Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2018
Director Robert Bresson's 'A Man Escaped' is the real-life story of André Devigny, a member of the French Resistance sent to Montluc prison by the Nazis, and is true to history. The style is stark and minimalistic, and while that doesn't necessarily make it dated, I suspect it had much larger impact in 1956, just a decade after the war, than it does today (artistically and emotionally). There are moments of real tension, starting with when the protagonist gets another prisoner assigned to his cell and wonders how to proceed with his escape plans, one option being to kill him. There are unfortunately also moments of tedium. Bresson is honest to the experience of imprisonment, but that doesn't make for riveting viewing. The Nazi guards seem remarkably absent - we see them at times administering punishment briefly, or bringing food, but they are in the background, and if the film wasn't based on a true story, you might think it unrealistically so. That may be part of the point, that there is an interior battle here, to never surrender hoping, to not give in, and to be brave, but when it's combined with under-stated emotion from the actors, I think it takes away from the realism that Bresson was striving for. I wish the ending could have been expanded upon as well. A solid film, but not one I'd want to watch again, or recommend without reservations.
½ May 10, 2018
For a film thats main spoiler is the title itself, Bresson still manages to maintain a high level of suspense from the opening credits until the closing scene. This is due to the minimalistic nature of the film, the cinematography and dialogue are barebones so that every detail we are shown is purposeful and undeniably part of Fontaine's plan, and although an inexperienced actor at the time, the pathos demonstrated through François Leterrier and the persistence of his character make every little victory a meaningful landmark towards the inevitable escape.
February 10, 2018
Well made French film showing a jail break film and the arduous meticulous labor that goes into the mentally straining task. 1001 movies to see before you die.
February 10, 2018
Film school for anyone who wants to make movies, A Man Escaped lays the down the bare essentials of the thriller movie, clearly identifying the do's and do not's and providing a necessary lesson in craftsmanship.
December 27, 2017
Simple story with little artifice of a man prisoner of the Nazis and condemned to the firesquad prepares an escape. For the 50s and with little means, this film works. The acting is mostly believable. It is still watchable but the escape from jail has been done and redone with many others, possibly betterly since.
November 17, 2017
This is a true story of a French prisoner who decides to escape from a Nazi cell in World War II. Like all great movies, even thuogh you know the outcome, the "ride" there is terrific. How did I happen to find this black and white, subtitled, French movie. Again, this is why we love movies.
October 15, 2017
Escapist realism. No suspense make it a truly real and great experience, yet reaching me in places I never expected it to reach.
October 13, 2017
What a terrific escape movie! I thought it was going to be another boring black & white French film but it definitely surprised me with how interesting everything was.

The meticulous attention to detail, the suspenseful moments of silence, the final do or die moment. This movie had me attentive the whole time. And given the way that the whole movie builds up to the final escape scene, it was sure to hold my attention.

Great movie!
August 17, 2017
A Man Escaped is a movie about a man who worked for the French Resistance and was captured by the Germans and thrown into prison, where he instantly starts thinking about escape. I was worried that the title was a spoiler, but I tried not to think about it. As the film moved on I started to think the title might not be literal, so there was definitely still drama for me.

The plot is extremely basic, because once the stage is set it is all about our main character planning and organizing his escape method. There's a little time spent relating with other prisoners, but most of his time is all alone just working through things. The narration helped to keep it from getting too bland or boring, too bad it was in French so I was reading it instead of listening.

What I found most spectacular about A Man Escaped was the atmosphere and tone. I felt the claustrophobia, I experienced the fear of discovery with him, and I could barely breathe when he began to execute his plan. It's pretty remarkable because they never actually show any deaths or atrocities against the prisoners, but enough hints were given that I feared for the protagonist a lot. If there was a little more story there, I would really adore this movie, but it still was quite good.
June 29, 2017
There has never been a better connection of image of sound to elicit a feeling. That's not to say that this is the greatest film of all time, but this is the greatest film ever to use sound individually and image individually in order create suspense.

Robert Bresson was a maverick; a man that doesn't want to follow the rules, but rather wants to redefine the rules.

Perhaps the best film about liberation, freedom from emprisonment, and the universal want for one's own life to matter beyond simply sustaining self. It's a chilling and deeply hopeful film about grace, hope, and perseverance.
½ June 18, 2017
This is the first film directed by Bresson that I've ever seen. The unique style is evident. I think that at times the narration is superfluous, yet I agree how important it was for the director to insert entries from the Devigny's journal. The film is rich on minute details which you cannot but admire. The last scene of the actual escape is a pure masterpiece of cinematic action: tense and realistic.
½ May 27, 2017
Quite a thrilling film from about a prisoner in Nazi-occupied France who discreetly plots his escape. He is eventually aided by another, more youthful prisoner as the two of them try to make their way to freedom. The tone of this film is very suspenseful and that suspense is drawn out rather painstakingly and deliberately for a nail-biting conclusion.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2017
Bresson is not interested in big emotions or catharsis (he doesn't even mind telling us the end of the film in the title) but rather drawn to details and method, and so he crafts a meticulous and tremendously absorbing classic that depicts each step taken by the protagonist to reach his objective.
January 28, 2017
Quite a thrilling film from Robert Bresson about a prisoner in Nazi-occupied France who discreetly plots his escape. He is eventually aided by another, more youthful prisoner as the two of them try to make their way to freedom. The tone of this film is very suspenseful and that suspense is drawn out brilliantly and deliberately right through to the end.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2017
A flawless, precision-tooled masterpiece, where every frame works perfectly. Unsentimental but profound and moving, it is suspenseful as any classsic Hitchcock, gripping from start to finish. I can see why it is sometimes sighted as one of the greatest films of all time.
½ September 28, 2016
When a movie is as simple as A Man Escaped, every little detail becomes important. In this film by Robert Bresson, all of these details are perfect.
July 24, 2016
Robert Bresson's masterpiece about a man planning an escape from a Nazi prison. It's a faithful retelling of war hero André Devigny's story.
½ July 6, 2016
In one of the critic's most beloved films, director Robert Bresson portrays a prison escape during the WW2 Nazi occupation of France. The story is based on the memoirs of André Devigny and was enriched by Bresson's own experiences during the war. Nothing new so far, there are plenty of well known films dealing with that theme, both before, and after 1956. What is it that makes this film different?

The film sets itself apart by employing a spartan narrative that could alienate contemporary viewers, but it also could force a small percentage of them to contemplate just how much fat and fluff modern films possess (yes, I am looking at you Interstellar, but I could be looking to any of your overrated, overweight brothers).

The story is being told in a first person narration, where our hero, a condemned lieutenant of the French resistance, describes his simplistic everyday actions, as he awaits his impending execution. A lot of time is spent inside his solitary confinement cell, where our protagonist is looking for any tiny glimpse of hope; whether it is some form of communication with another fellow Frenchman, or even some way of escaping his sealed fate.

The simplicity of actions depicted, is shadowed by directional austerity; communication is kept to a minimum, always under the disembodied presence of the guards, always commanding the prisoners to cease talking. In general, the German's actions are kept out of the camera's focus, but are felt imperatively; the everyday handling of the cells' doors and the sudden machine gun fire, that signals that executions take place.

The film's impressive feat is that its plainness is gripping. I felt stifled by the inhuman prison conditions and found myself faithfully following long scenes of the protagonist's attempts to grasp at a plausible escape plan. Even when a desperate plan is concocted, preparations enhance the feeling of dread, since the day of execution is nigh, and the plan moves forward at a snail pace.

While I do not share the the critics' overt enthusiasm, this is a very entertaining film, in its own special way. I would recommend it for everyone who is able to watch something more than a multiplex blockbuster. 7.0/10.
½ April 8, 2016
This film is solid. Its stoic, grim, and simple. The voiceover is a bit on the weird side, but makes up for the held back performance from a non-actor. That ending shot is amazing.
March 9, 2016
Best jailbreak movie I have seen in a long time -- focused, with an unknown cast that makes this more real. And it gives some ideas on how to get out.
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