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Jules and Jim
     

Jules and Jim

4.8 5
Director: François Truffaut

Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre

 

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Acclaimed French director François Truffaut's third and, for many viewers, best film is an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. Set between 1912 and 1933, it stars Oskar Werner as the German Jules and Henri Serre as the Frenchman Jim, kindred spirits who, while on holiday in Greece, fall in love with the smile on the face of a sculpture.

Overview

Acclaimed French director François Truffaut's third and, for many viewers, best film is an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. Set between 1912 and 1933, it stars Oskar Werner as the German Jules and Henri Serre as the Frenchman Jim, kindred spirits who, while on holiday in Greece, fall in love with the smile on the face of a sculpture. Back in Paris, the smile comes to life in the person of Catherine (Jeanne Moreau); the three individuals become constant companions, determined to live their lives to the fullest despite the world war around them. When Jules declares his love for Catherine, Jim agrees to let Jules pursue her, despite his own similar feelings; Jules and Catherine marry and have a child (Sabine Haudepin), but Catherine still loves Jim as well. An influential film that has grown in stature over the decades, Jules et Jim was often viewed by the counterculture of the 1960s as a cinematic proponent of the free-love movement, but in actuality the picture is a statement against such a way of life. Despite the bond shared by Jules, Jim, and Catherine, their ménage à trois is doomed to fail; and Catherine's inability to choose between the two men leads to tragic consequences for all three.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This beautiful period romance, a virtually flawless motion picture that encompasses all the virtues of cinematic drama, is arguably the best ever directed by French filmmaker François Truffaut, whose previous works -- The 400 Blows (1959) and Shoot the Piano Player (1960) -- had already cemented his reputation among cosmopolitan moviegoers. Released in 1961, Jules and Jim reaffirmed the critic-turned-filmmaker’s standing as one of the New Wave’s leading lights. In the years just preceding World War I, two friends -- the German Jules (Oskar Werner) and the Frenchman Jim (Henri Serre) -- both love the beautiful Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). While reluctant to hurt either suitor, Catherine eventually chooses one over the other, but the war intervenes and changes everything. Truffaut’s tale of friendship is loaded with cinematic allusions, including one to Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 silent classic The Kid, and it’s an overt homage to Jean Renoir. Yet Jules and Jim is a unique piece of filmmaking in its own right, thanks to the director’s clarity of vision and masterly employment of various cinematic devices to express the characters’ shifting moods. As convincing as they are likable, the three leading players have never been better onscreen. Moreau’s charming rendition of “Le Tourbillon” made that song a surprise hit, although the sequence is only one of many memorable ones in this unforgettable masterpiece.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
His third and most popular film, François Truffaut's adaptation of the Henri-Pierre Roché novel is a lyrical, elliptical meditation on the possibilities of love. Shot in widescreen black-and-white by Raoul Coutard in beautifully detailed pre- and post-World War I settings, the central ménage à trois of Jules, Jim, and mercurial Catherine reveals the limits placed on a woman's freedom by the men's desire to mold her to their fantasy ideal. Catherine remains an enigma to Jules and Jim, though they adore her, as they tragically misjudge how absolute her refusal to choose between them will be. Truffaut's eclectic technique (bolstered by Georges Delerue's score) evoked the shifting emotions in this ultra-modern romance, ranging from kinetic handheld shots communicating the trio's joie de vivre to freeze-frames briefly suspending Catherine's beauty in time. An international smash and instant classic, Jules and Jim cemented Truffaut's reputation as a cinematic artist, rather than just a brash critic. Despite Jules and Jim's tragic end, audiences embraced the possibility of alternative romantic arrangements, while Truffaut's bravura, resonant style inspired even Truffaut's idol Jean Renoir to say that he wished he had made the film.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/2014
UPC:
0715515113519
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1A
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:46:00
Sales rank:
24,535

Special Features

Two Audio Commentaries: One featuring co-screenwriter Jean Grualt, longtime François Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, Editor Claudine Bouché, and film scholar Annette Insdorf; the other featuring actor Jeanne Moreau and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana; Excerpts from The Key to "Jules and Jim" (1985), a documentary about author Henri-Pierre Roché and the real life relationships that inspired the novel and film; Interviews with Grualt and Cinematographer Raoul Coutard; Conversation between film scholars Robert Stam and Dudley Andrew; Excerpt from a 1965 episode of the French TV program Cinéastes de notre temps dedicated to Truffaut; Segment from a 1969 episode of the French TV show L'invité du dimanche featuring Truffaut, Moreau, and filmmaker Jean Renoir; Excerpts from Truffaut's first appearance on American television, a 1977 interview with New York Film Festival Director Richard Roud; Excerpts from a 1979 American Film Institute seminar given by Truffaut; Audio interview with Truffaut from 1980; Trailer; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic John Powers, a 1981 piece by Truffaut on Roché, and script notes from Truffaut to Gruault

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanne Moreau Catherine
Oskar Werner Jules
Henri Serre Jim
Marie Dubois Therese
Vanna Urbino Gilberte
Boris Bassiak Albert
Sabine Haudepin Sabine
Jean-Louis Richard 1st Customer in Cafe
Christian A. Wagner Helga
Michel Subor Narrator
Michel Varesano 2nd Customer in Cafe
Danielle Bassiak Albert's companion
Pierre Fabre Drunkard in Cafe
Elen Bober Mathilde
Kate Noelle Birgitta
Anny Nielsen Lucy
Dominique Lacarriere One of the women
Bernard Largemains Merlin

Technical Credits
François Truffaut Director,Screenwriter
Boris Bassiak Songwriter
Marcel Berbert Producer
Claudine Bouché Editor
Fred Capel Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Raoul Coutard Cinematographer
Georges Delerue Score Composer
Jean Gruault Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Jules and Jim: The Film
1. Credits/A Friendship [2:44]
2. Thérèse [4:52]
3. A Calm Smile [3:43]
4. Catherine [1:08]
5. Thomas [3:13]
6. Burning Lies [2:38]
7. Traces of Civilization [3:25]
8. At the Beach [1:40]
9. Learning To Laugh [1:43]
10. Catherine's Leap [4:23]
11. Good News [3:16]
12. The War [4:48]
13. An Angel Passes [8:01]
14. Speaking of Catherine [2:58]
15. Jim and Catherine [7:27]
16. War Stories [3:28]
17. "Le Tourbillion de la vie" [2:28]
18. Elective Affinities [4:14]
19. Village Idiots [4:31]
20. Jim in Paris [3:42]
21. Gilberte [1:24]
22. Catherine the Queen [3:14]
23. Changing Alliances [6:39]
24. Parting [2:36]
25. Separation [3:34]
26. Reunions [5:18]
27. Jim's Story [4:02]
28. Catherine's Final Gesture [5:02]
1. Color Bars
1. Introductions [2:44]
2. Bernard Largemains/Marie Dubois [4:52]
3. Serge Rezvani/Common Interests [3:43]
4. The Most Compelling Creation [1:08]
5. Cutting Room/Gender Roles [3:13]
6. A Naive Film [2:38]
7. Writing and Directing [3:25]
8. Many Men/Few Women [1:40]
9. Obnoxious Kid/Complex Woman [1:43]
10. Roché/Feminism [4:23]
11. Picasso and "The Marseillaise" [3:16]
12. Stock Footage/Oskar Werner [4:48]
13. Editing/The Actors [8:01]
14. Discoveries on the Set [2:58]
15. Family/Henri Serre [7:27]
16. Recording Sound [3:28]
17. Catherine/Collective Effort [2:28]
18. The Privacy Of Windows [4:14]
19. Women Are Stronger [4:31]
20. How the Story is Told/Extras [3:42]
21. A Team Player [1:24]
22. Freedom in Editing [3:14]
23. Hitchcock/The Key Scene [6:39]
24. The Fog/An Irresistible Force [2:36]
25. The Mystery Of Catherine [3:34]
26. Going Past the Story/Voice-Over [5:18]
27. A Goddess, Not a Woman [4:02]
28. Fragility [5:02]
1. Color Bars

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