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L'homme Du Train [DVD] [2003]

4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

Price: £5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday, Jean-François Stévenin, Charlie Nelson, Pascal Parmentier
  • Directors: Patrice Leconte
  • Writers: Claude Klotz
  • Producers: Carl Clifton, Christophe Audeguis, Philippe Carcassonne, Stuart Hatwell
  • 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 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A5BRX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,403 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A mysterious stranger, Milan (Johnny Hallyday), steps off a train in a place he has never been to before. Looking for a pharmacy to buy some aspirin for a raging headache, he comes across a retired school teacher, Manesquier (Jean Rochefort). The two men are complete opposites. Or at least they seem to be. But each man realizes that what he really always wanted is the life of the other man. This … extra "emotional relationship between two heterosexual men is such a difficult and unusual thing to dramatise – but Leconte brings it off with delicacy and persuasive charm" writes Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

From Amazon.co.uk

You wouldn't think that a movie, which mostly consists of two old guys talking could be a thriller, but that's exactly what L'Homme du Train is. French singer Johnny Hallyday plays a professional criminal who comes to a small town to take part in a robbery. By chance, he meets talkative Jean Rochefort, who invites the laconic Hallyday to stay at his house because the hotel is closed. The two form an unlikely friendship, each curious about (and envious of) the other's life. But all the while plans for the robbery continue, while Rochefort is preparing for a dangerous event of his own. The pitch-perfect performances make L'Homme du Train completely involving. Rochefort and Hallyday play off of each other beautifully; it's impossible to put your finger on what makes these subtle, supple scenes so magnetic. The whole is directed with spare authority by Patrice Leconte (La Veuve de Saint-Pierre). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
On a cold weekday a single passenger gets off the train at a French village. The hotels are closed for the season, but he meets an elderly retired school teacher who offers him shelter. The first man is Milam (Johnny Hallyday), a tough, middle-aged criminal who plans to rob the village's bank on Saturday. The other is Manesquier (Jean Rochefort), an educated, aging man of limited means who still occasionally takes in a student to tutor. He will have a triple by-pass heart operation on Saturday.

Manesquier soon learns why Milam is in town, and appears to accept this without judgment. As the days go by toward Saturday, Milam finds himself reading books from Manesquier's library, asking to wear a pair of slippers in the evening, accepting a pipe of tobacco to smoke. Once Manesquier is late and a young pupil shows up at the door. Milam takes the boy in and leads him through the assignment on Balzac. "I'll be your teacher today," he says, although he has never read Balzac. He does an excellent job of it. Manesquier tries on Milam's black leather jacket and holds the gun he finds in Milam's luggage, one of three. He visits the barber shop and asks for a haircut, something between just out of jail and soccer player. He asks Milam to teach him how to shoot, and wishes he could help in the robbery. Both men, so different from each other, accept each other for who each is. Each recognizes a longing to have led a different kind of life than what he has; in fact, to have led the kind of life that the other has led.

Saturday arrives. Manesquier goes to the hospital for the operation. Milam meets two accomplices and goes to the bank for the robbery. The conclusion of the movie is mysterious, elegant, sad and satisfying. Both men find, in a way, their new lives.
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Format: DVD
By chance, a retired teacher meets an almost retired gangster:clash of two parallele lives? No, love at first sight of each other's mystery. Each envies the life of the other, especially the teacher! I can easily understand you feel like robbing a bank or killing someone after a lifetime in the classroom. The camera work, sometimes, films the two heroes like in a spaghetti western. Johnny Halliday, the gangster, reminds me of Clint Eastwood when he is not in action but simply thinking.(close-up on the metallic blue iris) He is the man of few words but his rough presence is so powerful!. (Probably due to 40 years of successful pop concert) Jean Rochefort, the teacher, is a lovely excentric man who, like all of us, wishes to have two lives at least if not nine. It is also rare to see a small provincial French town, worts and all. For example the silly mannerism of the typical sale assistant in the baker's shop.
I would recommend the film for its effective humour, the stunning performance of the two actors, for keeping the interest of any spectator without sex, car chases or guns...Well, there are a few shots but you don't know whether they are abstract or real. A wonderful film, full of humanism
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Format: DVD
L'Homme Du Train is a quiet, subtle film about the accidental friendship between two very different men.

At first there does not seem to be much of a story to be told in this film but this is deceptive. The film delivers great performances from the two leading men, Johnny Hallyday and Jean Rochefort. There are no shocking thrills as in American cinema and yet the film is a thriller. It also manages to be a character study of two very different men. Hallyday is a bank robber (and potentially violent) and Rochefort a retired schoolteacher. Each man secretly desires the other mans life.

What kept me watching was the quietness of the film - the director obviously felt no need for background music. When no one speaks, the film is comfortable with silence. The story speaks for itself with no need for extra assistance from background music. The major and minor characters such as the bakery assistant are compelling to watch.

This film is well worth viewing and is a good example of how American and French cinema differ. This film could have been a loud, violent and visually spectaclar thriller and yet Patice Leconte has directed a more intelligent and sophisticated story which leaves the viewer with a feeling of satisfaction. The resolution of the film is ingenious and imaginative.

A sublime film!
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
L'Homme du Train is one of Patrice Leconte's best films, playing nicely to his strengths and never outstaying its welcome thanks to a tight running time. An arthouse success outside France but a disappointment in its home territory, it's a wistful look at life's disappointments and missed opportunities seen through the unlikely friendship of Johnny Hallyday's ageing bank robber checking out a small town bank and Jean Rochefort's retired schoolteacher who watches too many thrillers as each man sees in the other the life they could have lived had they only had the courage to try. The former monosyllabic and increasingly cautious, the latter unguardedly talkative, this odd couple make an engagingly credible friends, united by their own rapidly approaching dates with their respective fates.

In many ways its almost a small-scale modern-day Gallic working of Hugo Fregonese's melancholy 1954 Civil War Western The Raid, which saw Van Heflin's Confederate tempted to settle in the town he has come to destroy given a French thriller makeover, even retaining some Western motifs in Rochefort's Wyatt Earp fantasies. But while the ending is never in any doubt, one of the chief delights of the film is the unexpected turns it sometimes takes, never more than in a delightful scene in a bistro where Rochefort decides to take on some bad-mannered troublemakers against Hallyday's advice only to find things turning out very differently from what both men expected. Even scenes you'd expect to be played for comic disaster turn out quietly triumphant, such as Hallyday teaching one of Rochefort's private lessons for him - and actually turning out to be good at it despite never even reading the book under discussion.
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