as they exited. Around 50 shots were exchanged and Mesrine was wounded, but the duo made a getaway.

Mesrine and Besse eluded the subsequent massive sweep of the area by taking a farmer and his family hostage and forcing him to drive them to safety. Subsequently, the kidnapping of a banker netted themfrancs in ransom. In an interview inside, he threatened the Minister of Justice.

By remaining at large in the Paris area, despite his notoriety, Mesrine appeared to be making a fool of the law and the state; the Paris Match interview was the last straw.

The police agencies hunting Mesrine were pressured for results from the highest echelons of government. This proved to be difficult, not least because of rivalry between the various agencies.


The usual informants were of little use as Mesrine generally avoided contact with the criminal underworld.

Jacques Mesrine

Moreover, he was adept at disguising his appearance and allaying suspicion from members of the public: Besse was finally captured in dde he was paroled in Mesrine’s next exploit occurred in November It was a daring attempt to kidnap a judge who had sentenced him as part of a campaign to get maximum security prisons closed. His accomplice was intsinct but Mesrine escaped by running downstairs past several instinnct telling them “Quick! Mesrine made good copy for the press, clowning for the camera and asserting that his criminal activity was politically motivated.

Jacques Instincy a former Directorate of Territorial Security policeman had written disparagingly about Mesrine in the French newspaper Minute but on September 10,he went, rather incautiously, to a clandestine meeting with Mesrine on the promise of an interview.

The incensed Mesrine had other plans: Tillier survived the ordeal, although he lost the use of one arm. During his contact with Mesrine, Tillier discovered the identity of Mesrine’s accomplice. The special d unit tasked with finding and capturing Mesrine nistinct it impossible to track him down directly. Eventually, by utilizing information supplied by Tillier, they ascertained the licence number of the car that a woman named Sylvia Jeanjacquot, believed to be Mesrine’s mistress, had used and checked parking tickets which it had received months previously.

These tickets indicated that she had been frequenting a certain district without any obvious cause. Undercover patrols combed the area and a man fitting Mesrine’s description was spotted walking with a woman believed to be Jeanjacquot on October 31, One officer who had seen Mesrine at court confirmed the identification by noting Mesrine’s distinctive build.

The couple were followed home and their building watched around the clock. Two days later, on November 2,the couple left the apartment for a weekend in the country, taking Jeanjacquot’s pet poodle with them. Mesrine and Jeanjacquot had reached Porte de Clignancourt on the outskirts of Paris when the gold BMW they were driving was boxed in at the entrance to an intersection and police marksmen in the rear of a lorry immediately meseine front of their car threw open a tarpaulin.

Reportedly, in the instant before the gendarmerie opened fire, Mesrine’s eyes were described as being so shocked they seemed to be bursting from his head as he realized he was trapped. Twenty rounds were fired at inztinct blank range; Mesrine was hit 15 times. Sylvia Jeanjacquot lost one eye and suffered lasting damage mwsrine her inshinct. Her pet dog was killed. There were suggestions in some media publications that Mesrine may have been shot without warning in a way which amounted to extrajudicial killingbut the police pointed out that he had sworn that he would never surrender and that, as well as having a gun on him, Mesrine had been armed with two grenades which were taped together and adapted so they could be brought into action instantly.

Sylvia Jeanjacquot underwent multiple operations and served more than two years in prison before being ultimately acquitted of any crime. By law, Mesrine could not profit from L’instinct de Mort, but the publishers had received a threatening letter from him in mesrime payment nonetheless. Lebovici adopted Mesrine’s daughter after her father’s death. He had been shot dead, with the bullet wounds forming a square: One theory is that Lebovici may have been killed by a close associate of Mesrine’s with whom Lebovici may have had an appointment on the day of his death.

A film about Mesrine; Mesrineinsyinct released in There is a Insttinct grindcore band named Mesrine. A two-part film, L’instinct de mort English title: Killer Instinct and L’ennemi public No. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the films based on the life of Jaques Mesrine, see Mesrine film and Mesrine film. This article needs additional citations for verification.