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Mon Oncle (1958)

Mon oncle (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 3 November 1958 (USA)
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Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can't quite fit into the surroundings.

Director:

Jacques Tati

Writers:

Jacques Lagrange (artistic collaboration), Jean L'Hôte (artistic collaboration) (as Jean L'Hote) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Pierre Zola ... Charles Arpel
Adrienne Servantie ... Madame Arpel
Lucien Frégis Lucien Frégis ... Monsieur Pichard (as Lucien Fregis)
Betty Schneider ... Betty, Landlord's Daughter
Jean-François Martial Jean-François Martial ... Walter (as J.F. Martial)
Dominique Marie ... Neighbor
Yvonne Arnaud Yvonne Arnaud ... Georgette, the Housekeeper
Adelaide Danieli Adelaide Danieli ... Madame Pichard
Alain Bécourt Alain Bécourt ... Gerard Arpel (as Alain Becourt)
Régis Fontenay Régis Fontenay ... Braces Dealer (as Regis Fontenay)
Claude Badolle Claude Badolle ... Flea Market Dealer
Max Martel Max Martel ... Drunken Man
Nicolas Bataille Nicolas Bataille ... Working Man
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Storyline

Monsieur Hulot's brother-in-law is the manager of a factory where plastics are manufactured. His nephew grows up in a house where everything is fully automated and the boy is raised in a similar fashion. To take away the influence of the uncle on his son, his brother-in-law gets Hulot a job in his factory. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mr. Hulot Ventures Into Suburbia...And Disrupts...Disassembles...And Demolishes With His Very Subtle Satire See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 November 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mon Oncle See more »

Filming Locations:

Créteil, Val-de-Marne, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A replica of the "Villa Arpel", which was designed by Jacques Lagrange, can be seen at the Cent Quatre cultural center in Paris. See more »

Goofs

When interviewing for the job, Hulot's shoes are saturated enough to leave very distinct marks on the floor, chair, and desk, yet they leave no mark whatsoever on the floor after he puts his shoes back on. See more »

Quotes

Charles Arpel: We could go to the Sexy Club.
Madame Arpel: I prefer Constantino and his nice music.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear on signs at a construction site. See more »

Alternate Versions

An English version of the movie, that is some 10 minutes shorter with less dialogue, was shot side-by-side with the French version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #10.3 (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Come For The Pretty, Stay For The Witty
19 July 2004 | by flickershowsSee all my reviews

This was my introduction to the world of Jacques Tati...and I liked it. If Tati's filmmaking M.O. was to remind us of Charlie Chaplin & Buster Keaton, mission very successfully accomplished. 'Mon Oncle' could have been a silent film. It uses sound effects and music to tell 75% of the story anyway, just as Charlie and Buster and their contemporaries did so well in the talk-free era. He also has their simplicity of camera movement. And as with those film giants, Tati is the star/director/producer and co-writer of this project. His recurring Monsieur Hulot character isn't as famous as the Little Tramp, but the quirky Frenchman is just as bumbling and likable.

In line with Chaplin's 'Modern Times', the theme of 'Mon Oncle' is the inability of one man to adapt to new technology. The slapstick sequences that result from the clash of man versus machine are more amusing than truly hilarious. There are a few big laughs, but you'll smile more than than you'll guffaw. There's no standard plot. Hulot's sister, her husband, and their son live in an ultra-modern '50s house. (This weird set is truly magnificent.) Occasionally, they have trendy guests---the out-of-place Hulot among them---and he inadvertently gets the ball of chaos rolling. If his sister's house is too bizarre for him, he still gets to enjoy old-fashioned pleasures in other areas of France. He doesn't fit in with these social climbers, but the man is charming and unflappable in his own eccentric way.

This movie looks as stunning as Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' (also released in '58). Both pictures use colour extraordinarily well (especially green) and Tati's film would be worth seeing for the visuals alone. He also makes it a delightful aural experience with a jaunty music score and comical sound design. It's not all a cold technical exercise, though. The acting is a bit exaggerated (except for Tati's underplaying), but they only look foolish in the name of laughs. Will you enjoy a French comedy from nearly 50 years ago? Is 'Mon Oncle' just a critical darling (Oscar for Foreign Language Film, a prize at Cannes) and not an audience picture? Hey, I didn't think I'd be entertained by a two-hour French trifle, but I was. Rent the Criterion DVD and drink in the plush visuals, then have some grins. Come for the pretty, stay for the witty.


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