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Le Trou (1960) Poster

(1960)

Trivia

Director Jacques Becker died two weeks after completing the film.
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Director Jacques Becker used mainly non-actors for purposes of authenticity. In fact, one of his choices was actually involved in the 1947 escape.
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The soundtrack to this film is entirely Diegetic (the source of every sound is visible, or occurs on screen)
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Jean-Pierre Melville regarded this as one of the greatest French films ever made.
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The film was completed according to the director's wishes after his death, but producer Serge Silberman had it reduced from the initial 140-minute version by about 24 minutes to enhance its commercial possibilities. The missing footage remains lost.
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La Sante prison was replicated right down to the smallest details, thanks to the help of the three actual members of the escape whom Jacques Becker hired to serve as production consultants.
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Shot over a period of 10 weeks.
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The scene where three different characters take turns breaking through the concrete floor of their cell is filmed in a single, nearly four minute long, shot.
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Catherine Spaak got her big break when her uncredited brief appearance as Nicole in this film caught the eye of a Paris TV reporter. Sophia Loren happened to see the reporter's interview with Catherine on TV. She immediately thought she looked perfect for the lead role in "I dolci inganni" (Sweet Deceptions, 1960) which was being cast by her producer-husband Carlo Ponti.
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According to the 1964 press materials that are included in The Criterion Collection DVD, Jacques Becker first read of the 1947 La Santé Prison escape attempt in a newspaper. Years later, he found out that José Giovanni had fictionalized the same escape attempt in his 1957 novel The Break. Becker contacted Giovanni's publisher, Gallimard, and Becker and Giovanni collaborated on the screenplay of Le Trou.
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The film has no opening credits.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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The black and white cinematography is by Ghislain Cloquet (Mickey One, Au hasard Balthazar, Tess).
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There is no musical score except under the end credits.
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This film has a 100% rating based on 16 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #129.
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Title translation: The Hole.
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