The screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated film, a story set in WWII-era France about a 17-year-old boy who chooses to ally himself with pro-German supporters when the French Resistance rejects him, only to fall in love with a Jewish girl soon after.
LACOMBE LUCIEN--the title derives from the seventeen-year-old hero's habit of responding to one authority or another by giving his last name first--relates the story of a peasant boy living in Nazi-occupied France who, rebuffed in his efforts to enter the maquis for a taste of war, joins a sordid and pathetic group of Fascist Frenchmen who collaborate with the Gestapo in preying upon their countrymen. The course of events brings Lucien into contact with the Horns, a Jewish family from Paris hiding in his provincial town. Events force Lucien to choose between the violence he seems to crave and his ambivalent feelings of tenderness for this family, especially the daughter, France. Amidst the hysteric excesses brought on by the impending collapse of the Nazi occupation, Lucien and France come to live out a brief, improbable idyll.