In the midst of Nazi occupation, theaters still did a brisk business, partly because of the need for escapism, and partly because no one had any heat, but could stay warm in a crowded theater. So they flocked to the theaters, always careful to catch the last metro out of Paris so they could get home before curfew.
The Theatre Montmartre has fallen on hard times. Jewish owner and director Lucas Steiner (Heinz Bennent) has fled the country to avoid the concentration camps; in his absence, Steiner's wife Marion Steiner (Catherine Deneuve, Belle du Jour) struggles to keep the theater running. The theater's future hinges on their new play, Disappearances; as rehearsals progress, the cast deals with the occupation in their own way. Leading man Bernard Granger (Gerard Depardieu, Cyrano de Bergerac) is peripherally involved with the resistance, while supporting player Nadine rushes from theater work to film work to television work, anything to further her career. But Marion has a secret-Lucas is really hiding out in the theater cellar. From there he listens to rehearsals, passing directorial notes through his wife. As the occupation continues, Marion must overcome obstacle after obstacle, from an influential anti-Semitic theater critic who suspects that Lucas is still in France, her husband's growing sense of isolation, and, most unexpectedly, her growing attraction to her leading man.
Truffaut somehow manages to take a story that, on paper at least, sounds overly melodramatic and turn it into something magnificent. Set during what had to have been an incredibly tense and emotional period in French history, The Last Metro manages to work as a sincerely moving and touching film without ever feeling heavy handed or overdone. While the story, on the surface level at least, is little more than a tale of a simple love triangle, the constant reminders of the Nazi occupation by way of the black outs, the curfew, the persecution of the Jews, the buying of food on the black market, and the very real and physical presence of German troops gives the film a much more somber and reflective tone leaving you wondering how much of it was based on Truffaut's own experiences as a boy growing up during the occupation.
↓ Download movie...