The Last Metro

Friday, May 22 - Monday, May 25, 2015

35th anniversary! 35mm print

“François Truffaut’s THE LAST METRO is a dazzlingly subversive work. The film has the form of a more or less conventional melodrama, about a small Parisian theater company during the 1942-44 Nazi occupation, though the film’s methods are so systematically unconventional that it becomes a gently comic, romantic meditation on love, loyalty, heroism, and history. Not since Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be has there been such a triumphantly unorthodox use of grim material that usually prompts movies of pious, prefabricated responses…

“Chief among the characters are Marion Steiner (Catherine Deneuve), the Theatre Montmartre’s beautiful, level-headed star and manager; her husband Lucas Steiner (Heinz Bennent), formerly the manager and director of the theater, who has gone underground to escape deportation; Bernard Granger (Gérard Depardieu), Marion’s new leading man, a former Grand Guignol actor who is getting his first major break at the Montmartre; Jean-Loup, the theater’s stage director, a gallant, unflamboyant homosexual; Arlette (Andréa Ferréol), the costume designer; and Nadine Marsac, the Theatre Montmartre’s ambitious, gutsy ingenue, played by Sabine Haudepin who, seventeen years ago, played the small daughter of Catherine and Jules in Jules and Jim.

“THE LAST METRO may be unique among Mr. Truffaut’s films in that it contains a villain, a character beyond any redeeming except, possibly, by God. He is Daxiat, based on the real-life, Nazi-sympathizing, Jew-baiting Paris drama critic who, during the occupation, exercised such power that he was, at one point, on the verge of taking control of the Comédie Française…

“THE LAST METRO doesn’t dwell on the horrors of Nazi-encouraged, French anti-Semitism, which flourished during the occupation, but it is haunted by those horrors. They are there in the sorrowful love scenes of Marion and Lucas Steiner, which are among the loveliest moments in all of Mr. Truffaut’s works, and in what seem to be throwaway scenes, as in a chance encounter Marion has at Gestapo headquarters with a young French woman who has been playing both sides to go on living.” – The New York Times

  • Country France
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1980
  • Running Time 128 minutes
  • Director Francois Truffaut

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