We Are All Murderers

Nous sommes tous des assassins
Directed by André Cayatte
Starring Marcel Mouloudji
Music by Raymond Legrand
Cinematography Jean Bourgoin
Edited by Paul Cayatte
Release dates
21 May 1952 (France)
8 January 1957 (USA)
Running time
115 mins
Country France/Italy
Language French

We Are All Murderers (French: Nous sommes tous des assassins, also known as Are We All Murderers?) is a 1952 French film written and directed by André Cayatte, a former attorney. It tells the story of René, a young man from the slums, trained by the French Resistance in World War II to kill Germans. He continues to kill long after the war has ended, as it is all he knows.

It was entered into the 1952 Cannes Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize.[1]


René Le Guen (Marcel Mouloudji) is a former resistance fighter trained as a young man as a professional killer. After World War II, he has no qualms in applying these skills and is arrested for murder. Convicted and condemned to death, he is held in a prison cell with other murderers sentenced to death. Men to be guillotined are taken out at night, so they wait in fear and only sleep after dawn. While Le Guen's lawyer (Claude Laydu) tries to achieve a pardon for his client, three of Le Guen's fellow inmates are executed, one by one, in the course of the film.

Cayatte used his films to reveal the inequities and injustice of the French system, and protested against capital punishment.



It won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1952.


  1. "Festival de Cannes: We Are All Murderers". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-18.

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