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When picking up his mail, a man is excited to see a letter from his sweetheart. His excitement turns to sorrow when he gets home to his flat and sees that it is a Dear John letter. But that... See full summary »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne-Marie Royer Anne-Marie Royer
Anny Nelsen Anny Nelsen
Pierre Étaix ... L'homme qui reçoit une lettre de rupture
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Storyline

When picking up his mail, a man is excited to see a letter from his sweetheart. His excitement turns to sorrow when he gets home to his flat and sees that it is a Dear John letter. But that sorrow turns to anger as he figures that he will send her a Dear Jane letter in return. However, writing that letter isn't as easy as he hopes as he encounters one problem after another, from a broken fountain pen, to a temperamental ink well, to stuck stamps, to a broken desk. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

February 1961 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruptura See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

Production Co:

C.A.P.A.C. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film won two prizes in West Germany's film festivals in 1961: The International Film Critics Prize issued by FIPRESCI Jury, at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival; and the First Prize at the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen. See more »

Connections

Followed by Yoyo (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Epistolary Story
17 April 2013 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

There is a degree of formalism in this, the first short subject between collaborators Pierre Étaix and Jean-Claude Carrière. They would make use of many of the same techniques in their later works: the exaggerated sounds, the gracefulness of Étaix' movements, the musical motif and the essential tragedy of the story redeemed by concentration.

Given that by the time this short subject came out, the comedy short subject was essentially dead as a regular part of the movie program, we can see the nostalgia for the lost form here, as well as the sense that the partnership is seeing if they can work in movie comedy. The short subject had often been used as a testing ground for the studios for their talent. This is the same thing.

Étaix is often compared to Tati and Keaton, but that, I think, is an error, an advertising idea for an audience unfamiliar with silent clowning in the movies, to tell the audience that this is more of the same. Tati and Keaton offered images of people out of step with the world: Keaton because he didn't understand, but would struggle through anyway and Tati because he didn't care. Étaix can get along with the world very well most of the time. It's the occasional indignities that we all suffer that are the stuff of his comedy: the pen that doesn't work, the stamps that stick together... stuff very real and current for his audience, even if half a century later people don't understand what he is dealing with.

I find this short competent and the gags nicely done, but not extraordinary. Like many a work of art hailed as groundbreaking and trend-setting, it arises out of a tradition and inserts itself into the public consciousness as novel because they are simply unfamiliar with the earlier work. This movie was essentially nostalgic when it came out and looking at it today, it seems quaint. However, it did the spadework for its creators to move into features, where the public consciousness and profits lay. And, like many another short subject, it certainly doesn't bore us with plot or claims of deep emotion or eternal truths. It demonstrates that brevity is the soul of wit.


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