Playtime

1973

Playtime

Critics Consensus

A remarkable achievement, Playtime's packs every scene with sight gags and characters that both celebrates and satirizes the urbanization of modern life.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 45

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,415
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Playtime Photos

Movie Info

Hilarious, dazzlingly inventive comedy in which Mr. Hulot tries to function in an unrecognizable Paris of modernistic glass-and-steel skyscrapers.

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Cast

Barbara Dennek
as Young Tourist
France Delahalle
as Shopper in Department Store
Jacques Tati
as Monsieur Hulot
Henri Piccoli
as An Important Gentleman
Rita Maiden
as Mr. Schultz's Companion
Valerie Camille
as Mons. Luce's Secretary
Leon Doyen
as Doorman
Yvette Ducreux
as Hat Check Girl
Jack Gauthier
as The Guide
Laure Paillette
as Two Women at the Lamp
Colette Proust
as Two Women at the Lamp
Nicole Ray
as Singer
France Romilly
as Woman Selling Eyeglasses
Francois Viaur
as Reinhart Kolldehoff
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News & Interviews for Playtime

Critic Reviews for Playtime

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13)

  • Tati's despair is modulated by a sense of wonder.

    Mar 2, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Jacques Tati's Playtime is an astringent antidote to Paris movies that are as sickly as macaroons and stuffed with views of the Eiffel Tower by night.

    Nov 7, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • For my money Playtime is the greatest film ever made.

    Nov 6, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Jacques Tati's 1967 masterpiece still holds up as a feast of subtle sight gags, playful noise and, above all, visual wonders.

    Nov 4, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Pic takes to the 70mm process with an extraordinary impressionistic outdoor set of a new Paris, and is an observant romp during a one-day stay of a group of tourists.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • For this remarkable 1967 comedy about man and his modern world, Jacques Tati attempted nothing less than a complete reworking of the conventional notions of montage and, amazingly, he succeeded.

    Dec 4, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Playtime

  • Oct 06, 2015
    Playtime seems the type of film one has to watch more than once to appreciate. I have seen it one time and my impression is similar to the one I had of Mon Oncle. At first the comedy is amusing and the shots are amazing. As the film progresses the scenes become longer, more tedious, things drag, and Playtime is not fun any more. Still, I would recommend a view to those always on the lookout for something different and extraordinary.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2012
    There's no plot, and the scenes don't add up to anything but, nevertheless, I enjoyed this movie very much.
    Bram S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2011
    9.2/10 Brilliant is the only word that can truly describe one of the only films I've ever seen to lack the ability to be labeled with a genre. Jacques Tati's "Playtime", his third Mr. Hulot feature, is not within a genre. It mixes comedy with drama with sheer individuality. It is a film about conformism that refuses to conform, and for that, I admire its freakish charm. However, the film is something much, much more. Like "Mon Oncle" and "Mr. Hulot's Holiday", I suppose the film is intended as a satire of modern technology and how we'd probably suffocate ourselves if we couldn't apply it to everyday life. There are some people in "Playtime" who question the advancements in technology, while everyone else just stands there and lets it take control of their existence. Mr. Hulot, however, isn't neither of those kinds of people. He does not mind technology; he does not mind anything. He just doesn't know how to apply technology to HIS life; although he's sure not afraid to try. The film is essentially broken up into a few prolonged scenarios. The first one involves Hulot (Jacques Tati) arriving in a futuristic Paris along with a couple Americans on a tour. I guess Hulot isn't new to the place, but he's surely confused when an office feels more like a maze and apartments are reduced to the size of cubicles. Hulot means well, but that doesn't matter; the world doesn't feel the same. What surprised me here was the fact that Hulot isn't there for the entire film. The film takes its precious little time in introducing us to the modernized city and how it has changed for the better or for the worse, as well as the people who are visiting the area. The tourists, in particular, are an interesting group; confused, but nevertheless conforming. The film is a happy, satirical, often times funny one. I felt good while watching it. But reading about the production and aftermath of it made me somewhat sad. This was Tati's most expensive production; the most expensive in France at the time of its production and release. It had little success in France and America alike; thus forcing Tati to file for bankruptcy. Poor guy. He just wanted to make a fun, big-budget movie with tall buildings and impressive gadgetry; and he succeeded. But others, I guess, didn't see the appeal in the film. At least now they can, because we are accustomed to the world that Hulot never was. They say that this film is the director's masterpiece. I do not, in any way, beg to differ; but I think they are somewhat false when they say that. I have loved every single Jacques Tati/Mr. Hulot film so far. And I don't think that I will ever NOT love them. They are delightful, intelligent, witty and satirical comedies that are as relatable as they are, in their satire, sadly true. "Playtime" is indeed a bigger, far more epic film; but it's just as great as the other Hulot misadventures. This one may be more appealing to a wider audience, yes, but really; there's not much of a difference. But that is what I love about it. Paris is not beautiful in "Playtime". It is mechanical, and completely so. There are many skyscrapers, and people seem to have lost the feeling of the magic that accompanied the place one day, but that was in the past, and people are in the present/future, and they don't exactly want out. What I liked about the film, when it came to Paris, was the fact that people often stopped to talk about what they thought of this "new Paris". I'd much rather go to the current one than this electronic hell-hole. I don't suppose it's a bad place, and Jacques Tati neither loathes technology nor loves it, as I would presume; but the place just feels boring and even bland after a while. But as I thought more and more about the film, I came up with a theory; that was the intent. With Tati being the cinematic magician that he is, I'm not surprised; I'm spellbound.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2011
    Not only one of the most famous French films of all time, but also a definitive example of a film challenging its viewers to look beyond plot and character to discover its meaning. Utilizing 70mm to its full advantage, and truly clever sound design help propel Tati's masterpiece to "must see" status. You'll be hard pressed to find a better satirical statement on the effects of an impersonal, technologically advanced, but ultimately culturally bankrupt and dehumanized society. A perfect message for the times we live in.
    Jonathan H Super Reviewer

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