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Les Vacances de M. Hulot [Blu-ray + DVD] [1953]

Jacques Tati    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
Price: £21.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Les Vacances de M. Hulot [Blu-ray + DVD] [1953] + Jour de fête (DVD and Blu-ray) + Playtime [1967] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £58.77

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Product details

  • Directors: Jacques Tati
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Nov 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041HL5GQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,754 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Forefather of Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean, Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot--a recurring character in several of his movies--is a blithely clumsy troublemaker, an insouciant twit who leaves uproar in his wake without being aware of it. Trying to describe this 1953 comedy is next to impossible except to say it is a series of vignettes at a vacation resort, with the distracted Hulot providing a lot of laughs. Tati directs, and in a way what that really means is that he composes this movie with a perfect eye and ear for the comic possibilities in everything: composition, lighting, minimal marble-mouth dialogue, certain sounds (a duck call, a door repeatedly opening and shutting). This is a superior work that ranks among all-time classic comedies. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

The film that brought Jacques Tati international acclaim also launched his on-screen alter ego: the courteous, well-meaning, eternally accident prone Monsieur Hulot with whom Tati would from now on be inseparably associated. As with Jour de fête, the film is set in a sleepy French coastal resort which is seasonally disrupted by holidaymakers in energetic pursuit of fun. At the centre of the chaos is the eccentric Hulot, struggling at all times to maintain appearances, but somehow entirely divorced from his immediate surroundings. There is little plot in Tati s beautifully orchestrated ballet of comic action: it s a series of incidents, a seamless succession of gently mocking studies of human absurdity. Extra Features: Newly remastered to High Definition, Includes two different cuts of the film, Dual Format Edition: includes both Blu-ray and the DVD versions of the main feature, Interview with filmmaker Richard Lester (A Hard Days Night, Superman II) (DVD only), Original trailers for Les Vacances de M. Hulot, Mon Oncle and Playtime, Extensive illustrated booklet featuring essays and film notes

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless gentle humour - a classic 4 Oct 2001
By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Mr Hulot's Holiday is simply one of the funniest films you'll ever see. In a series of hilarious episodes the blundering Hulot unwittingly causes havoc in a seaside resort. Tati's genius for mime is breathtaking at times - the perfect slapstick timing of Laurel & Hardy without the melodramatics. There is shrewd social observation and a host of real characters with endearing quirks and habits. There are so many visually comic ideas that you only become aware of them after many viewings. A film which holds you in a spell and generates timeless comedy at no-one's expense.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful which version you get 29 Jan 2009
Jacques Tati is one of the great comedian/directors, but he was an impossible perfectionist in his movie-making, and died bankrupt as a result. He lost the rights to his movies in the wake of the ruinous folly that is "Playtime", and since his death the bones have been picked over for profit by a variety of people. As one reviewer points out, the British Film Institute misses out scenes, while I've seen the Japanese DVD which has completely irrelevant sub-titles. If you are offered something billed as the 1977 version, don't buy it, it's chopped around. And there's no cheap easy way into Tati, as all his films retail at £12-£15, even assuming they're available.

Many people don't "get" Tati, frustrated by his lack of plot, and episodes which don't seem to go anywhere. But those who complain about his lack of skill as a film-maker are probably watching a duff version.

Certainly "Les Vacances" has only the plot of a fortnight's holiday, but that's enough to give the film a rhythm, each day started with the catchy clarinet tune and the opening of the window to look at the sea. (The only day which doesn't have the tune is the last, when everyone is sad to be going home.) Like holidays, the days seem to merge into each other, punctuated only by special Treats like the picnic, the fireworks, the Costume Ball. Some events, like some gags, lead nowhere, other jokes are recurring.

What makes Tati great seems to me threefold. First, unlike so many comics, he isn't a one-trick pony. He spreads his gags around all the characters, who are fully rounded and believable people. Most of them we know little of - like we know little about the people we happen to share a hotel or a beach with.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He did it first 19 Nov 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Owing much to Chaplin and - to a lesser extent - Buster Keaton and Will Hay, Tati's creation is a bumbling bringer of mayhem who remains oblivious to the chaos he creates around him. As the title suggests, the film follows M. Hulot on his seaside holiday. Each scene is brilliantly executed and masterfully played to squeeze every last comic drop from every situation. Less pacy than Chaplin or Keaton, but no less funny, highlights include the wonderfully choreographed table tennis scene and the closing firework extravaganza. This is an almost totally silent film (the few words which are spoken are in English) which demonstrates the truly universal flavour of physical and visual comedy. M. Hulot is undoubtedly the precursor of such comic creations as Frank Spencer and Mr Bean: as is often the case, those who came after are pale imitations.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness-it's the original! 15 Jan 2008
The best thing-this is the original FRENCH print. Not a bad idea, because many Gallic nuances went out the window when the background radio prigrammes were dubbed into an Ersatz Third Programme and the archetypical can't-relax-for-a-moment businessman who's ALWAYS wanted on the phone becomes Herr Schmidt and not the transatlantic Mr Smith!

The full, original soundtrack is also here-or at least a serial number of varations of Alain Roman's theme are-that WAS the original soundtrack! Who cares-it's such a lovely tune, in total keeping with the entire ambience of the movie.

M. Hulot also almost manages to charm the lovely young French lady in the movie. No mean feat, considering he's the living incarnation of how ex-President Gerald Ford was described 20+ years later-unable to chew gum & fart at the same time; using the phrase"accident-prone" about M.Hulot is the understatement of the last millenia & possibly of this one,too!

You also have the strange feeling that every one of the fellow holiday-makers, or the staff at L'Hotel Du Plage, will think back, in the coming winter, to their quinzieme en vacance avec M Hulot. And you also know, every one of them will be wishing, secretly or openly, that they'll soon both be hearing the sewing-machine-on-wheels and also seeing the hen-house-on-wheels as M. Hulot's 1924 Amilcar hoves into view next summer!

I won't bother detailing how the movie evolves. It's just unlike any other, even other Jacques Tati's. Let me just assure you it's not only the best film ever made, it's also still screamingly funny throughout & remains so after many,many viewings!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive edition 27 Nov 2010
BFI have excelled themselves with this release. The package contains a Blu-Ray of the glistening 2009 restoration of the 1978 version of Les Vacances (French and International languages, with subtities), and the original 1953 version (French with subtitles). The 1953 version has a different, more laid-back recording of the music, runs slightly longer, and does not appear to have been issued in any home format before.

The DVD contains all of the above plus the 1978 trailer and an interview with Dick Lester. This last item is strange in that is tells you as much about Dick Lester, Buster Keaton, Peter Sellers and A Show Called Fred as it does Jacques Tati. Lester seems not even to have watched the film for quite some time, and then he's only seen it 4 times. I would still recommend it for any fan of comedy.

Philip Kemp has written a revealing yet concise essay in the enclosed booklet explaining the background to the film and the origins of the different versions.

The film itself is of course 5 stars (although Playtime (Blu-ray + DVD) is my personal favourite). For those unfamiliar, it's an extremely laid-back character study of a week's vacation on the French coast, crammed with visual jokes both subtle and obvious. Tati is, however, never afraid to take his time to set the scene and develop gags. It rewards repeated viewing and deserves to be placed near the top of any list of great comedies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique sense of comedy!
Another one I have loved to watch often and it never fails to make me smile - clever Tati!
Published 8 days ago by J. C. Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
German version but language did not matter as it is mostly visual humour.
Published 25 days ago by keith ormston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic! Jacques Tati was a genious
Published 1 month ago by Ian Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars IT DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS !
I slipped off my cinema seat when first seeing it! Laughing throughout.
This DVD was bought for the CHOREOGRAPHER WAYNE Mc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Klaus A. Irrgang
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Published 2 months ago by a f stott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Harvey Rosten
5.0 out of 5 stars A special film.
Humour as it should be. Some laugh out loud moments and a lot of subtle obseravtions make this gentle film a true classic that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Published 3 months ago by novelevon
5.0 out of 5 stars Recieved
A good laughing clown and a good chukle almost as good as the Marx Brothers a good continental laugh Recommend
Published 3 months ago by Laurence Braun
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday in Brittany - Ou sont les plages d'antan?
St Marc-sur-Mer is sandwiched between St Nazaire and La Baule. It has one main street leading to the sea and the hotel (now modernised) seen in the film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film
This film looks a lot older than it actually is. The sound is really bad but it's not necessary, since it's a visual kind of humour. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ana
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