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Le Trou [DVD] [1960]

Marc Michel , Jean Keraudy , Jacques Becker    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £10.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Le Trou [DVD] [1960] + Touchez Pas Au Grisbi [1956] [DVD] [1954] + Casque D'Or [DVD] [1952]
Price For All Three: £29.25

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Product details

  • Actors: Marc Michel, Jean Keraudy, Philippe Leroy, Raymond Meunier, Michel Constantin
  • Directors: Jacques Becker
  • Producers: Serge Silberman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Aug 2007
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RWDY1I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,778 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Gritty French prison escape drama set in late 1940s Paris. Wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife, Gaspard Claude (Mark Michel) is sent to Paris's notorious Sante Prison, sharing a cell with four hardened criminals. Reticent about letting Gaspard in on their escape plans, the cell-mates' feelings of mistrust are emphasised by only letting the viewer know events from Gaspard's past life, and nothing about his fellow inmates'. With the escape unfolding in gritty black and white, and combining the use of non-professional actors, director Becker manages to produce a vividly studied account of prison life.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Four convicts in a French prison share a single cell. As all are incarcerated for serious crimes, including, perhaps, execution. They decide to escape and have collected materials for the purpose. Before they can begin carrying out their carefully prepared plan, another inmate is moved to their cell. What now? They have no choice but to tell him what they intend to do. He becomes an accomplice, and all five begin the laborious and very clever process of digging their way through the concrete floor to access underground tunnels beneath the prison and, eventually, the sewers to which those tunnels are connected. After much work, they find a way out onto the streets of the city, not far from the prison. But they must wait until the next night to effect their escape. During their final day, the newcomer is taken to the warden, who informs him that the charge against him has been dropped and that he will be released very soon, though not on that day. After a two-hour meeting, he is returned to the cell, where he is questioned, his faithfulness to the plot is challenged, he is accused of ratting on his mates, and he finally wins back their trust and gains an apology. What has he done? Can the plot succeed? SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Cannes Film Festival, ...The Night Watch ( Le trou )

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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escapades 17 July 2010
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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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digging Up A Masterpiece 28 July 2009
By john
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie so good it defies analysis 6 Sep 2010
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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All old but only pure gold 5 Jun 2009
Jacques Becker was probably one of the unknowns of French classic cinema. I'm only stating this, because his films were not commercial and did not do so well at the French box office success. Some of his fims, like Casques D'Or, were very successful outside France, especially in the UK. Why was Becker a master of cinema? Simply because his teacher was one of the best directors ever, none other than Jean Renoir. He used to be assistant director through the 30's in almost all of Renoir's masterpieces (eg La Grande Illusion, etc).

What everybody should know about Le Trout (eng. The Hole) is that this movie goes beyond limits, being made in the spirit of French New Wave. They used non professional actors, real places and amazing cinematography. The subject is close to Bresson's ,,A Man Escapes" made earlier than Le Trout in 1956 involving a prison thriller. The action, the script are wonderful and smooth. I will try not to spoil your fun by watching this movie by telling more. It is simply one of the best films ever made!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best prison films ever 27 Dec 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
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
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1947 Escape Attempt At La Sante Prison.
Le Trou (The Hole) is directed by Jacques Becker and adapted to screenplay by Becker, Jose Giovani and Jean Aurel from Giovani's own novel. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Spike Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole Trou?
This is indeed a wonderful film: one of my all-time favourites. All I have at the moment however is a taped Italian TV version. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stuart Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
Well acted prison escape drama,I was a little surprised to find out after watching that the cast was comprised of non-professional actors. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2012 by Ra Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best prison films ever
A unique prison escape film, full of very specific, realistic details
and devoid of almost any prison movie clichés. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best prison films ever
A unique prison escape film, full of very specific, realistic details
and devoid of almost any prison movie clichés. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful film
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. Read more
Published on 22 Nov 2011 by Biffer Spice
4.0 out of 5 stars Le trou
I bought this dvd to get something different and it was indeed.
The plot and tense moments during the film is outside the usual run of the mill story. Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2011 by Cesar G. Esterman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
The suspense during the film was unbearable at times and it is definitely nail biting stuff. I watched this on a 47'' TV and the reproduction was surprisingly good. Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2011 by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Le Trou by Jacques Becker
I stumbled across Le Trou inadvertently while browsing. A group of prisoners plan a daring prison break. Read more
Published on 2 Oct 2010 by cartoon dog
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