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LE TROU Select Press

LE TROU Select Press

“THROBS WITH EXCITEMENT AND SUSPENSE!” – The New York Times

“ALMOST UNBEARABLY REAL!” – The New Yorker

“TAUT, BONE-BARE, AGONIZINGLY SUSPENSEFUL AND FLAWLESSLY ACTED! The drama hurtles toward a shock climax that suddenly becomes less a saga of physical endurance than a test of one man’s moral strength… As a movie about prison life it is authentic; La Santé’s guards are not brutes, they are merely inhumanly efficient machines, trained to perform surgery on a food parcel, to count skulls in the numbered cubicles where prisoners contemplate their anonymity. Le Trou deepens the adventure of an underground escape route by saying that a man can scrape, scratch, hammer and claw his way to freedom from everything but himself.” – TIME

“People have often gently mocked Becker’s manias, his infinite scruples when shooting... what some took to be a fault finds here its end, its triumph. Hardwood floorboards, grains of plaster, stones, cobblestones, bars, locks are to be lifted, scratched, worked on, unsealed, sawed, forced open without cheating, without ellipsis, without tricks, without easy dissolves… out of this extraordinary ‘analysis’ is continually born the rhythm, the anxiety, the suspense, the passion.” – Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Cahiers du Cinéma

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Best Film (1961)1