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.
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 )