Jules and Jim

Jules and Jim

4.8 5
Director: François Truffaut

Cast: François Truffaut, Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre


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While many might argue whether Jules and Jim is François Truffaut's best film (some preferring the bolder statement of The 400 Blows or the maturity of his later efforts), it certainly seems to be the work in his repertoire that has the strongest sentimental impact on viewers; it's the sort of film that people simply fall in love with, and The Criterion


While many might argue whether Jules and Jim is François Truffaut's best film (some preferring the bolder statement of The 400 Blows or the maturity of his later efforts), it certainly seems to be the work in his repertoire that has the strongest sentimental impact on viewers; it's the sort of film that people simply fall in love with, and The Criterion Collection's DVD release (which expands upon their out-of-print laserdisc edition) offers the film all the affection such a movie deserves. Jules and Jim has been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at its original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which has also been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The transfer was supervised by the film's cinematographer, Raoul Coutard, and the results are a presentation clear enough to reveal occasional flaws in the original photography, though the simple beauty of Coutard's work shines through at all times. The original French-language audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and it sounds splendid throughout. As is their custom, Criterion have honored this great film with a wide variety of supplementary materials. Six different broadcast interviews with Truffaut, recorded between 1965 and 1980 (most never seen in America) are included, as are contemporary interviews with cameraman Coutard and screenwriter Jean Gruault. Film critics Robert Stam and Dudley Andrew discuss Jules and Jim in a joint analysis of the film, while a truncated version of the documentary The Key to Jules and Jim offers profiles of the real people who inspired Henri-Pierre Roché's novel, which in turn provided the basis for the film. Two audio commentaries have been included: one includes Gruault, editor Claudine Bouché, frequent Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, and film historian Annette Insdorf, while the other features leading lady Jeanne Moreau and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana. The Moreau/Toubiana commentary is in French, but optional subtitles for the chat are included. And finally, the booklet includes samplings of Truffaut's writings on film, and appreciations of Jules and Jim from Pauline Kael and John Powers. One could hardly ask for a more thoughtful and devoted presentation of one of the landmarks of French cinema, and this will doubtless be regarded as the definitive home-video presentation of Jules and Jim as long as DVDs are the dominant format on the market; anyone with a serious interest in Truffaut or European cinema of the 1960s will want to see this.

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

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Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Raoul Coutard; Two audio commentaries: one featuring co-writer Jean Gruault, Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, editor Claudine Bouché, and film scholar Annette Insdorf; the other featuring legendary actress Jeanne Moreau and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana; Excerpts from The Key to Jules and Jim (1985), a documentary on author Henri-Pierre Roché and the true stories on which the novel and film are based; Truffaut on Roché, from the French program Bibliothèque de Poche (1966); Theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; New video interview with Coutard; Video interview with Gruault; New video conversation between scholars Robert Stam and Dudley Andrew; Excerpt from a 1965 episode of the French television program Cinéastes de Notre Temps dedicated to François Truffaut; Segment from the French program L'Invité du Dimanche (1969), featuring Truffaut, Moreau, and 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 Dialogue on Film given by Truffaut; Archival audio interview of Truffaut by Claude-Jean Philippe (1980); 44-page booklet featuring an essay by film critic John Powers, reprints of Truffaut's writings, and a Pauline Kael review

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

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Credits/A Friendship [2:36]
2. Thérèse [4:52]
3. A Calm Smile [3:43]
4. Catherine [1:06]
5. Thomas [3:15]
6. Burning Lies [2:39]
7. Traces of Civilization [3:26]
8. At the Beach [1:39]
9. Learning to Laugh [1:43]
10. Catherine's Leap [4:23]
11. Good News [3:17]
12. The War [4:47]
13. An Angel Passes [8:01]
14. Speaking of Catherine [2:58]
15. Jim and Catherine [7:29]
16. War Stories [3:28]
17. "Le Tourbillon de la Vie" [2:28]
18. Elective Affinities [4:14]
19. Village Idiots [4:31]
20. Jim in Paris [3:42]
21. Gilberte [1:23]
22. Catherine the Queen [3:15]
23. Changing Alliances [6:38]
24. Parting [2:36]
25. Separation [3:33]
26. Reunions [5:19]
27. Jim's Story [4:02]
28. Catherine's Final Gesture [5:00]
1. Introductions [2:36]
2. Bernard Largemains/Marie Dubois [4:52]
3. Serge Rezvani/Common Interests [3:43]
4. The Most Compelling Creation [1:06]
5. Cutting Room/Gender Roles [3:15]
6. A Naïve Film [2:39]
7. Writing and Directing [3:26]
8. Many Men/Few Women [1:39]
9. Obnoxious Kid/Complex Woman [1:43]
10. Roché/Feminism [4:23]
11. Picasso and "The Marseillaise" [3:17]
12. Stock Footage/Oskar Werner [4:47]
13. Editing/The Actors [8:01]
14. Discoveries on the Set [2:58]
15. Family/Henri Serre [7:29]
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 [1:23]
22. Freedom in Editing [3:15]
23. Hitchcock/The Key Scene [6:38]
24. The Fog/An Irresistible Force [2:36]
25. The Mystery of Catherine [3:33]
26. Going Past the Story/Voice-Over [5:19]
27. A Goddess, Not a Woman [4:02]
28. Fragility [5:00]
1. Meeting Truffaut [2:36]
2. Like a Song [4:52]
3. Roché's Notebooks [3:43]
4. A Film That Has Traveled Well [1:06]
5. Making the Same Film [3:15]
6. Acting Is Not Lying [2:39]
7. Friendship/Joie de Vivre [3:26]
8. Perfectly in Synch [1:39]
9. A Small Gesture of Cruelty [1:43]
10. A Fixed Moment/The Leap [4:23]
11. Diplomatic Son [3:17]
12. Depicting the War/Reality [4:47]
13. Three Individuals [8:01]
14. Rebellion and Acceptance [2:58]
15. Arrogance/Paradise Lost [7:29]
16. Direct Sound/Appolinaire [3:28]
17. An Essential Song [2:28]
18. The Cruelty of Freedom [4:14]
19. An Independent Woman [4:31]
20. Henri Serre [3:42]
21. The Couple [1:23]
22. A Wonderful Gift [3:15]
23. Nostalgia/One Take [6:38]
24. Right to Left [2:36]
25. A War of Letters [3:33]
26. Moulin d'Andé/Defining Statements [5:19]
27. Catherine Betrays Catherine [4:02]
28. People Forget [5:00]
1. A Triangle [2:42]
2. Helen Hessel [7:35]
3. Franz Hessel [6:04]
4. Henri-Pierre Roché [7:20]
5. The Triangle Breaks [7:30]
Side #2 -- Disc Two
1. Jeanne Exposes François [5:29]
2. Working With Truffaut [6:20]
3. The Opposite of François [5:06]
4. Avenue Frochet [7:41]
5. The Letter [7:21]
1. A Film Brimming With Text [3:25]
2. Truffaut vs. the Legion of Decency [2:45]
3. Two Kids in Love With Their Mother [1:49]
4. The Lightness of Lubitsch [2:09]
5. An Autobiographical Novel [1:37]
6. Oskar Werner and Henri Serre [3:45]
7. Circle and Triangle [4:30]
8. How to Illustrate Friendship [2:08]
9. Jean Gruault [3:54]
10. An Element of Exaltation [1:54]
1. Truffaut Is Not Doinel [4:16]
2. Adapting Roché [6:14]
3. The Abstract and the Concrete [2:45]
4. Differing Imaginations [4:38]
5. 00-14 (aka Belle Époque) [2:51]

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