- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0001Y4LE6
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,982 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Man Escaped [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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"This story is true," reads the opening statement of A Man Escaped. "I give it as it is, without embellishment." Based on the memoir by Andre Devigny, a member of the French Resistance imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Gestapo during the German occupation, director Robert Bresson (himself at one time a German POW) transforms Devigny's daring escape into an ascetic film of documentary detail. Kept in a tiny stone cell with a high window and a thick wooden door, the prisoner (renamed Fontaine in the film) makes himself intimate with his world--every surface of his room, every sound reverberating through the hall and every detail of the prison's layout that he can absorb in brief sojourns from his cell. Bresson magnifies every detail with insistent close-ups and detailed examinations of every step of Fontaine's plan, from constructing and hiding ropes and hooks to painstakingly carving out an exit in the heavy cell door, and provides a sort of Greek chorus of fellow prisoners. This is Bresson's first film to feature a completely non-professional cast drilled to master precise movements and deliver lines without dramatic inflection. The effect is a drama where the slightest gesture carries the weight of a confession. Bresson's films are not for everybody, and this austere picture hardly carries the visceral punch of The Great Escape, but it's a drama of profound power, with a gripping climax that's as absorbing and tense as any high-energy action film. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you consider a film which focuses on a single character, mostly in a single location, with minimal dialogue, then you might expect a narrative of great emotional intensity, but you probably would not expect the tension and immediacy that this film also has. I came across it by chance, and stayed glued to the screen, spellbound.
This is not a "Colditz"-style story, with its emphasis on comradeship in adversity, and attempt to see both guards and prisoners as individuals, with human frailties.
The hero is held in solitary confinement - that is why there are so few other characters. The enemy are faceless oppressors; we do not see his interrogation, the torture is evident from the condition in which he is returned to his cell.
The absolute emptiness of his cell is mirrored in the sparse, bare style of the narrative. It has the courage to disregard all extraneous concerns and concentrate on its single theme - the amazing resourcefulness and courage of a single individual, under almost intolerable conditions.
Watching this film is an intense, compelling experience, but ultimately uplifting, as it demonstrates what a human being is capable of.
Having seen the paltry American disc which is overpriced and intermitently available, I greatly anticipated this release from Artificial Eye, and I am quite pleased. The film itself has never looked better, bright and clean with minimal dirt and clear sound. If that weren't enough, there is also a wonderful Dutch documentary (with English subtitles) called "The Road to Bresson" which is almost an hour long and features interviews with Andrei Tarkovsky, Louis Malle, and Paul Schrader amongst others.Read more ›
Fontaine(Leterrier), impassive and inscrutable , has total command of the 3 by 2 metre space he inhabits, with the eyes of a vigilant bird and we get an image of his hands chipping, banging, bending,platting. Our vision is limited to what he can see-a small part of the prison yard, the outer corridor and downstairs in the yard when the men empty their pots and have a wash in the communal wash-house daily. We also only hear what he hears, the approaching foot-steps or the noises of men being taken from their cell to their execution in the yard.Bursts of machine-gun fire.Orsini, in the cell opposite escapes too early and is soon executed.The innate hope and humanity of the prisoners surfaces as they struggle for meaning beyond their captivity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant true French movie...a must for any wartime collectionPublished 1 month ago by Paul W. Schirley
Its just great to get away from Hollywood ! As its based on a true story, there's no unnecessary dramatics, just an absorbing film with natural realism, well worth watching.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Thought this film was alright for the day and age it was made. Thought it was filmed really well and was easy to follow with the subtitles. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Juddz444
Super film. I had no idea just how good this film would be before hand. But its absolutely gripping from the beginning to the end. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dela
A Man Escaped is a very poised, focused statement from Bresson showing a Resistance fighter in France in 1943, who slowly acquires the means to escape from prison. Read morePublished on 24 July 2014 by schumann_bg