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To create a movie like 'Le Trou', it requires a little amount of circumstances which looked like evident fact when it was made, and which now look, altogether assembled, miraculous. Maybe that's what makes a film become a masterpiece. Tensionate noises, magnificent camera angles, actors breathing with naturalesness, it's director's farewell and a true, poignant plot are these circumstances, which made 'Le Trou' so rare. The hole, definitely, the hole which is not only physically dug on the claustrophobic prison (on which the entire film is spent), but felt everywhere on this piece of bravura filmmaking.
Extremely tense rendering of a prison escape - the title translates to "The Hole" and that is exactly the focus of the film. Taking his cues from Robert Bresson's Un Condamné à Mort s'est Échappé (A Man Escaped, 1956), Jacques Becker keeps us focused on the action with close attention to the methodical details of the escape - lots of shots of hands battering away at cement in real time. Well, not exactly hands but a makeshift hammer fashioned from a bed frame -- ingenuity is a hallmark of the effort. But unlike Bresson, Becker is also interested in camaraderie among men and the events that build or diminish it (it's not hard to see why Jean-Pierre Melville cherished Le Trou); the nonprofessional actors he selected (including one real escapee from the true story being told) deliver the goods. Trust is the key element then, and the introduction of a 5th man to the cell creates tension beyond even that already present in the form of the ever watchful guards and warden; as that fifth man is in jail for betraying his wife, his trustworthiness is already in doubt. To reveal any more would be churlish, this set-up should be enough to entice you into the absorbingly intense world of Le Trou. A masterpiece of the genre.
Le Trou is a quietly tense film and, like all great prison escape or heist movies, has you rooting for the cons to pull it off and make it out. The realness of characters creates an involving dynamic which draws you in and hits you with a knockout conclusion. Le Trou is unexpectedly distinct from other films in the prison genre and worth a view.
This is one of the greatest prison break procedurals, rivaled only perhaps by "A Man Escaped". I have seen this film 3 times now, and a surprising shot late in the film still makes me audibly gasp.
Imprescindible, mi tipo de pelicula.
Another great french prison escape movie. Not only do you see the hard work and processing in the escape, but the emotions that come with it.
another prison pic-french style
I loved it from the start to the end. No cliches anywhere..
"This is the first time I feel right. It's great to be with guys like you."
"Art is not Mysterious.
Art is Transparent.
Transparency is Simple."
- Jean-Pierre Gorin
"Gotta Dream, Sir."
The best prison film I've seen.