Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Subway) (1960)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The lighthearted comedy Zazie Dans Le Metro, an early directorial effort from Louis Malle, stars Catherine Demongeot as a 12-year-old girl named Zazie. Zazie is forced to travel to Paris when her mother wants to rendezvous with her lover. Zazie is left in the care of Uncle Gabriel (Philippe Noiret), an eccentric transvestite. Both with him, and on her own, Zazie meets a variety of unusual city dwellers, and gets into a series of misadventures that reach their greatest level of wackiness during a café food fight. The film is based on a novel by the distinguished French author Raymond Queneau.
Art House & International , Comedy , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Philippe Noiret
as Uncle Gabriel
Hubert Deschamps
as Turandot
Antoine Roblot
as Charles
Carla Marlier
as Albertine
Vittorio Caprioli
as Trouscaillon
Yvonne Clech
as Mme. Mouaque
Odette Picquet
as Mme. Lalochere
Marc Doelnitz
as M. Coquetti
Jacques Gheusi
as The Manager
Louis Lalanne
as Jeanne's lover
Arlette Balkis
as Permanent
Little Bara
as Permanent
Georges Faye
as Permanent
Sylvine Delannoy
as Permanent
Paul Vally
as Permanent
Jean-Yves Bouvier
as Permanent
Jeanne Allard
as Permanent
Jacqueline Doyen
as Permanent
Arlette Balkiss
as Permanent
as Permanent
Virginie Merlin
as Permanent
Irene Chabrier
as Permanent
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News & Interviews for Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Subway)

Critic Reviews for Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Subway)

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

So inventive that it's exhausting, this is a rare thing indeed -- a family film for cynics.

Full Review… | May 30, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Arguably Louis Malle's best work.

Full Review… | May 30, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It has some risible bits but is, in all, somewhat diffuse.

Full Review… | May 30, 2011
Top Critic

It has survived the years much better than other indulgent frolics, mainly because Malle really does seem motivated by gleeful malice and anarchy -- he's not just toying with a fashionable mood.

Full Review… | May 30, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Malle uses tons of editing tricks, both crude and cutting edge for the time, and turns Paris into a wild playground for a wonderfully anarchic romp.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011

a fun movie in its own way, but also one that wears on you by the end, as Malle exhausts us while exhausting his arsenal of cinematic tricks

Full Review… | July 21, 2011
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Subway)


Borrowing stylistically from both silent film and cartoons, this visit to Paris circa 1960 is filled with zany wacky fun, yes, but often the feeling that remains is that the effort was a trifle forced, and perhaps disguising a latent anger verging towards hysteria and even violence. This tone permeates this vital look at postwar France (15 years on) and is a necessary look therefore at the psychological remnants of occupation.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Young Zazie goes to Paris and stays with her exotic dancer uncle (really!); the only thing she wants to see is the Metro, but the workers are on strike, so she explores the city instead. An utterly absurd comedy full of editing tricks, nonsense wordplay, and bizarre incidents (when they climb the Eiffel Tower they find a sea captain and a polar bear on top). If you could somehow cross-breed Charlie Chaplin and Luis Bunuel, this is the movie the mutant hybrid would direct.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Louis Malle delivers one heck of a film in Zazie dans le metro.

Zazie arrives in Paris wanting to see the metro; unfortunately, the workers are on strike. So, instead she runs amuck throughout the rest of Paris. That about sums up the story for this picture. It doesn't sound like much, and it really isn't, but for a film that is just under 90 minutes it delights from beginning to end.

Where there is a lack of depth in the story and the characters, the film makes up for in style. The pacing is frantic and so are the camera tricks. Scenes speed up and down, along with the background music, while stop tricks move characters around in the blink of an eye. All this is what makes the film as fun as it is and it eventually leads up to one heck of a bizarre finale. The multiple chase scenes are also worthy of note.

Catherine Demongeot is a blast to watch as the foul mouthed Zazie and the rest of the cast find a way to blend right in with the rest of the picture.

Zazie dans le metro can be a little annoying with its style and humor, but overall, it is a recommendable French comedic film.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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