IMDb > The Hole (1960)
Le trou
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The Hole (1960) More at IMDbPro »Le trou (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.5/10   8,287 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
José Giovanni (novel)
Jacques Becker (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Hole on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 1997 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(28 articles)
Two Men in Town | Review
 (From ioncinema. 4 March 2015, 1:00 PM, PST)

TV books programmes: if nobody watches them, make better ones
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 29 January 2015, 5:33 AM, PST)

Review: Steven Soderbergh’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 15 January 2015, 8:20 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
God is in the details. See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Michel Constantin ... Geo Cassine

Jean Keraudy ... Roland Darbant
Philippe Leroy ... Manu Borelli
Raymond Meunier ... Vossellin / Monseigneur
Marc Michel ... Claude Gaspard (as Mark Michel)
Jean-Paul Coquelin ... Le lieutenant Grinval (as J. Paul Coquelin)
André Bervil ... Le directeur
Eddy Rasimi ... Bouboule
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean Becker ... Un gardien (uncredited)
Philippe Dumat ... (uncredited)
Gérard Hernandez ... Le détenu à l'infirmerie (uncredited)
Jean Luisi ... (uncredited)
Paul Pavel ... (uncredited)
Paul Préboist ... Un gardien (uncredited)
Catherine Spaak ... Nicole (uncredited)
Dominique Zardi ... Le détenu qui assiste le gardien à la fouille (uncredited)

Directed by
Jacques Becker 
 
Writing credits
José Giovanni (novel)

Jacques Becker (adaptation) and
José Giovanni (adaptation) and
Jean Aurel (adaptation)

Jacques Becker (dialogue) and
José Giovanni (dialogue)

Produced by
Georges Charlot .... executive producer
Jean Mottet .... executive producer
Serge Silberman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Philippe Arthuys 
 
Cinematography by
Ghislain Cloquet 
 
Film Editing by
Marguerite Renoir 
Geneviève Vaury 
 
Production Design by
Rino Mondellini 
 
Production Management
Paul Laffargue .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean Becker .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Paul Moreau .... assistant decorator
Jean Taillandier .... assistant decorator
 
Sound Department
Jean Bareille .... sound assistant
Pierre-Louis Calvet .... sound engineer (as Pierre Calvet)
Maurice Dagonneau .... sound assistant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gilbert Chain .... assistant camera
Jean Chiabaut .... assistant camera
François Lauliac .... assistant camera
Henry Thibault .... still photographer
 
Other crew
Sophie Cloquet .... script supervisor
Jacqueline Dudilleux .... administrator
Odette Laeupplée .... production secretary
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le trou" - France (original title)
"Le Trou" - International (English title) (alternative title), UK (alternative title), USA (alternative title)
"The Night Watch" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
132 min | West Germany:121 min (1984 restored version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Catherine Spaak got her big break when her uncredited brief appearance as Nicole in this film caught the eye of a Paris TV reporter. Sophia Loren happened to see the reporter's interview with Catherine on TV. She immediately thought she looked perfect for the lead role in "I dolci inganni" (Sweet Deceptions, 1960) which was being cast by her producer-husband Carlo Ponti.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the sewer when Roland Darban is sketching the prison plan, the dirt on the ground is totally flattened while it was a passageway and there should have been some footprints.See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
God is in the details., 4 February 2002
Author: muddlyjames from Hemet, Ca.

This most powerful of escape stories is a wonderful exposition of the most basic human qualities, ingenuity and cooperation, and the innate drive toward freedom that brings these qualities into being.

While the theme of transcendence is certainly present (although not be-labored) as in A MAN ESCAPED, it is interesting that, in direct contrast to Bresson's work, transcendence is here achieved through work WITH others on a task. The inmates form a unique brotherhood through their joint reliance. This allows them to be IN the prison while not OF it and is quietly visible from the early moments of the film. We see this group bond deepened through each risk taken, each chisel blow against a concrete wall, and we become emotionally tied to the characters' quest simply through observing their effort (it is amazing how dramatic hammering away at a concrete wall can be). No verbal exposition is necessary, no creation of characters and their pasts intrudes to distract us from their task, which IS the drama.

Indeed Becker's film is as notable for what is left out as for what is included. There are no prison "types" created, his style is restrained to the point of being transparent, not to the point of calling attention to itself as "bare" or "ascetic" as Bresson's is. We get no exposition of the horrors of prison life; just enough detailing of the regimentation, drabness of environment, and lack of personal space to make us aware of the institution's suffocating presence. There are no sudden surprises or plot shifts. Well, maybe one. The shot in the mirror near the end of the film is so surprising that I literally couldn't take it in for a few seconds, I thought it had to be a dream: that's how involved with the characters I was! Finally, there is no use of music to pump up the suspense. There IS, however, a powerful and unique use of sound. We hear, in an almost hallucinatory fashion, every thump, clang, and wail within the prison walls and, during the digging scenes, Becker apparently uses a dual soundtrack combining naturalistic sound with heightened effects of the digger's grunts, heavy breathing, and THUMPS of metal against rock. Again this serves to effectively involve us with physical/emotional effort of their task. The cacophony the end of the film harshly accents our sense of disturbance and loss.

It is also worth noting that the apparent "innocent" in the film is the only one who does not achieve transcendence. While he may legitimately gain his freedom, he remains locked within the bounds of his own ego ("poor Pierre" says the leader of the break). Another interesting contrast (reply?) to Bresson.

Altogether a powerful statement that humans at work can be intrinsically dramatic subject matter, that the most simple of subjects can be the most visually entrancing (and emotionally resonant) and a grand illustration of the maxim that "God (and/or art) is in the details". 10/10

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