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Zazie dans le metro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1960)

Catherine Demongeot , Philippe Noiret , Louis Malle  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps, Carla Marlier, Annie Fratellini
  • Directors: Louis Malle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Color
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SBL5OC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,079 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zazie dans le metro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Archival interviews with director Louis Malle, novelist Raymond Queneau, and the young actress Catherine Demongeot

Le Paris de Zazie, an interview with assistant director Philippe Collin

Original theatrical trailer

New and improved English subtitle translation

PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau

Editorial Reviews

A brash and precocious eleven-year-old (Catherine Demongeot) comes to Paris for a whirlwind weekend with her rakish uncle (La Pointe Courte’s, Philippe Noiret); he and the viewer get more than they bargained for in this anarchic comedy from Louis Malle (Murmur of the Heart, My Dinner with André), which treats the City of Light as though it were a pleasure island just waiting to be destroyed. Based on a popular novel by Raymond Queneau that had been considered unadaptable, Malle’s audacious hit Zazie dans le métro is a bit of stream-of-conscious slapstick, wall-to-wall with visual gags, editing tricks, and effects, and made with flair on the cusp of the French New Wave.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Colorful comedy August 7, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
First saw Zazie years ago and remembered I'd loved it. So I was thrilled to see that it was coming out in a Criterion release. The film was as crazy and colorful as I remember it. All potty-mouthed Zazie wants to do while visiting her uncle in Paris is to ride the metro. Unfortunately it's closed due to a worker's strike. Still there are plenty of other adventures to be had and lots of colorful characters to have them with. Zazie is a real gem and I highly recommend it. The Criterion DVD is what one expects: outstanding and with great extras.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a delightfully odd movie! July 10, 2011
By tesg
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
A girl is left with her uncle for the weekend (or a day, I think) while Mom runs off with her new boyfriend. She has one wish while she's ride the Metro train...which, naturally, is on strike.

Wackiness ensues.

Shot largely as if it were a slapstick silent film, this is one wacky, odd romp around Paris. The Eiffel tower scenes are surely one-of-a-kind and worth the price of admission alone.

You won't really find yourself laughing a lot so much as just marveling at the spectacle of the thing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A puzzling film September 6, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm not quite sure whether I like this film or not. I either loved it or I hated it ... it says something about the power of the film that I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.

What starts as a very realistic look at Paris through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl gradually slips into impressionism and finally into surrealism (the final fight in the restaurant). The more I think about it, I think Malle's absurdities work very well during the various chase sequences, but go a bit over the top during the restaurant fight.

What also struck me was the sexual ambiguity of the characters. Zazie's uncle is, of course, a professional female impersonator. But watch her aunt, a beautiful woman who starts out as a very domesticed housewife and gradually becomes more and more masculine, until at the end, she looks like one of the motorcycle thugs pursuing Orpheus. And Zazie herself begins as a charming young girl, but shocks you when she accuses a man trying to prevent her from running away of being a sexual preditor. Later, as she descends the Eiffel Tower, the makes sexual overtures to a much older man.

As I say, a strange film. Funny. Thought provoking and disorienting. But entertaining ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine Cast and Production; OK Film December 28, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Zazie is a classic French film, and we purchased it for that reason. The cast is fine, and the original production seems to have been well done. Criterion also created a high quality DVD. The movie follows the young girl Zazie around Paris in her quest to ride the Métro, and it's fun to see the scenes of the city. The film also has funny episodes, which is quite desirable in a comedy. However, I really could not get into the movie, and I found that I did not really care what happened to the characters. The problem may well lie with me, but nonetheless I feel ambivalent about the film itself.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
You often hear about novels that are not possible for a film adaptation. And for author Raymond Queneau's successful 1959 novel "Zazie dans le métro", who can portray a novel about a young girl who knows way too much for her age and is so inquisitive, but yet her perspective of the absurdity of adult Parisians?

Never to back down from a challenge, French filmmaker Louise Malle known for his popular films "The Lovers" and "Elevators to the Gallows" took on a film adaptation of "Zazie dans le métro". A film which Malle would say it was a tribute to Charlie Chaplin and also a film that would lead to film experimentation with special effects and colorization.

And as for the film, the film would receive critical acclaim but also controversy as many parents thought the film was targeted towards children, and took their children to the film to find out quickly when the young 10-year-old Zazie speaks that the film is not for children.

For Louis Malle fans, many have wanted more of his films to be released by the Criterion Collection and sure enough, "Zazie dans le métro" and "Black Moon" will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in June 2011.

"Zazie dans le métro" is a film that is not easy to describe, because it is a film that has to be experienced visually. Words to describe the film would not serve the film any justice because the enjoyment goes bar beyond the written words but what takes place on screen.


"Zazie dans le métro - The Criterion Collection #570' is presented in 1:33:1 aspect ratio. It's important to note that the film was a big experimentation with color and filmmaking, especially special effects at that time.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hands-down this is the most playful movie I've ever seen, and even after a half dozen viewings, I still can't watch it without having a goofy grin on my face almost all the way through. The basic story is pretty minimal - a precious, strong-willed, borderline manic young girl named Zazie is visiting her uncle in Paris and is repeatedly thwarted in her desire to ride the Metro. But what makes the movie great is director Louis Malle's inventive camerawork and the increasingly erratic, slapstick, hilarious tone of the film (it often feels like you're watching a comic book or a video game unfold on the screen). It's not all fun and games, however -- in the midst of all the chaotic goings-on is some pretty biting social commentary about modern culture. I'm so glad this got a Criterion Collection release - the picture and audio quality on the blu-ray are terrific, and the extra features include an engaging archival interview with the film's young star, Catherine Demongeot.
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