Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) (1957)

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Movie Info

French director Robert Bresson drew from his own experiences as a POW to fashion this story of a resistance leader who is imprisoned by the Nazis. The leader, with the help of his cellmate, successfully engineers an escape. The plot was inspired by the true story of Andre Devigny.
Rating: NR
Genre: Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Robert Bresson
Written By: André Devigny , Robert Bresson
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Criterion Collection

Cast

François Leterrier
as Lt. Fontaine
Charles Le Clainche
as Francois Jost
Roland Monod
as De Leiris
Charles LeClainche
as Francois Jost
Cesar Gattegno
as Le Prisonnier X
Jean-Philippe Delamare
as Prisoner No. 110
Jacques Oerlemans
as Chief Warder
Klaus Detlef Grevenhorst
as German Intelligence Officer
Leonard Schmidt
as German Escort
François Leterrier
as Lt. Fontaine
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News & Interviews for Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped)

Critic Reviews for Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped)

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (8)

It is Bresson's unadorned, almost ascetic style that lifts the tale beyond a genre piece.

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A Man Escaped masterfully constructs the spaces -- physical and mental -- inhabited by Lt. Fontaine (played in a low-key register by an untrained actor, François Leterrier).

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The prisoner's lonely ardor is enhanced by Mozart's Mass in C Minor; the ending of the movie, as the music wells up, is pure elation.

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

The best of all prison-escape movies, it reconstructs the very notion of freedom through offscreen sounds and defines salvation in terms of painstakingly patient and meticulous effort.

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Even the title dispenses with unnecessary frills: A man escaped. What more do you need to know?

Full Review… | January 17, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Watching a film like A Man Escaped"is like a lesson in the cinema. It teaches by demonstration all the sorts of things that are not necessary in a movie. By implication, it suggests most of the things we're accustomed to are superfluous.

Full Review… | November 23, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped)

Based on the true account of prisoner of war Andre Devigny, director and writer Robert Bresson recreated the isolation, intrigue, and tension of a prison break. Our hero, Fontaine, is played by Franncois Leterrier in his first ever acting role. His performance is particularly monotone, devoid of the emotion of a man on the very brink of death. This shows the calculation behind the plot he is hatching and his calm demeanor while under the Nazis' thumb. What makes the film especially amazing is the step by step processing in his creation of tools from his cell, including smashing lamps for grappling hooks, tearing up shirts for braided rope, and slowly chipping away at wooden hatches with a dull prison spoon. The film remains terse without a score, using silence often to its advantage in creating an often flexible sense of danger for the protagonist. Sound effects are pivotal in the climax and let us know about the action offscreen. Because this is a prison, that works well with the story, showing that prisoners aren't aware of the facets of the system around them. The Nazis aren't shown for their historical villainy, but more as simple captors for these mostly innocent prisoners of war, and the prison itself is more important towards their state of well-being than even the firing squads in the courtyard. It's really a very thorough prison break film and even in the end we worry for the sake of the twosome.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Hands down one of the best prison escape movies ever made. Period.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

This is a really interesting movie I saw for a class, but I didn't get to see the end. It is really inventive with the sounds and cinematography. If that interests you, I highly recommend this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

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