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Les uns et les autres
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Reviews & Ratings for
Bolero More at IMDbPro »Les uns et les autres (original title)

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

The Masterpiece of Claude Lelouch

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
12 December 2004

Along three generations, the lives of different families in Russia, France, Germany and United States of America, all of them connected to music and dance, are affected by the World War II. In Russia, the Bolshoi ballerina Tatiana Itovitch (Rita Poelvoorde) loses her husband, the musician Boris Itovitch (Jorge Donn), in the Russian front. She raises alone their son, the professional dancer Sergei (Jorge Donn), who escapes from Soviet Union and coming to have a daughter, the also ballerina Tania. In France, the Jewish violinist Anne Meyer (Nicole Garcia) marries the pianist Simon Meyer (Robert Hossein), and both are sent to a concentration camp, where Simon dies. On the train travel to the camp, Simon leaves their baby son on the trails and he is raised by a priest, becoming the lawyer Robert Prat (Robert Hossein), who has a professional singer son. Also in France, in Paris after the war, the singer Evelyne (Evelyne Bouix) is accused of sleeping with the enemy, and moves to Dijon, where she has a daughter, Edith (Evelyne Bouix). In Germany, the pianist and conductor Karl Kremer (Daniel Olbrychski) leaves his wife Magda Kremer (Macha Méril) and their son to fight in the war. In USA, the famous pop singer Jack Glenn (James Caan) leaves his wife Suzan Glenn (Geraldine Chaplin) to join the army and entertain the troops in London. Their gay son Jason Glenn (James Caan) and daughter, the singer Sara Glenn (Geraldine Chaplin) become important persons in the show business. Their lives are entwined in a Red Cross presentation of the Ravel's Bolero in Paris.

"Les Uns et les Autres" is the masterpiece of Claude Lelouch and is one of my favorite movies ever. First time I saw it I was amazed with such a magnificent story. The direction, the story, the cast, the soundtrack, the location, everything works perfectly in this overwhelming film. The long scenes are fantastically well filmed and Claude Lelouch was certainly inspired when he made this wonder. Only a couple of months ago, this DVD was released in Brazil by the Brazilian distributor "Classicline" and yesterday I saw it again, for my delight after twenty and something years. The unknown Sharon Stone has a minor uncredited participation in the end of the movie, watching the show on TV in bed with Jack Glenn. "Les Uns et les Autres" is a highly recommended movie, for lovers of arts and cinema. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Retratos da Vida" ("Pictures of the Life")

Note: On 10 February 2014, I saw this wonderful movie again.

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest WW II epic masterpieces EVER!

Author: Guy33134 from Coral Gables, Fl
11 July 2000

Well, I'm obviously not alone in saying this is the best, the greatest, the finest movie, etc. So what's with the rating? Again, as in many cases of movies with few votes, a small group skews the score to a ridiculous level. I saw this masterpiece in Paris when it came out in the early 1980's, and went back to see it the nest day. It was too much exquisite detail to take in during one sole session. The development of the characters, interwoven into the fabric of tragedy that was the war, the haunting Bolero by Ravel. Devastingly beautiful touching, and grand. Since this film, Lelouche (A MAN AND A WOMAN, LES MISERABLES (1994) has made a few films touching on his autobiographical experiences as a young Jew, during the Holocaust. This movie was made before there were dozens of them to compare to, like Lelouche's own perhaps just as good LES MIS... with Jean-Paul Belmondo. Having lived in France, I know there are many cinephiles who just outright hate Lelouche. These feelings, as I have experienced them, are thinly-veiled anti-semitic feelings. Say, it may be an "artsy" way of saying I'm an anti-semite: J'aime pas Lelouche. I think this is why this movie is undeservedly ranked so low in this base. I came across, and voted on it a while back, precisely because the rating shocked me so. As I went through the comments though today, I was happy to see I was not alone, and thought I would throw my "ten francs worth" in. I want to buy it for my collection.

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:


Author: talltale-1 from Jackson Heights, NY
10 December 2003

Wow. I had seen a pared-down version of this amazing film when it was called BOLERO a decade or two back. Now that I have seen the uncut film, I'm in awe. As I grow older I seem to appreciate Claude Lelouch more and more. This one may be his masterpiece. Weaving together three generations and four families (German, French, American and Russian), the writer/director manages to run the gamut from wildly romantic to elegantly subdued (note the distanced reconciliation scene between mother and son late in the film) offering up whatever is called for at a given moment. Music is paramount to this movie--it is ever-present and holds the diverse threads together. The cast is amazing, too. What a coup. This is the kind of film I'll recommend to everyone, and now that it is out on DVD, movie lovers are all the luckier for it.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A film to cry with.

Author: tj-moore from United States
9 May 2005

I am a professional musician. This film, in VHS, was presented to me by friends after my comments on the music I listened to on a cassette tape. I do not know how they did it as we were living in Southern Mexico at the time. I thank them profusely. All the music and, that dance at the end, is just simply outstanding. I do not know how any music lover could ever lessen a 10+ rating. I hope to find it on DVD someday. My two VHS tapes are good but what a blast it would be on DVD. The cast includes some great actors who seem to actually perform their musical parts. I get emotional with the story line, particularly the return of James Cahn to his Sarah. I recommend this to all.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One of the Great ones

Author: gdvibe from Canada
25 December 2005

I just watched Bolero for the umpteenth time and it gets better each time. The film works on so many levels--character complexity, theme, emotion--that it stands up to many viewings. Lelouch is a Romantic, but knows when to stop, in the French tradition. His use of silence to convey emotion, especially near the end when David finds his mother is extremely poignant.

Lelouch also gets incredible performances from his actors.

This film deals with identity, war, lost love, and redefining oneself. it is profound while being entertaining. A true work of art and one of the great films of all time.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

My favorite movie of all time

Author: conrado-3 from United States
16 April 2006

I was in Strasbourg, France in 1981 when this film first came out and saw it in a movie theater. It was a compelling film and spoken not only in French, but German, Russian and English, according to the character's language. I loved the story, the music (my favorite rendition of Bolero), the incredible dancing, the acting. I even acquired the soundtrack and a VHS of the movie after seeing it, even though I don't typically acquire copies of movies once I have seen them. This film is and will always be my favorite film of all time. I happened to be studying the subject of international human rights law in Strasbourg at the time, so it seemed fitting to see this movie about WWII and the humanitarian aspects of the finale of the film. Our world has become so interdependent that other directors should take note of this little-known film and its use of multiple languages to great effect.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A great international

Author: Michael Grabauskas ( from Harrisburg Pennsylvania
18 July 2004

I happened to be in Paris when this film was released. I was able to see it three times in 2 weeks at a theater who did English Subtitles. What an incredible movie. Unfortunately, it was released within months of Blake Edwards "10" which also used "Bolero" as it's main theme and that movie went over big time in the US, so distributors had a problem getting this film out. I wish they would re-release it. The thing I enjoy the most about it is the director's multiple uses of the actors. Many play their characters children and grandchildren. It is also an incredible look at a time when the world was trying to blow each other up and it shows that people everywhere just want the same things. A brilliant film.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Best seen in original version

Author: willie-14 from Houston
4 April 1999

I saw this film when it first came out in Paris. It was a great experience! An epic sweep, not unlike *Gone With the Wind* or *Children of Paradise*. But the American release, titled *Bolero*, had about 20-30 minutes cut from it and it was a disjointed mess. Small wonder it bombed here. The video release is of the American version. If at all possible, try to see the original, 3 hour release.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

C'est excellent!

Author: erling-eliasson from Denmark
3 October 2012

Stepping out of the cinema in Cannes one early evening in the summer of 1981 with the comment of a Frenchman: "C'est excellent!" I felt a genuine sympathy for that person. To me he looked to be in his 50/60es and he may not live anymore now more than 30 years after that night, however, he spoke exactly what I felt, and still feel after all these years. I was 25 then and very sensitive to colorful and sentimental stories; and here was one that had a storyboard of the classics and with the outline and looks of something very modern with a certain freshness - and lots of heart. I was immediately taken and still is. It lives in me inseparably with the memories of my youth. It may not be the greatest film ever made, it may even just be a second-rate piece of art. I really don't know. And I don't care. This is one of the best films I have seen. I hold as dear as books like Tolstoy's War And Peace, Thomas Mann's The House of Buddenbrook, music like the Tchaikovsky's symphonies and the songs of Serge Reggiani. It may be just a dream. It may not stand chance by a review. Still I would like to thank Mr. Lelouch and the whole cast for an unforgettable and magnificent experience. C'etait vraiment excellent!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

23 years later I still remember this film.

Author: ericibe ( from United States
3 June 2005

I may not remember everything, but this film has been on my mind since I saw it 23 years ago. I was in high school in a small town in Iowa. One of our band directors had a large collection of film on tape and laser disc. He would have movie parties for kids he taught. I showed an interest in film and he would screen some films I would have otherwise never have seen. I remember watching Bolero. (I do not think I knew it was known by any other name) I was in absolute awe of this film. The music, the story, the pacing - everything you couldn't get from popular American films.

I have avoided seeing it again in the intervening time because I did not want my more grown up sensibilities to have a different opinion of the film. After reading some of the comments here I can feel safe to view it again.

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