Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
A boxer is out in the country with his entourage, training for his next fight. Meanwhile, on the farm nearby, Roger is neglecting his chores. As he watches the boxer and his sparring ... See full summary »
Monsieur Hulot goes on a holiday to a seaside resort, but accidents and misunderstandings follow him where ever he goes. The peace and quiet of the hotel guests don't last very long with Hulot around, because although his intensions are good, they always turn out catastrophically.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
When Hulot first enters the hotel and closes the door behind himself, we see his cap on his head while bending to pick up the suitcase. Next, when he straightens, the cap is in his hand with the suitcase. See more »
"Monsieur Hulot's Holiday" (literally "The Vacation of M. Hulot")
For me, one sign of a great movie is when scenes are so unforgettable that they replay again and again in my mind. By that standard, "M. Hulot's Holiday" is the funniest movie of all time.
I saw this movie soon after it first appeared in the USA (1953) and thought at the time it would become a classic. Since then, the projector in my mind has replayed so many scenes so often that in the replaying it's grown even more hilarious. From time to time, when I see it again, each time I realize that -- as funny as the original is -- it has that rare quality of planting seeds that grow and blossom in my memory even more. Looking for the end on a tangled garden hose always replays M. Hulot's experience with the garden sprinkler.
There is very little plot beyond 'what I did on my summer vacation' -- but there doesn't need to be. Throughout the movie from time to time we see an elderly couple who stroll, observing the follies, eccentricities, normalities, of the behaviors of people on their summer vacations. This film's perspective is that we are similar to them, strolling, observing -- and as if the film's opening and close coincide with the beginning and end of the traditional French August vacation.
I've also seen Jacque Tati's "Mon Oncle" several times; while it's good, to me it's several magnitudes lower than 'Holiday.' I look forward to seeing "Playtime" with the sure knowledge that nothing can top "M. Hulot's Holiday." But as with all humor, different folk like different flavors.
This film's flavor is generally slightly dry with a few wet spots. Tati as director observes the usual, the commonplace, the well- meaning and then tweaks it just enough to either make you smile in self- recognition or sometimes snort milk out your nose. His Monsiuer Hulot is a gentle, chivalrous soul, always trying to be helpful although he inadvertently sows occasional chaos in his wake, as if "letting no good deed go unpunished." He's obviously a cousin of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.
ETA: I've just read Roger Ebert's review of "M. Hulot's Holiday"; it is superb and I recommend it to all:
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/ apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19961110/REVIEWS08/ 401010328/1023 (REMOVE THE 2 SPACES)
The "Criterion" DVD version restores many portions that had previously been edited out and is by far the best version to see.
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