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À Nous la Liberté (1931)

À nous la liberté (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 31 December 1931 (USA)
Seeking better life, two convicts escape from prison.



(story and screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Henri Marchand ...
Rolla France ...
Paul Ollivier ...
L'oncle (as Paul Olivier)
Jacques Shelly ...
André Michaud ...
Le contremaitre
Maud - la femme de Louis
Léon Lorin ...
Le vieux monsieur sourd
William Burke ...
L'ancien détenu
Vincent Hyspa ...
Le vieil orateur


A famous left-wing satirical comedy about two ex-convicts, one of whom escaped jail and then worked his way up from salesman to factory owner, where he oversees a highly mechanized operation where the workers are reduced to mere automatons. Fearful of being exposed over his past, at first by his friend and later by another gangster, the owner chooses to give his factory to the workers, then escapes with his friend to the freedom of the open road. The production company for "A Nous la Liberte" was for more than a decade embroiled in a lawsuit claiming that Charles Chaplin had seen their film and plagiarized many ideas from it as he developed "Modern Times." Written by footsperry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Le chef-d'oeuvre de René Clair


Comedy | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

À Nous la Liberté  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


[first lines]
[Voice over Singer]: Liberty is the happy man's due / He enjoys love and skies of blue / But then there are some / Who no worse crimes have done / It's the sad story we tell / From a prison cell
See more »


Referenced in Modern Times (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the great masterpieces of the early French Sound Cinema.
20 October 1999 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to see "A Nous La Liberte" along with it's sister film (in my mind, anyway) "Le Million" at an early age at the Museum of Modern Art. I have never gotten over them. They are both miracles of studio production with even many of the exteriors built in studio. Both films were designed by the great Lazare Meerson and evoke the magical Paris of the 20's. Both films make wonderful, inventive use of music and song, though neither one is exactly a Musical in the modern sense. "A Nous La Liberte" is also interesting for having been Chaplin's inspiration for much of "Modern Times."

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