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A Nous la Liberte

Henri Marchand  Actor Raymond Cordy  Actor Rolla France  Actor Paul Olivier  Actor Jacques Shelly  Actor

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A Nous la Liberte

UPC: 037429147726

Studio: Criterion

Summary: À Nous la Liberté is an early talkie from French filmmaker René Clair. Louis (Raymond Cordy) and Emile (Henri Marchand) are a pair of convicts whose lives take decidely different paths after prison. Emile works his way up the ladder of capitalism, becoming a phonograph factory boss, a job that finds him overseeing a bleak outfit of automatous drones. Louis, on the other hand, lives the life of a poverty-stricken vagabond. Despite their contrasting lots, the pair meet up again later in life. À Nous la Liberté is perhaps best remembered for being the main inspiration for Charlie Chaplin's 1936 classic Modern Times. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Category: Comedy

Awards: Best Art Direction – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Foreign Film – National Board of Review Most Entertaining Film – Venice International Film Festival

Features: New digital transfer
Deleted scenes
"Entr'acte" (1924), the classic Surrealist short by Clair and artist Francis Picabia
1998 video interview with Madame Bronja Clair
Film historian David Robinson on the plagiarism lawsuit against Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times"
New and improved English subtitle translation
Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

A Nous la Liberte

Format: DVD

Release Date: 07/16/2002

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Pre-1954 Standard

Audio: DD1 Dolby Digital Mono

Runtime: 83 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) French

Subtitles: English

Chapters: Side #1 --
1. Numbers 155 & 119 [6:08]
2. "Liberty Is All That Counts" [5:06]
3. "Stop, Thief!" [1:37]
4. The Joys of Capitalism [4:46]
5. "Work Is Freedom" [1:42]
6. Escape, One Way or Another [3:18]
7. That Enchanting, Mechanical Voice [5:26]
8. Hanky-Panky [4:41]
9. The Boss [5:30]
10. The Good Life [7:41]
11. Recognition [2:37]
12. Modern Matchmaking [9:30]
13. Dinner Guests [5:32]
14. The Chases Are On [8:26]
15. "Organization & Progress" [8:06]
16. "À Nous la Liberté" [3:11]
1. Color Bars [:20]

Tom Wiener

What's the point of escaping from a real prison if you only wind up trapped in, say, a factory job, or a loveless marriage, or the strictures of high society? That's the question René Clair poses in this oddly paced but totally winning comedy. Emile (Henri Marchand) is the con who makes good on his escape, leaving his pal Louis (Raymond Cordy) behind to fill out his sentence. By chance, persistence, and talent, Emile turns from a slob to a potential snob, a successful manufacturer of phonographs. Marchand, who looks like the young Jackie Gleason, thus accomplishes the transformation, in Gleason character terms, from the Poor Soul to Reginald Van Gleason III. But Emile is no ordinary captain of industry; he actually wants his workers to enjoy more freedom, and to that end, he's looking to mechanize his factory without downsizing his work force. A blackmail plot almost spoils his plans, but a well-timed wind storm saves the day. At the end, the two pals are almost back where they started but happier than ever. Clair's sound effects and musical interludes may feel dated to contemporary audiences, but they mark this film not as a quaint artifact but a forward-looking historical document. The factory scenes may be reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, but Clair's work preceded Chaplin's by several years. Among the extras on the DVD edition is an essay by Chaplin scholar David Robinson on the plagiarism lawsuit brought against Chaplin by the producers of À Nous la Liberté, a suit of which Clair wanted no part. He said he would have been honored if Chaplin had used his film as inspiration, acknowledging his colleague's unmatched virtuosity. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Georges Auric  Composer (Music Score) 
René Clair  Director 
René Clair  Screenwriter 
Henri Marchand  Actor 
Raymond Cordy  Actor 
Rolla France  Actor 
Paul Olivier  Actor 
Jacques Shelly  Actor 
André Michaud  Actor 
Germaine Aussey  Actor 
Leon Lorin  Actor 
William Burke  Actor 
Vincent Hyspa  Actor 
Alex D'Arcy  Actor 

Country: France