The Last Metro (Le Dernier Métro) (1981)
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as Marion Steiner
as Bernard Granger
as Jean-Loup Cottins
as Lucas Steiner
as Arlette Guillaume
as Germaine Fabre
as Nadine Marsac
as Raymond Boursier
as Bernard's Replacement
as Hotel Porter
as M. Valentin
as Martine Sénéchal
as Jacquot's Mother
as Christian Leglise
as Rene Bernardini
as Lieutnant Bergen
as Rosette Goldstern
as Gestapo Officer
as Greta Borg
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Critic Reviews for The Last Metro (Le Dernier Métro)
You find yourself wondering what it was in Truffaut that ever appealed to you. It seemed to be something genuine, and now it seems lost.
Truffaut balances his hopeful plot on a tightrope of coincidences and narrow escapes that horrifically suggest the abyss that engulfed so many men and women of the artistic and political underground. In French.
At times, the film seems to be about the reasons for its own emptiness.
Godard's adventure endures in criticism, in the search for new forms of expression; Truffaut's looks, on the other hand, at a fundamentally conservative public, inside and outside of France. [Full review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for The Last Metro (Le Dernier Métro)
a phenomenal film except for its two weaknesses, but those two are fairly big and really hold the film back from masterpiece status. One, at no point did i buy that marion and bernard were falling for each other, so this major plot element is completely unconvincing, and two, the end "monologue" where the "wrap up" is sort of flown through doesnt fit the brilliant tone and depth of the rest of the film. overall, its still a very excellent movie during the french resistance, which manages to use the resistance as a coincidental setting to the real story rather than getting lost in the wartime politics. very good.
During the Nazi occupation of France, a theater struggles to survive against censorship and the various conflicts among the company. What I liked most about Truffaut's work here is his ability to link the external political conflict with the action of the stage production. This isn't a play within a play for its own sake. Rather, when Granger's stage character says that love is both a joy and a painful, we understand that existence in occupied France is also both a joy and painful. These characters are happy to be alive but unhappy with how they are living. On the other hand, it's occasionally meandering, as though Truffaut knows that Nazis are often over-used in film. I remember watching Bent and thinking, "I get it; they were pure evil. What else you got to say?" Truffaut seems to recognize this problem, but he isn't able to fill the void with other more compelling action. What he does find is a rather simple romantic melodrama, and though it's well-acted by Depardieu and Deneuve, it ultimately falls short. Overall, The Last Metro is a good, but not great, film.
exceedingly well filmed, with many continuous long dolly shots, this film about a theatre in occupied Paris during WWII boasts Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu (or as we call him around our house Dippity Do) as the main charactors. However, the real stars of this film are the many supporting actors and the cinematography. The first third of the film is stunning, aptly showing all the hustle and bustle backstage at the theatre. All the movement and extras entering and exiting the screen are like an intricate dance as the camera, in a long single shot, follows dippity do as he enters the theatre. There is a wonderful scene shortly thereafter where dippity do is talking to a friend in a bar - he looks out through the bars' window and sees Deneuve exiting the stage door across the street - the camera then zooms in and follows Deveuve - wonderful! However, the skill and care taken for these shots is not exhibited in the script. There is an interesting and potentially poignant story concerning jew hunting, jew harboring, and attempts made at an escape into Spain, but the sense of urgencey and drama somehow just isn't as gripping as it should have been. The film also lacks subtlety in some regards - for example, the theatre critic who is a Nazi toady, parroting the company line for favor. He gives an absurd anti-jew speach over the radio that would have made Tokyo Rose blush. I will concede that it was entirely possible for something like that to have occured, but here it stopped the narrative flow and seemed simply out of place. There is also to consider the almost absurd performance by dippity do. Perhaps the script was responsible, but he goes from laughable rogue hitting on anything in a skirt, to a profession of undying love for a certain charactor. The two seem diametrically opposed. But what is far worse is his wooden anti Nazi portrayal. Taken way over the top to the point where he would not let his hat be checked because there were Nazi hats in the cloakroom. Prety overt behavior for someone suspected of being in the resistance. Towards the film's end there is a potential crises that is never resolved - just simply brushed aside as the film switches gears and becomes some kind of historical movielogue. It then goes on to further shatter the illusion that we are watching something transpire in real time by announcing that the story is in need of an epilogue - which it then provides with a slight of hand twist that, while satisfying, doesn't repair the damage. Throughout the film I got the sense that this was some kind of homage to an older style of both filmmaking and story telling - as if the sensabilities were right out of the 50's. Intentional or not, it was disquieting for me. I'd give this film a 10 for its camera work, a 9 for most of the acting, especially the bit parts, like that of the stage manager and the critic, but a 5 for direction and script - it just felt as if the passion was missing. In a final note: Mrs. Henderson Presents is also about the theatre during WWII - they take different tacks, but oddly, the British one was more entertaining and came off as more sure of its voice - even though the french film had the occupation going for it.
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