Last Metro

The Last Metro

4.6 3
Director: François Truffaut, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret

Cast: François Truffaut, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Poiret

     
 

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1980's Le Dernier Metro (aka The Last Metro) was one of Francois Truffaut's final films (he died in 1984) and it was his last unqualified commercial and critical triumph, a film whose romance and suspense captivated audiences while dealing pointedly with the moral compromises the French struggled with during World War II. The Criterion Collection's DVD

Overview

1980's Le Dernier Metro (aka The Last Metro) was one of Francois Truffaut's final films (he died in 1984) and it was his last unqualified commercial and critical triumph, a film whose romance and suspense captivated audiences while dealing pointedly with the moral compromises the French struggled with during World War II. The Criterion Collection's DVD release of The Last Metro is not the film's first appearance on disc in North America, but it's easily the best, and confirms this was the work of a master filmmaker in full command of his medium. The Last Metro has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed at the 1.66:1 aspect ratio on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16:9 monitors. The transfer handles the dominant reds of Nestor Almendros's cinematography with skill, and preserves the film's delicate balance of realism and dreamlike beauty with commendable accuracy. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, preserving the original audio mix, and the results sound nearly as good as the film looks. The dialogue is in French, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. The feature is accompanied by two optional commentary tracks. Truffaut biographer Annette Insdorf talks about the making of the film, Truffaut's style and the historical background of the story on one track, while the other is drawn from comments by actor Gerard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azema and Serge Toubiana, author of another book on Truffaut. The second commentary track is in French, and optional subtitles translating the commentary into English have been included. Additional bonus materials appear on a second disc, including two 1980 television interviews with Truffaut and members of his cast (including Catherine Deneuve, Jean Poiret and Depardieu; a conversation on the making of the film with actors Paulette Dubost, Andrea Ferreol, Sabine Haudepin and Alain Tasma (the latter also served as Truffaut's assistant); a discussion on the look of the film and how it was achieved featuring camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine; and a rare interview with Nestor Almendros on working with Truffaut. A scene that was deleted from The Last Metro's original theatrical release is also included, though for some reason it hasn't been subtitled into English. Un Histoire D'Eau, a short film Truffaut made in 1958 in collaboration with Jean-Luc Godard, also appears on disc two, with The Last Metro's French theatrical trailer rounding out the program. And Armond White contributes an original essay on the film to the booklet, part of one of Criterion's most handsome packages to date. No one with a love of French cinema will need much persuading to pick up this edition of The Last Metro, but even those with just a passing interest in European cinema are likely to be dazzled by the beauty of this film, and this DVD is the definitive presentation for home theaters of Truffaut's late period masterwork.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of France's greatest and most popular filmmakers, François Truffaut was never as overtly political as his contemporary Jean-Luc Godard. Truffaut was the subject of some criticism for his apolitical stance, particularly amidst the social upheaval of the 1960s; his response to the idea that art should have an expressly political purpose did not come until the end of his career, with 1980's Le Dernier Métro (The Last Metro). The story of a working theater and its players during the Nazi occupation of Paris, the film examines the nature of art and how it interacts with political commitment. The film is the director's final notable work before his death in 1984, and unlike Louis Malle and his occupation-era movie Au Revoir Les Enfants, Truffaut never goes for a straight-out emotional punch; he's more self-conscious. The film was a significant hit at the time -- no wonder, considering the collection of talent involved in its making. In front of the camera were two of France's most respected stars, Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and Gérard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac), and film was shot by the extraordinary Nestor Almendros (My Night at Maud's, Days of Heaven).

Product Details

Release Date:
03/24/2009
UPC:
0715515042215
Original Release:
1980
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:11:00
Sales rank:
26,777

Special Features

Disc One:; ; New Audio Commentary by Annette Insdorf, Author of François Truffaut; Audio Commentary by Actor Gérard Depardieu, Historian Jean-Pierre Azéma, and Truffaut Biographer Serge Toubiana; ; New and improved English Subtitle Translation; ; Disc Two:; ; Deleted Scenes; French television excerpts featuring interviews with Truffaut and Actors Catherine Deneuve, Depardieu, and Jean Poiret; New Video Interviews with Actors Andréa Ferréol, Sabine Haudepin, and Paulette Dubost, Second Assistant Director Alain Tasma, and Camera Assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine, in which they discuss The Last Metros' ensemble performances and visual style; A Video interview with the celebrated cinematographer Nestor Almendros, detailing his collaborations with Truffaut; Une Histoire d'eau, a 1958 short film codirected by Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard; Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: A Booklet featuring a new essay by Critic Armond White

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Deneuve Marion Steiner
Gérard Depardieu Bernard Granger
Jean Poiret Jean-Loup Cottins
Heinz Bennent Lucas Steiner
Andréa Ferréol Arlette Guillaume
Paulette Dubost Germaine Fabre
Sabine Haudepin Nadine Marsac
Jean-Louis Richard Daxiat
Maurice Risch Raymond Boursier
Christian Baltauss Bernard's Replacement
Pierre Belot Hotel Porter
René Dupré M. Valentin
Martine Simonet Martine Sénéchal
Alain Tasma Marc
Rose Thiéry Jacquot's Mother
Jacob Weizbluth Rosen
Jean-Pierre Klein Christian Leglise
Franck Pasquier Jacquot/Eric
Jean-Jose Richer Rene Bernardini
Laszlo Szabo Lieutnant Bergen
Jessica Zucman Rosette Goldstern
Marcel Berbert Merlin
Richard Bohringer Gestapo Officer
Renata Greta Borg
Ewa Truffaut Secretary

Technical Credits
François Truffaut Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Nestor Almendros Cinematographer
Martine Barraqué-Curie Editor
Marie-Aimée Debril Editor
Georges Delerue Score Composer
Jean-Claude Grumberg Screenwriter
Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko Art Director
Michel Laurent Sound/Sound Designer
Liselle Roos Costumes/Costume Designer
Suzanne Schiffman Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Last Metro
1. Occupation [3:08]
2. A Real Theater [4:55]
3. Rules And Permits [6:23]
4. Performances [5:58]
5. Vistitors [2:45]
6. Accepting Everything [2:04]
7. Underground [5:43]
8. Smear Campaign [1:29]
9. Suspicions [4:19]
10. Crazy Ideas [3:10]
11. Plans [3:49]
12. Casting [1:51]
13. Discoveries [5:12]
14. Close Call [3:12]
15. Unseen Influences [5:45]
16. Fixing Things [3:05]
17. Warnings [3:47]
18. Revelations [3:09]
19. A Disastrous [3:39]
20. Missing [6:22]
21. Opening Night [2:37]
22. Backstage [9:28]
23. Reviews [4:42]
24. New Thoughts [2:28]
25. Ways Out [4:56]
26. Resistance [5:20]
27. Inspection [3:45]
28. Stage Design [3:07]
29. Two Women [3:07]
30. Connections [4:04]
31. Curtain Call [2:43]
1. A Film About Collaboration [3:08]
2. Creating Cinematic Unity [4:55]
3. Theme of Displacement [6:23]
4. Going Behind the Scenes [5:58]
5. Outward Calm [2:45]
6. Chilling Statistics [2:04]
7. The Heart of the Story [5:43]
8. Ring-Wing Press [1:29]
9. A Duplicitous Character [4:19]
10. Allusions To Reality [3:10]
11. Truffaut's Personal Discovery [3:49]
12. Working With Children [1:51]
13. Deneuve's Lack of Experience [5:12]
14. Truffaut's Tolerant Vision [3:12]
15. Indirect Direction [5:45]
16. Learning From Hitchcock [3:05]
17. Production Problems [3:47]
18. A Sense Of Family [3:09]
19. A Song's Paradox [3:39]
20. Real Details of Life [6:22]
21. Truffaut's Anxieties [2:37]
22. Evoking Lubitsch [9:28]
23. A More Traditional Work [4:42]
24. Jean Marais Mirrored [2:28]
25. An Important Collaborator [4:56]
26. Truffaut's Ease With Deletions [5:20]
27. The John Travolta Connection [3:45]
28. A Consummate Actor [3:07]
29. Skeletons In The Closet [3:07]
30. A Literary Sensibility [4:04]
31. From Shadow Into Light [2:43]
1. Problems [3:08]
2. Period Specifics [4:55]
3. Women With Authority [6:23]
4. Critical Inspiration [5:58]
5. Class Distinctions [2:45]
6. Difficult Relationships [2:04]
7. Revolving Around Deneuve [5:43]
8. 1942 [1:29]
9. Ambilavence [4:19]
10. German Ordinance [3:10]
11. Underground Networks [3:49]
12. Authentic Roles [1:51]
13. Entertainment Trilogy [5:12]
14. Allusions [3:12]
15. Dreamers [5:45]
16. Subterfuge [3:05]
17. An Important Clue [3:47]
18. Blackouts [3:09]
19. Popular Cabarets [3:39]
20. Irregular Situation [6:22]
21. Interpretation And Re-Creation [2:37]
22. Return To Inspirations [9:28]
23. Commonplace Terms [4:42]
24. A Famous Scene [2:28]
25. Establishing Policies [4:56]
26. Cornered [5:20]
27. Reasons For The Raid [3:45]
28. A Flimsy Shelter [3:07]
29. Capturing The Spirit [3:07]
30. Truth [4:04]
31. Typical Truffaut [2:43]
1. Color Bars [5:40]

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The Last Metro 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great French classic with Gerard Depardieu playing an intriguing role that follows the life of those in hiding during WWII! The picture quality of this critirion is wonderful as well as the bonus fetures including several interesting interviews and deleted scenes. Lastly, I was glad to see that the subtitles were actually an option because I prefer to just listen and not have the English in my face. Some films that have been revamped have the English subtitles inbedded and it's really irritating. Not this one! Great film for teaching!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago