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A Nous La Liberte (The Criterion Collection)

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Special Features

  • New digital transfer
  • Deleted scenes
  • Entr'acte (1924), the short Surrealist masterpiece by Clair and artist Francis Picabia
  • Video interview with Madame Bronja Clair
  • Film historian David Robinson on the Tobis lawsuit against Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Rolla France, Paul Ollivier, Jacques Shelly
  • Directors: René Clair
  • Writers: René Clair, Francis Picabia
  • Producers: Alexandre Kamenka, Frank Clifford, Roger Le Bon, Rolf de Maré
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 20, 2002
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000067IY4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,429 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Nous La Liberte (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 18, 2002
Format: DVD
... The film is fully intact as Clair intended, and the deleted scenes are available for us to see. The circumstances of these cuts by Clair are fully explained on the DVD's deleted scene menu pages (Clair cut the scenes between the original release and the 1950 reissue), so it is totally inaccurate to say that the film has been "mutilated" since it was the director who made the cuts. The reviewer from Lincoln needs to pay a little more attention to history and stop writing such misleading gibberish.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
This early talkie is an unexpected joy to watch and an artful piece of transitional cinema. It's difficult to believe that Charlie Chaplin claimed he never saw René Clair's fanciful 1931 musical comedy since it predates many of the same leitmotifs that came up in Modern Times five years later, including pointed jabs at corporate greed interlaced with Keystone Cops-style slapstick. In fact, Clair seems completely inspired by Chaplin in the way he carefully orchestrates the chase scenes and the robotic assembly line in this film, so much so that Chaplin borrowed back the visual cues in Modern Times.

Clair sets up his story as an elaborate parable centered on two convicts, best friends Émile and Louis, who make toy horses in the prison assembly line. In a long-planned attempt to escape, Émile escapes thanks to a generous leg-up from Louis, who is caught and returned back to their cell. Years pass, and Émile becomes a successful industrialist in charge of a phonograph manufacturing business. Meanwhile, Louis serves out his term and upon release, ironically finds himself working in the assembly line of Émile's factory. After some hesitation, Louis and Émile reunite and join forces with a rapid-fire series of chaotic complications leading the two friends to realize that a life away from work may be their true fate.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this DVD of Rene Clair's famous film actually because it comes with the less well-known short film Entr'acte, after an incredibly awful experience with a horrible print issued by Anthology of Surreal Cinema. Entr'acte, with the Erik Satie score, is amazing. (And includes cameos of Parisian heroes of the era - Satie, Picabia, Man Ray, Duchamp) The print quality of both films is excellent.
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By A Customer on July 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A brilliant, elegant and sparkling French comedy. It resembles Chaplin's Modern Times, but is in many ways even funnier in depicting the similarity between factory and prison.
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Format: DVD
Had me laughing out loud a few times. Usually not one for musicals i actually purchased this movie because i wanted the short, the extra "Entr'acte." The acting is fantastic, all though copied later by chaplin in "Modern Times" i enjoyed this movie much more then Chaplin's "Modern Times," the chemistry between Raymond Cordy and Henri Marchand is wonderful!
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not to be enclosed, enslaved before a computer today is on our minds..freedom must consist of the work consideration of the source of wealth: the worker. freedom to have employee owned businesses! get off the slave line! funny yet sad movie looks at the struggle of workers..control is looming here in USA in the alarming impingement on human rights.
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