7.2/10
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20 user 41 critic

Trafic (1971)

Mr. Hulot drives a recreational vehicle from Paris to Amsterdam in his usual comical, disastrous style.

Director:

Writers:

(original scenario), (artistic collaboration) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Monsieur Hulot (as Mr. Hulot)
Marcel Fraval ...
Truckdriver
Honoré Bostel ...
Director of ALTRA
François Maisongrosse ...
François (as F. Maisongrosse)
Tony Knepper ...
Mechanic
Franco Ressel
Marco Zuanelli ...
Mechanic (as Mario Zanuelli)
Maria Kimberly ...
Maria
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Storyline

At Altra Motors, Mr. Hulot designs an ingenious camper car with lots of clever features. A lorry hauls the prototype to an important auto show in Amsterdam, with Mr. Hulot alongside in his car and a spoiled, trendy PR exec, the young Maria, in her sports car packed with designer clothes and her fluffy dog. The lorry has every imaginable problem, delaying its arrival. A flat tire, no gas, an accident, a run-in with police, a stop at a garage, and numerous traffic jams showcase vignettes of people and their cars. Through interactions with these down-to-earth folks, Maria gradually loses her imperious conceit, becoming much more relaxed and fetching. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

traffic | police | dog | road | repairman | See All (30) »

Taglines:

The Master of Comedy Gets Caught in a Jam!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

11 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traffic  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end scene (people walking with umbrellas between parked cars) was shot on the parking lot of the then still functioning Amsterdam Ford factory. See more »

Goofs

The green car transporting the tree log (number 3832GE78) is missing the tree log in the bottom-up scrolling plane at 679 seconds into the movie. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Tati is billed simply as "M. Hulot." He does, of course, use his real name for his writing and directing credits. See more »

Connections

References The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Thème Trafic
Written and Performed by Charles Dumont
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User Reviews

 
A Piece of Cinema History
21 May 2002 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Whilst not Tati's best by any stretch of the imagination the genius of the man still shines through. Having lived in France for a while I see more humour in this film, particularly in the comedic observation, than before. The French may be fanatical about cinema and may well have produced some of the world's greatest film makers but out and out comedy probably ranks well down in terms of output. Maybe it's something to do with the French sense of humour (whatever that may be). Unlike British, and to a lesser extent US comedy, self-parody is not a French strength. It could be something to do with their history and education but the culture, so strong in literature and the arts seems not to demean itself with pure laughter. Most cinema fans would probably be hard put to list 10 French comedies - other than perhaps drama with the occasional comic undertones. Les Visiteurs (the original not the recent re-make) is probably one of the better examples but here again there's little or no self-mocking.

So it was left to Tati to mine the seam - and how well he mined it. Here he takes the smallest of French (dare I say Parisian) mannerisms and extends them into lengthy scenes of beautifully observed comedy. Whether it's the windscreen wipers in tune with the occupants or the nose-picking drivers, he asks the French to at least smile, if not laugh out loud, at themselves.

Yes, the film does move at rather a slow pace and there are times when the comic observation sags, but the sight of dear old M Hulot in his mackintosh, loping along with pipe jutting from his mouth will ever remain one of cinema's delights.


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