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
[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
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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 »
I profess-- I never heard of this movie nor this director till I watched it tonight. As pointed out, the film has a socialist message-- mainly a scaffolding to hang some very clever physical humor on, though it manages to fit in a few astute (likewise hysterical) observations about modern industrial society. The male leads are absolutely charming and have great chemistry. The style of the film is something in itself. The soundtrack (one of the first original ones to be used in a film) is intertwined with the action on screen, and occasionally the actors sing along with it almost as if this were a musical...but not quite. There are moments of pantomime infused with talking scenes, almost as if the director was trying figure out how to work his style for making silent films into talkies. In total, it's a bit odd-- but it works! And it's unique. And far from dated-- it gave me quite a few belly-laughs.
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