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The Last Metro (1980)
"Le dernier métro" (original title)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  19 February 1981 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,775 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 39 critic

In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.

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(scenario), (scenario), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jean Poiret ...
Andréa Ferréol ...
Paulette Dubost ...
Germaine Fabre
Jean-Louis Richard ...
Daxiat
Maurice Risch ...
Raymond Boursier
Sabine Haudepin ...
Nadine Marsac
Heinz Bennent ...
Lucas Steiner
Christian Baltauss ...
Bernard's Replacement
Pierre Belot ...
Desk Clerk
René Dupré ...
Valentin
Aude Loring
Alain Tasma ...
Marc
Rose Thiéry ...
Jacquot's Mother / Concierge (as Rose Thierry)
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of love and conflict.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último metro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Granger talks about his bike being stolen, he mentions the license plate number: 813 HK 45 (in the original version to the least). This number belongs to a system that was introduced in France in 1950 only, which did not even concern bicycles. See more »

Quotes

Marion Steiner: 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.
See more »

Connections

References La symphonie fantastique (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Bei mir Bist du Schön
Music by Sholom Secunda
Lyrics by Chan Chaplin, Jacob Jacobs, Jacques Larue
(Editions Chappell)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One from Les Films du Carrosse
9 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

One often sees the criticism of Francois Truffaut"s "Le Dernier Metro" ( "The Last Metro") that he had turned to making films in the tradition of the films that he had scorned as a young critic in the 1950s. Of course, most of these writers are not familiar with the films that he had scorned. I would say "yes" he was working in a tradition. He could almosthave titles the film "Si Paris occupeé nous était conté". Sacha Guitrywas one of his heroes. But he did call the film "Le Dernier Metro" and that title points to the tradition of the film and explains its style.It is true that the early scene where Bernard tries to pick up Arlette bears some resemblance to the scene at the beginning of "Les Enfants des Paradis" in which Frederick attempts to pick up Garance. It must be remembered though that the young critics of the 50s had no ax to grind with the Prevert-Carne films of the late 30s and the first half of the 40s. Anyone who watches the clip of Godard from 1963 on the "Bande a Part" will hear him praise the Carne of "Quai des Brumes" before deprecating the Carne of "Les Tricheurs". Even their criticism of Carne that merely photograph his screenwriters scenario, that he was more a "metteur en image" than a "metteur en scene", had started in the mid-40s by Henri Jeanson, Carne's one-time collaborator. But getting back to my point that scene occurring in the midst of the crowd on the Boulevard des Crime in the Carne film explains its title and theme.Carne's film is about theater-goers, even his four theatricalprotagonists all attend plays. Truffaut's film though is not so muchabout the audience as it is about the theater world and hence its title" Le Dernier Metro". Before I get back to my point I believe I should note here that "Le Dernier Metro" was meant to be one panel in a trilogy on the entertainment world. "La Nuit Americaine" ("Day for Night") was of course the film panel. And "L'Agence Magique" a film about Music Hall was never made. In the late 70s Truffaut had a screenplay for this film ready to shoot and had begun pre-production but the failure of "The Green Room" caused him to alter his plans and to film "L'Amour en Fuite".

The voice-over prologue describes an occupied Paris where night workers have to scurry to make the last metro in order to beat the curfew. What is left to our imaginations is to realize that many of these workers are theater people. Jean Marais whose real-life thrashing of the Je Suis Partout drama critic Alain Laubreaux provided the inspiration for one of the key scenes in the film described the last metro thusly in his autobiography "Histoires de ma Vie" (page 159)

"The last metro was marvelous. As packed as the others. It carried all of the theater world of Paris. Everyone knew everyone else. We spoke of the latest concert, of the ballet, of the theater. Outside, it was the blackout, the militias, German patrols, hostages if one was out past curfew." NOTE: "Tout-Paris" usually means " Paris high society" but Marais in the book frequently uses in a narrower sense of "the theater world".

In other words "Les Films de Carosse" had produced a film that represented "the last metro" as the golden coach of occupied Paris. Some quarter of a century earlier before Truffaut made "Le Dernier Metro" he with Jacques Rivette had interviewed Jean Renoir and Renoir told them that in order to do his film on the world of theater "The Golden Coach" he had found it necessary to subordinate his style to a theatrical style. Could it be that there is one explanation of the style of the film? So now Truffaut was returning to the style of "The Golden Coach".

Some other ideas gleaned from Nestor Almendros' "A Man With A Camera". Remember the scene from the beginning of the film that I spoke about earlier, the one were Bernard accosts Arlette. I can still remember the feeling of claustrophobia that I felt the first time I saw "Le Dernier Metro". And of course I was going to soon discover that one of the main characters in the film was hiding in a small room in the basement of his theater. Almendros speaks of using the camera to create a feeling of claustrophobia in this film. He also reveals that it was normal for Truffaut to keep his windows open. But in this film because of its theme and its time period, windows remained shut. Also, he and Truffaut wanted the look of early Agfacolor of films like "Munchhaussen" and "Die Goldene Stadt". A look that was gentler and softer than the vivid Technicolor films of the same period. Thus the set designer were asked for ocher-colored sets and the props and costumes were chosen in subdued colors. Also they changed their film stock to Fuji because it was closer to this look they were cultivating. As long as we are discussing Almendros I think it might be appropriate to end with a quote from his chapter on the film "The Green Room".

"As expected, "The Green Room" was not very well received. The theme of death rarely attracts crowds. This is almost an axiom in the cinema, and by producing so difficult and personal a work, risking almost certain economic failure, Truffaut showed once again that after sixteen films he was still the uncompromising artist he was as a young man." Nestor Almendros, "A Man With A Camera" page 220.


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