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Le Trou (The Hole) (The Nightwatch)

Le Trou (The Hole) (The Nightwatch) (1964)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

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liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 1,021

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Movie Info

Marc Michel plays an imprisoned man awaiting trial for the attempted murder of his wife. He is transferred to another cell, where his fellow prisoners are planning a jailbreak. He decides to go along with the elaborate plan, and the cellmates attempt to tunnel their way to freedom. Le Trou represents the last film of director Jacques Becker, who died shortly after its completion. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Nov 20, 2001

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (0) | DVD (9)

Jacques Becker's 1959 film was the last great flowering of French classicism; the 'tradition of quality' here goes out with a masterpiece.

January 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Classical in its intense simplicity, this is certainly Becker's most perfectly crafted film.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This outstanding drama was the last film to be directed by Becker, who died shortly after its completion.

January 23, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

[An] indispensable film.

March 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

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.

July 27, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Excellent work from Jacques Becker.

November 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Ingenious, resourceful and bold prisoners try to escape in this French prison-break movie

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

This was Jacques Becker's last film; he died shortly after the film was released.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.
May 9, 2012
hobster1

Super Reviewer

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 wracking
November 1, 2009
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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.
March 25, 2009
pier007

Super Reviewer

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.
January 12, 2012
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Le Trou (DE)
  • Le Trou (UK)
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