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Alphaville (1965)

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 5 May 1965 (France)
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1:27 | Trailer

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A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

Jean-Luc Godard
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Eddie Constantine ... Lemmy Caution
Anna Karina ... Natacha von Braun
Akim Tamiroff ... Henri Dickson (as Akim Tamirof)
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Storyline

Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city's ruler, an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression. Written by Gene Volovich <volovich@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The strange adventure of Lemmy Caution - secret agent of the future See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

5 May 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dick Tracy on Mars See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$220,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,298, 7 February 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$46,585, 30 May 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Professor von Braun's real name, Leonard Nosferatu, is a tribute to F.W. Murnau's silent film, Nosferatu (1922). See more »

Goofs

Towards the end when Lemmy and Natasha get into their car while all the Alphaville residents are incapacitated, cars can be seen driving past, while the drivers should have been knocked out. See more »

Quotes

Lemmy Caution: [Internal monologue] It's always like that. You never understand anything. Yes, it's always like that. You never understand anything. And one night, you end it in death.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits, Godard adds one letter at a time to compose the word "fin"--"i"..."in"..."fin"--as though to suggest "I, in the end." See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original French version, the voice of the computer Alpha 60 sounds harsh and throaty as if produced by belching. One English-dubbed version gives the computer a more typical computer-like voice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

I like this movie, but liking it is difficult.

Its hard to say exactly how much I liked Alphaville. Seeing it was a valuable experience, and at times was quite enjoyable. However, there was definitely a part of me that couldn't wait for it to be over.

Probably the best part of the movie was the general "vibe." I wholeheartedly approve of its all-around aesthetic. Using (at the time) contemporary Paris was, in my opinion, a genius move. It makes the film a lot more plausible- it's like saying, "The future isn't some phoney-baloney Jetsons stuff. It will probably look a lot like today." Plus, in my opinion, special effects are the #1 contributing factor to making a movie seem "dated", something that Alphaville doesn't need to worry about. Either way, JLG succeeds in giving us a bleak, antiseptic vision of the future. Unlike nearly all of the recent dystopic sci-fi, there's nothing whimsical about the future in Alphaville. It is cold and realistic.

However, I found that, at a lot of points, Alphaville tended to be rather slow. Usually, these slower parts occurred when the movie more or less gave itself over to philosophical speculation (such as the Alpha 60's long monologues), and pretty much abandoned the idea of keeping our attention. Don't get me wrong, I realize that the philosophical underpinnings are absolutely necessary to Alphaville- however, I think that JLG should have chosen to "show, and not tell." (Actually, I find this to be the case with a lot of sci-fi)

And I really don't understand the various action sequences in the film. (WHY would they have let him keep his gun, and take it with him when he's interrogated?) I would say that this particular element lends credence to the theory that the whole movie was meant as sort of a spoof.

In the end, I would probably recommend this film to my more open-minded friends, with the one proviso that they watch it early in the day, when they are less likely to fall asleep.


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