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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.

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(scenario), (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:
... Marion Steiner
... Bernard Granger
... Jean-Loup Cottins
... Arlette Guillaume
... Germaine Fabre
Jean-Louis Richard ... Daxiat
Maurice Risch ... Raymond Boursier
Sabine Haudepin ... Nadine Marsac
... Lucas Steiner
Christian Baltauss ... Bernard's Replacement
Pierre Belot ... Desk Clerk
René Dupré ... Valentin
Aude Loring
Alain Tasma ... Marc
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:

Deneuve, Depardieu, Truffaut See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Metro  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Valentin wishes to makes a film entitled 'Angels of Mercy" (a story about nuns). This is similar to _Les Anges du Péché_ (1943) directed by Robert Bresson. See more »

Goofs

When Granger talks about his bike being stolen, he mentions the license plate number: 813 HK 45 (in the original version to the least). This number belongs to a system that was introduced in France in 1950 only, which did not even concern bicycles. See more »

Quotes

Bernard Granger: I want to get something straight. I was thrilled to play here, in a real theater, in a real play, but if I must take my pants off to prove I'm not a Jew, thanks, but no thanks. Besides, I refuse to take the part of another actor.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Prière à Zumba
Written by Agustín Lara (as A. Lara), Jacques Larue
(Editions F. Day)
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User Reviews

 
At times I feel like I really don't exist
14 October 2007 | by See 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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