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Paris, 1942. Lucas Steiner is a Jew and was compelled to leave the country. His wife Marion, an actress, directs the theater for him. She tries to keep the theater alive with a new play, and hires Bernard Granger for the leading role. But Lucas is actually hiding in the basement... A film about art and life. Written by
When Lucas talks to Marion about a play he saw in London, he is alluding to Patrick Hamilton's "Gaslight", which was twice made into a movie, by Thorold Dickinson in 1940, and by George Cukor in 1944. See more »
In one scene in the cellar, during a conversation between Marion and Lucas, we can see the sound recordist hiding himself in a corner of the cellar. See more »
It takes two to love, as it takes two to hate. And I will keep loving you, in spite of yourself. My heart beats faster when I think of you. Nothing else matters.
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I kind of expected a "Paris under occupation" drama, but this wasn't it, it's more a mixed bag of goods. There isn't a lot of drama, actually, which makes this movie somewhat slow and tedious to watch.
The plot: a celebrated Jewish-German theatre director (Heinz Bennent) fails to escape from occupied France, and has to hide in the cellar of his theatre in Montmartre. From down under, he directs another hit play, while his beautiful wife (Cathérine Deneuve) dotes on him. Nevertheless an affair develops between her and the male lead actor, played by Gérard Depardieu, but none of them seem to take it too serious (they're French, after all, except the German director, who seems to have gone native). There's a plethora of side stories, a French collaborateur movie critic, a Jewish girl and lots of lesbians and gays, but they all kind of amble along instead of leading up to something. It's all very farcical, and you never get the impression that anyone is suffering from the war and the occupation. And the eponymous métro is a no-show -- I don't know why Truffaut put it in the title as it has nothing to do with the movie.
We probably all expect the director, Lucas Steiner, to be betrayed and to end up in concentration camp. This doesn't happen which makes the movie somewhat offbeat and optimistic, but also a bit pointless. Let's face it, despite this movie earning 10 Césars along rave professional reviews, it's not one of Truffaut's best. So I'd recommend this one mostly to Truffaut completists.
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