Review: ‘A Nous la Liberte’

Rene Clair has applied a technical formula similar to that of his preceding productions, Sous les Toits de Paris and Le Million, to subject matter which constitutes social satire. That is, his film has a minimum of dialog and a good deal of accompanying music.

Rene Clair has applied a technical formula similar to that of his preceding productions, Sous les Toits de Paris and Le Million, to subject matter which constitutes social satire. That is, his film has a minimum of dialog and a good deal of accompanying music.

This film really comprises two parts. One half is social, and really the backbone of the picture. The other part, which practically constitutes an independent story, is a love affair. Like most Clair films it contains much footage devoted to chases. A distinct effort at production has been made, and cost of film is well over $100,000. A ghost chorus express in song thoughts which the principals act.

Social half shows two prisoners attempting to break jail. The one who escapes (Raymond Cordy) secures a job as a gramophone salesman and then rises to the position of a big manufacturer. Chain system and discipline in his factories are identical to those in the prison. When the recaptured prisoner (Henri Marchand) has been liberated, he traces his former mate who gives him a job.

Love story consists of the manager’s pal, as one of the workers, in love with a girl clerk (Rolla France) and finding that she already loves another man.

Cordy, who gives a fine impersonation of the industrialist, was a taxi driver [before making the film]. He is somewhat of the George Bancroft type. His pal is well played by Marchand. Balance of the cast is excellent.

A Nous la Liberte

France

Production

Tobis. Director Rene Clair; Writer Rene Clair; Camera Georges Perinal Editor Rene Le Henaff; Music Georges Auric Art Lazare Meerson

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Henri Marchand Raymond Cordy Rolla France Paul Olivier Jacques Shelley Germaine Aussey
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