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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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,206, 25 April 1999

Gross USA:

$3,007,945

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,007,945
See more on IMDbPro »

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

When Lucas talks to Marion about a play he saw in London, he is alluding to Patrick Hamilton's "Gaslight", which was twice made into a movie, by Thorold Dickinson in 1940, and by George Cukor in 1944. 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

Martine, the thief: Ask for Yolanda at the Lafayette department store. Tell her I sent you. She can get you "Gone With The Wind" for 80 francs.
Germaine Fabre: I would never spend that much on a book, even on the black market. But, if Marion wants it...
Martine, the thief: Yes, she said she wanted to read it.
Germaine Fabre: Then, I'll go get it.
See more »

Connections

References Uncle Kruger (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Cantique: Pitié mon Dieu
Written by Aloys Martin Kunc (as A. Kunc)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stunning and beautiful and a bit stilted now and then, maybe as device, give it a look!
15 June 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Last Metro (1980)

You can see this as a romance, a complicated one filled with restraint and false moves. You can see this as a war movie about resistance and suffering and subterfuge. Or you might see it as a slice of life--never mind the great plot elements--and get a feel for wartime Paris, its oppression under the Nazis and the inability to quite know what to do to survive.

This is layered with a play within a play in a couple ways, and if there is a weakness to the movie it's this inner play. Maybe it's meant to be a bit boring (as the Nazi-sympathizing critic says it is), but it takes up enough of the movie it drags the reality outside of the play down a bit.

Maybe the movie is about accommodation, about bending your highest principles to survive. Or maybe it's about how the smallest of romantic urges are okay to follow through on. Sometimes. Because in the end there is mostly a feeling of having survived. It isn't triumphant, quite, but relieved.

Francois Truffaut is of course not just a famous director but a lionized one, seeming to get credit for lifting cinema into something artistic and valuable, both. All of that is here. The best of this--like feeling leading actress Catherine Deneuve walking the tightrope through people she could not totally trust--is amazing. The filming is subtle and gorgeous, a warm and humanized camera in the hands of Nestor Almendros (famous in the U.S. for "Days of Heaven"). The writing is natural and spare, except for those parts in the interior plays. It is, at its best, a moving beautiful movie.

The structure has an odd breakdown at the end--intentional, with voice-over, but odd nonetheless. It's disruptive not only in time, as intended, but in tone. It forces the viewer to remember this is a fictional invention, an artifice with a cinematic point. And so it is. We see the end with detachment and it's not as rewarding as before.

There's no reason not to see this film. It's different enough to be engaging and yet familiar enough to not be offputting (as some earlier French New Wave directors seem to want). Memorable, at least for a while.


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