Le dernier metro / The Last Metro (1980) 2 x DVD9, Blu-Ray Criterion Collection
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.

Director: Francois Truffaut
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Jean Poiret
Country: France
Genre: Drama, Romance, War


Audio Commentary by Annette Insdorf: The author of Francois Truffaut provides an in-depth and scholarly track, noting the style, traits, and history of the late filmmaker, the context of The Last Metro, and much more. Insdorf is well-spoken, even if the track is a bit dry.

Audio Commentary by actor Gerard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azema, and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana: This second track might be a bit more difficult for some to get through, as the comments from the trio are presented in French with English subtitles. Still, it’s a solid track with a plethora of information in relation to the film and its historical context.

Deleted Scene (4:59): This scene, which was reinserted in a 1982 home video release, features a moment between Marion and Valentin.

-- Director Truffaut and stars Deneuve and Depardieu appear on an episode of French television show Les nouveaux rendez-vous (10:46), with the two actors doing much of the talking, while the director discusses the themes and background of the film
-- Truffaut and actor Jean Poiret, on an episode of Passez donc me voir (6:29), sit down to discuss their films and reflect on the occupation
-- in Performing The Last Metro (14:55), actors Andrea Ferreol, Paulette Dubost, Sabine Haudepin, and second assistant director Alain Tasma happily reminisce about working on Truffaut’s 1980 film, sharing fond memories about the production
-- in the newly-recorded Visualizing The Last Metro (9:33), camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine discuss working with late cinematographer Nestor Almendros, and the difficulties of achieving the unique look of The Last Metro
-- in Working with Truffaut (28:05), which is available here in its rare entirety, Oscar-winning cinematographer Almendros (Days of Heaven) sits down for a 1986 interview to discuss his career, techniques, and the traits and influences of Truffaut.

Une histoire d’eau (12:14) is a 1958 short film - co-directed by Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard - featuring a man and a woman trying to flee a flooded Paris in his car. The film is a great addition to the disc for fans of both French New Wave filmmakers.

Theatrical Trailer

2 x DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 02:12:00 | 7.68 Gb + 5.90 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:12:08 | 45 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

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