7.6/10
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34 user 44 critic

À Nous la Liberté (1931)

À nous la liberté (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 31 December 1931 (USA)
Seeking better life, two convicts escape from prison.

Director:

René Clair

Writer:

René Clair (story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henri Marchand Henri Marchand ... Émile
Raymond Cordy ... Louis
Rolla France Rolla France ... Jeanne
Paul Ollivier Paul Ollivier ... L'oncle (as Paul Olivier)
Jacques Shelly Jacques Shelly ... Paul
André Michaud André Michaud ... Le contremaitre
Germaine Aussey ... Maud - la femme de Louis
Léon Lorin Léon Lorin ... Le vieux monsieur sourd
William Burke William Burke ... L'ancien détenu
Vincent Hyspa Vincent Hyspa ... Le vieil orateur
Edit

Storyline

A famous left-wing satirical comedy about two ex-convicts, one of whom escaped jail and then worked his way up from salesman to factory owner, where he oversees a highly mechanized operation where the workers are reduced to mere automatons. Fearful of being exposed over his past, at first by his friend and later by another gangster, the owner chooses to give his factory to the workers, then escapes with his friend to the freedom of the open road. The production company for "A Nous la Liberte" was for more than a decade embroiled in a lawsuit claiming that Charles Chaplin had seen their film and plagiarized many ideas from it as he developed "Modern Times." Written by footsperry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Le chef-d'oeuvre de René Clair

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

31 December 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

À Nous la Liberté See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Sonores Tobis See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating based on 17 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Voice over Singer]: Liberty is the happy man's due / He enjoys love and skies of blue / But then there are some / Who no worse crimes have done / It's the sad story we tell / From a prison cell
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1950 director Rene Clair re-edited and shortened the film based on existing prints (the Nazis had destroyed the negative). Some excisions include the singing flowers and the scene at the Luna Park. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Champagne Safari (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Timeless French classic
22 November 2006 | by SteamcarrotSee all my reviews

This is a little gem of a film that doesn't date nearly as much as you would think, considering it come from the early thirties. The masterful hand of director Rene Clair overcomes an insubstantial plot and imbues the film with some fantastic visuals, humorous satire and some good clean knockabout fun. Two prisoners escape from custody and one reaches the top of the ladder while the other clings onto the bottom rung. Clair makes his feeling about capitalism clear by showing how the worker under the capitalist is as much a prisoner as the people locked in the jail. But any political overtones are not so much that they interrupt with the comic narrative and the film merrily continues with it's chases, bottom-kicking and all manner of good-natured silliness. Highly recommended.


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