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Jules and Jim (The Criterion Collection)

4.1 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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(May 31, 2005)
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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, legendary director François Truffaut’s early masterpiece Jules and Jim charts the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession over the course of twenty-five years.

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition transfer, supervised by director of photography Raoul Coutard
  • Two audio commentaries: one featuring co-writer Jean Grault, Truffaut collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, editor Claudine Bouche, and Truffaut scholar Annette Insdorf; the other featuring legendary actress Jeanne Moreau and Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana
  • New video interview with director of photography Coutard
  • Exclusive video interview with co-writer Gruault
  • New video conversation between scholars Robert Stam and Dudley Andrew
  • Excerpts from an episode of the French television program Cineastes de notre temps dedicated to Francois Truffaut
  • Segment from the French program L'Invite du Dimanche (1969), featuring Truffaut and Moreau
  • Truffaut on novelist Henri-Pierre Roche, from the French program Bibliotheque de poche (1966)
  • Archival audio interview with Truffaut

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino, Serge Rezvani
  • Directors: François Truffaut
  • Writers: François Truffaut, Henri-Pierre Roché, Jean Gruault
  • Producers: François Truffaut, Marcel Berbert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection, The
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007989ZC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,638 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jules and Jim (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kona VINE VOICE on February 18, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Francois Truffaut's Jules et Jim was a very popular art-house movie in the early sixties. The black and white French (English subtitled) film follows the friendship of two college students in bohemian Paris beginning in 1912. They meet Catherine, a free spirit who loves to shock people as much as she enjoys both men's love. She marries Jules, but is not satisfied. They reunite with Jim and continue their love triangle.
Jeanne Moreau's Catherine is eternally alluring, selfish, manipulating, and cruel. She is perfect as the siren who plays with men as a cat plays with a mouse. Oscar Werner gives a sympathetic performance as the idealistic and vulnerable Jules, who goes from carefree youth to melancholy middle-age. Henri Serre is well-cast as Jim, more quiet and introspective, yet still helplessly drawn to the enigmatic Catherine.
This is the kind of movie one admires more each time you see it. At first, you are dependent on the subtitles; later you just enjoy the flow of scenes, the gradual change in mood from youthful exuberance to subdued acceptance, and then the stark and tragic, yet inevitable, conclusion. If you like character-driven stories about unconventional people, you'll enjoy Jules and Jim.
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Format: DVD
The Criterion edition is a huge improvement over the Fox Lorber version. The picture quality is vastly better, with far less grain and markedly finer resolution; the subtitles are also positioned less obtrusively. I was disturbed by another reviewer's claim that the picture 'shook' - there was no shaking at all with my copy. The transfer was supervised and approved by the director of photography for the film, Raoul Coutard, so it is hardly surprising that it looks good; in some of the darker scenes there is some flickering, but this is hardly a major issue. I actually found the Fox Lorber print difficult and annoying to watch, while the Criterion is completely enjoyable, in fact better than prints I've seen at the cinema.
Having seen the film itself several times, I have to admit that on first viewing its great reputation was a bit baffling. My own expectations had been defeated, as I was expecting a film which was at core 'realist'. On subsequent viewings, it became much more rewarding, especially on encountering the idea that it is more a 'fairy tale' or, at least, a fable. When I stopped thinking of the film as 'prose' and allowed it to be appreciated as 'poetry', its spirit suddenly made sense. The style is truly original, and so inevitably preconceived expectations will be disappointed.
There is a pervasive light-hearted energy to the film, embodied in all aspects of its making, from the dancing camerawork, to the deft editing and playful performances. And this provides a poignant contrast to the themes explored, which deal with denser issues of commitment and allegiance. The characters might well be taken as representing larger ideas, such as national identity, but any symbolism is gestural and open-ended, so the film never feels preachy.
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Format: DVD
I was 12 when I saw this on Public television on a Friday night-I sat alone in the TV room in our basement, away from the perpetual chaos of my home life upstairs, and watched it, transfixed. It completely changed how I looked at film, love and just about everything else. It also made me fall in love with everything French-a love affair that has lasted 40 years. I have taken countless people to see this film in art houses and I have bought and given away a few DVDs as well.

Truffaut's storytelling is crisp and clear, and the three actors are sublime. This is a triumph of the spirit and a deeply romantic film. C'est la vie magnifique.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some films just reach a special place in your heart; maybe because of personal situations that mirror the films content, literally or figuratively. Maybe it's because the cause or moral is something close to you, something you firmly believe in. Maybe it's because the very essence of the film speaks to your love of cinema or your love of mankind. Whatever the reason, we are all drawn to and find solace in films we can connect to.

For me, `Jules et Jim' is that kind of film.

`Jules et Jim' is a remarkable story of two men and their unwavering love for one another and for a woman named Catherine. The film spans over 30 years and finds Catherine waltzing into their lives, taking root in Jules heart only to give herself to Jim. What is so moving about this film is that, despite their undeniable love triangle, the relationship between Jules and Jim never falters. Their bond is the central most important facet to the flow of their lives, and if their relationship were to crack and fade then Catherine would find herself alone; literally. As much as Jules loves Catherine, his love for his friend, his comrade, is stronger and thus makes the acceptance of Jim's love for Catherine more acceptable and understandable. It's almost as if they share the same woman to be that much closer to one another.

This film is a beautiful depiction of pure friendship.

I think what makes this film so special to me is the fact that it reflects my own personal feelings for that of my best friend, and knowing that our feelings are mutual make this film all that much more a big part of our lives. When Jules and Jim move to the big house with Catherine it is the epitome of paradise for these two men as they can share life's every moment with one another.
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