Le Trou (The Hole) (The Nightwatch) (1964)
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This prison film focuses on five men and their attempts to escape from impending incarceration. The men must break through a concrete floor into an auxiliary sewer to gain access to the main sewer and freedom. The film contains graphic depictions of prison, unsanitary conditions, and betrayal.
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Critic Reviews for Le Trou (The Hole) (The Nightwatch)
Jacques Becker's 1959 film was the last great flowering of French classicism; the 'tradition of quality' here goes out with a masterpiece.
Classical in its intense simplicity, this is certainly Becker's most perfectly crafted film.
The actors, none of whom are familiar, play their roles with such simple, natural force that they become not only bold adventurers but also deeply appreciable friends.
This outstanding drama was the last film to be directed by Becker, who died shortly after its completion.
Usando a trama como subterfúgio para uma ácida análise social, Becker transformou este seu último trabalho em um filme tenso, inteligente e fascinante, despedindo-se com uma verdadeira obra-prima.
Ingenious, resourceful and bold prisoners try to escape in this French prison-break movie
Audience Reviews for Le Trou (The Hole) (The Nightwatch)
The lack of Hollywood-style production values forces the viewer to focus on the men and their plight. They unite over their shared desire to escape. Normally civilization prescribes that a criminal must be punished and serve their sentence. Morally that's justifiable. But these men don't come off as hardened criminals. They're polite, well mannered, and trustworthy. The responsibility of society to punish these men is never an issue. We want them to break out and that's a testament to how seemingly honorable these men are. The camaraderie of these five men illustrates a close friendship in which Manu, Geo, Roland, and "Monsignor"" must befriend and rely on each other, as well as Claude Gaspard, the outsider. There's a searing humanity that plays out in their shared plan. In this way, there's a temperament to the men that's not readily apparent but slow builds over the course of the story. Loyalty is their most prized virtue and their devotion is quietly profound.More
becker's final film and it's fantastic. every bit as good and a great counterpoint to bresson's masterpiece, a man escaped. completely nerve wrackingMore
Five men propose themselves to start one of the most demanding and yearning tasks for any person in their condition: a flawless prison break.
Jacques Becker's relatively premature swansong is a riveting story of amazing simplicity and precision.
The suspense displayed is unbearably tense and involving.
An overlooked gem embedded by hope and camaraderie, with topnotch direction and performances.
Prison-break stories are somewhat hackneyed now, but not at the time of this gripping 1960 drama. Five cellmates (all unproven actors, including someone who was involved in the real-life scheme that inspired the script) meticulously dig a way out of their claustrophobic cell. The plan is detailed enough to include trivia such as constructing a tiny hourglass and "periscope" out of everyday items. The film has no musical score except in the closing credits, and director Jacques Becker's avoidance of such cinematic distractions puts the viewer right in the cell as a sixth prisoner. Elements of the plan seem a little too easy (why didn't anyone hear all that noisy, late-night hacking through cement?) but "Le Trou" is a suspenseful, entertaining ride that will captivate mainstream audiences as well as foreign-film buffs. Sadly, Becker died just weeks before the film's release.More
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