A fine early sound film which deploys its synched sound only sparingly and has a sort of musical structure to it. The plot is convoluted, but revolves around two friends who attempt a prison escape together, are separated and thereafter take a different path through life. Its key conceit seems to be that prison and factory work are pretty much interchangeable, and for something billed as a comedy, it’s comic in only the most cosmic sense as there’s little that’s really uplifting in the plot and paves the way to Tati’s own later satires on modernisation.
FILM REVIEW: Criterion Collection
Director/Writer René Clair; Cinematographer Georges Périnal; Starring Henri Marchand, Raymond Cordy; Length 104 minutes.
Seen at a friend’s home (DVD), London, Sunday 11 June 2017.