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A Nous La Liberte

Raymond Cordy , Henri Marchand , René Clair    Unrated   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

One of the all-time great comedy classics, René Clair's À Nous la Liberté is a skillful satire of the industrial revolution and the blind quest for wealth. Deftly integrating his signature musical-comedy technique with pointed social criticism, Clair tells the story of an escaped convict who becomes a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately his past returns to upset his carefully laid plans. Featuring lighthearted wit, tremendous visual innovation, and masterful manipulation of sound, À Nous la Liberté is both a potent indictment of mechanized modern society and an uproarious comic delight.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing scenes unfortunate, but not unforgiveable March 31 2006
Yes, it's sad Criterion didn't restore the scenes... and, deleting the lovely singing flower bit diminishes the poignancy of the leads wooing of his new love. But, like all good editing, you'd never know those two scenes existed if you weren't told. Clair's film is beautifully shot, art direction is stunning, and it's theme of Man vs. Mass Society (not my phrase, but Gabriel Marcel's)a telling comment on the state of affairs in early 1930's Europe. Clair uses sound to great effect (other directors of the time struggled with it... see Fritz Lang's on again off again sound in "M", released the same year). It's not a laugh-out-loud comedy... it's more sweet and witty. It's gags are inventive, though. The scene of the business elite chasing francs around a windy courtroom is a lovely image, given the economy of 1931. All in all, a classic which will be a delight to anyone interested in the history of film... or, for that matter, the history of Europe.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mutilation of a Classic Oct. 24 2002
By A Customer
Just a response to another reviewer; yes, this is Clair's 1950 recut of the film. But the recut is ill-advised, and is generally considered by most historians as a prime example of someone far removed from the circumstances of the film's actual production butchering their own work.
Is this the 1931 classic, intact, as Clair originally intended?
No, it is a recut, which most critics feel strongly is a disgrace.
Do NOT buy this DVD; get the uncut version on VHS while you still can. Once again, Criterion should have restored the original version, rather than presenting this cut version; anything less violates entirely the spirit of the original film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Unquestionable Classic Sept. 3 2002
Perhaps the most elegantly rendered feature film of the very early days of sound production (barring, perhaps, Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS), Clair's classic is such a seemingly effortless blend of romantic melancholy, bitter social criticism and gentle surrealism, that its many aesthetic qualities tend to overshadow the film's astounding technological innovations in the poetics of sound.
The fact that Criterion has thrown Clair's short film ENTR'ACTE onto the disc is reason enough to buy the dvd. The transfers of both the feature and the short are of superlative quality. It's an invaluable release.
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