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Criterion Coll: Le Trou [DVD] [1960] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NFZA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,952 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 July 2010
Format: DVD
I first watched Le Trou decades ago on the BBC. It made sufficient impact for me to want to watch it again. The plot is strong with the five inmates well played both individually and ensemble; without knowing much about each we feel we know about all of them. The technical detail of the escape will delight heist and caper fans everywhere and the denouement still surprises me, even though I knew vaquely what would happen from years ago. There is an argument the prison life was bowdlerised (as the new boy wears nice jim-jams) and we are left to wonder at the fate of one of the inmates. But French films seldom believed then (and as Caché shows do not believe now) in telling you everything. You are left to write your own script.

Settle back and enjoy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wonderful 1960 film. Brilliant performances from a largely amateur cast and magnificent directing by Jacques Becker, who died after the film was edited. A prison cell. Five inmates. They plan to dig their way out. Technical detail is mesmerising. The best jailbreak movie of all time. Metaphor for trying to cheat death. Top recommendation.
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Format: DVD
LE TROU is the seminal prison escape movie, a superlative study in human psychology, particularly the psychology of a handful of men in a confined space. It is an incomparable document on human camaraderie, capturing the deception that hides in man even as he cooperates to achieve freedom. LE TROU takes you into the sewers of the human estate and you feel you are sweating next to those men and experiencing their fears and hopes not knowing where the next blow is coming from. "Pauvre Gaspard" is very poor indeed by the time the film ends... and it ends on a superb twist.

So what's the truth? The truth is that this is a must-see and you will be the poorer for missing it.
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Format: DVD
A unique prison escape film, full of very specific, realistic details
and devoid of almost any prison movie clichés. The characters all prove
more complex then we assume at first glance. Perhaps that's because
it's based on a true story.

In fact the cast are all non-pros, and one was actually involved in the
real escape plan.

I was lukewarm while I watched the body of the film, but by the end it
had an emotional and intellectual effect far more powerful than I
expected. There were a couple of illogical moments that made me wonder
if the real story was being followed honestly. But, ultimately that
didn't really matter. Whatever the blend of truth and fiction this is a
tense, powerful, entertaining film, one of the better prison films ever
made.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this was recommended to me by friends, and if it hadn't been i might never have heard of it. why it isn't better known, i have no idea - it is, basically, a masterpiece. the performances, the tight script, the tension, the characters, are all top drawer. this is no hollywood film, with easy goodies and baddies to identify. the guards aren't sadistic bullies, they're as human as the prisoners. you don't know much about their lives before prison, but you feel you know lots about them, even without being told. i can't believe the cast were amateur; they drew me into their world, and i was gripped. a word for the direction too - impeccable. you really feel the prison as an extra character. the tension derived from the escape attempt is what makes this film so compelling - it feels so real, and it's the first time i've really gleaned how difficult it must be to try and escape from prison - never mind the logistics of it, but also the sheer repetitive bloodymindedness you have to show, and the nerve to cope with the idea that one slip and all is lost. that it leaves you wondering about certain things and certain people is all the better for the film. i have thought about it often since watching it, and i'll always have my own ideas on what really happened and what will happen next. a superb film, the best prison film i've ever seen, and i recommend this very very highly.
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Format: DVD
"Le Trou," ("The Hole"), is a black and white thriller, surely one of the greatest of all prison-break movies, and another triumph of French cinema, made by director Jacques Becker. Oddly enough, it was made in 1960, but not released in the United States until 1997. In a swift 131 minutes, it tells the story of the bourgeois Claude. While he is in prison awaiting trial for the attempted murder of his wife, he learns that the four inmates in a cell he has just been moved into, as his former cell is being remodeled, are plotting an escape. The four all face certain conviction and long sentences. They wonder: does their new young jail-mate have the same incentive to escape and if so can they trust him? They decide to include Claude in their plans, and he decides to go along with them -- only to learn that his wife has dropped the charges and his sentence has been reduced. He still agrees to participate in the jailbreak, knowing that he's risking his freedom by so doing.

This is director Jacques Becker's final film; he was quite ill, and knew it. He died two weeks after completing it. It is based on a true story of the hole dug by the inmates of the largest Paris prison, la Sante. The screenplay is taken from a novel by the distinguished writer and film-maker Jose' Giovanni, himself formerly a convict. Becker, a Communist, chooses to tell the story in the simplest, most stripped-down, neatest possible way. No music at all, only the sounds of a prison, and dry, sharp yet powerful dialog. The in-mates do their job, to try to escape. The director, Communist though he may be, avoids the annoying cliché, typical of American jail movies, of showing the wardens as sadistic torturers.
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