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The Last Metro (1980)

Le dernier métro (original title)
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In occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden from the Nazis while doing both of their jobs.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (scenario), Suzanne Schiffman (scenario) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Deneuve ... Marion Steiner
Gérard Depardieu ... Bernard Granger
Jean Poiret ... Jean-Loup Cottins
Andréa Ferréol ... Arlette Guillaume
Paulette Dubost ... Germaine Fabre
Jean-Louis Richard Jean-Louis Richard ... Daxiat
Maurice Risch Maurice Risch ... Raymond Boursier
Sabine Haudepin Sabine Haudepin ... Nadine Marsac
Heinz Bennent ... Lucas Steiner
Christian Baltauss Christian Baltauss ... Bernard's Replacement
Pierre Belot Pierre Belot ... Desk Clerk
René Dupré René Dupré ... Valentin
Aude Loring Aude Loring
Alain Tasma Alain Tasma ... Marc
Rose Thiéry Rose Thiéry ... Jacquot's Mother / Concierge (as Rose Thierry)
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Storyline

Paris, 1942. Lucas Steiner is a Jew and was compelled to leave the country. His wife Marion, an actress, directs the theater for him. She tries to keep the theater alive with a new play, and hires Bernard Granger for the leading role. But Lucas is actually hiding in the basement... A film about art and life. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of love and conflict. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

19 February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Metro See more »

Filming Locations:

Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sacha Guitry (1885 - 1957) was a noted French film actor, director, screenwriter and playwright. See more »

Goofs

In one scene in the cellar, during a conversation between Marion and Lucas, we can see the sound recordist hiding himself in a corner of the cellar. See more »

Quotes

Marion Steiner: [during the stage play] At times I feel like I really don't exist.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Bei mir Bist du Schön
Music by Sholom Secunda
Lyrics by Saul Chaplin, Jacob Jacobs, Jacques Larue
(Editions Chappell)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
At times I feel like I really don't exist
14 October 2007 | by ikalafatisSee all my reviews

Le Dernier Metro is the portrait of a woman. An ageing, beautiful, authoritative, successful and famous actress caught in her own personal quagmire, and that of a strange historical era.

It's 1942 and Paris screams under the German occupation. A quiet scream, at least as portrayed by Truffaut, where Parisiens go on living their everyday lives as close to normal as they can. The German element is of course ubiquitous, always lurking in the shadow of normality like an undiagnosed disease. The black market, the Jewish persecution, the curfew, the collaboration and the resistance, all are accepted as just another fact of life.

The real threat though is the unknown. What will the war bring? How longer will it last? And yet, decency and normality go on being the bourgeois lifestyle of choice, simply because most don't know how to really survive without the city, without its theaters and fashion circles. Without this superficial normality.

In the middle of this strangeness stands a woman disillusioned by her life. Deep inside, this poignantly beautiful, famous, smart and strong woman is empty. Torn between her professional and artistic duties that have increased dramatically since her Jew husband and theater chef fled to save his life, and her ageing femininity and her devoid of passion life, she revolves around the sole remaining centrepiece of her life, acting. Only acting proves to be just another lifeless remain of her previous life.

Should she stay faithful to a husband that she stopped loving a long time ago? Do they both cling on to their failing relationship just for the sake of normality, to survive this strangeness of an era? Will tomorrow ever come, and if it comes will she be too old to enjoy it? Deneuve is perfection. The script has most probably been written with her in mind and it shows. Nowhere in the film is she caught relaxing, even in the most ambiguous moments her eyes are crisp clear on her intentions.

Depardieu is solid but lacks the internal flame his character should possess, probably due to him being influenced by Deneuve's coldness.

Poiret and Bennent are sublime in secondary but very important roles. Richard underplays his character's potential as a threat. The rest of the cast are adequate and in control of their roles.

Truffaut delivers a quiet film with claustrophobic cinematography, low-budget sets, fabulous costumes and minimal music. Just like a real theatre show. The director's brilliance drives through the sharpness of the second World War with a fine comb and picks only what's relevant to the story, and nothing more. A film to admire, but not to be inspired from. And there lies probably the only fault of the film. The nouvelle vague has matured and settled down with a sigh.

Watch this film just to experience the ferociously magnetic beauty and strength of Catherine Deneuve. Or if you really love theatre. Or both.


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