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Author Topic: Le Trou (1960)  (Read 84 times)
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« on: May 31, 2017, 06:16:27 PM »


Watched on DVD.

10

 "I don't trust strangers,and what a stranger!"

** This review may contain spoilers ***

During the bank holiday I decided to look online for any special DVD deals. Being a big fan of their Casque D'Or and Touchez Pas Au Grisbi presentations,I was thrilled to find Studiocanal's DVD of auteur film maker Jacques Becker at a great price,which led to me jumping into the hole.

The plot:

Sent to prison after accidentally (not fatally!) shooting his wife during a row, Claude Gaspard is welcomed into a prison filled to the brim. With there being no free cells left,Gaspard is chucked in with Roland Darban/Manu Borelli/Monseigneur and Jo Cassine. Breaking the ice,the guys reveal that they are each serving 10-20 year jail term. Hearing Gaspard talk about his possible 10 year term,the group decide to reveal their secret:They plan to escape the jail. Given the job of watchmen,Gaspard watches the guards go by,as the team dig a hole into their sentences.

View on the film:

Completed just two weeks before he died, (after which producer Serge Silberman cut 24 minutes from the cut,that remain lost) co- writer/(with Jean Aurel and Josť Giovanni) director Jacques Becker (whose son Jean has a cameo) & cinematographer Ghislain Cloquet play an extraordinary crescendo to Becker's pessimistic Noir universe. Re-creating the real prison for this "ripped from the headlines" tale,Becker lingers on each layer of the hole to dig into the dirt of the cell,with the clever move to not have a score leading to the industrial tools being the only sound in the cramped cell.

Limiting the feminine touch to an uncredited appearance from a feature film debuting Catherine Spaak, Becker (who used the widescreen format for the first time)and Cloquet caves in the pent- up adrenaline with tightly coiled shots in the jail,which break up into a hole of ultra-stylised reflecting shots and dives across the prison sewers,as the team see daylight shining from the isolation. Working with most of the real inmates as "advisors",Becker and his fellow writers brilliantly gather the Noir and non-Noir creations of auteur Becker,via Gaspard being the youthful,loved-up outsider who follows Becker's Rendezvous in July and Antoine and Antoinette,who teams up with a "family" of working class Noir loners who drill into the family roots of Becker's It Happened at the Inn and the life of crime smarts of Becker's Touchez Pas au Grisbi,as Jacques Becker unlocks the Noir cells for the final time.

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