A nous la liberté

A nous la liberté

DVD - 2002 | French
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Two men, former coworkers in a prison assembly line, end up as boss and employee many years later.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, 2002
ISBN: 9780780023109
Call Number: FRENCH DVD F A
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (83 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Entr'acte


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Oct 24, 2014

From 1931, this gentle satire of industrialization, the assembly line, and the state of the worker preceded Chaplin's much better known "Modern Times" by 5 years and the studio that produced "A Nous la Liberte" (Freedom for us) sued Chaplin for plagiarism, which embarrassed director Rene Clair, who was a great admirer of Chaplin. I'd venture to say that it's a superior film to Chaplin's: wittier, more understated, and without Chaplin's need to be loved. An escaped con rises to become a captain of industry by running a large factory that uses the assembly line. His past catches up with him when one of his jail buddies returns. Part romance, part musical, part buddy comedy , part social satire, it's consistently droll and charming. An assembly line bunch up anticipates the famous "I Love Lucy" scene and the look of the factory will resurface both in Chaplin and Gilliam. Lang's "Metropolis" dealt with the conditions of the worker in a slightly more heavy handed way and would make an interesting double feature with this. The extras include an interview with Clair's widow, two deleted scenes and, best of all, his surrealist film "Entr'acte," with music by Eric Satie. Also see "Le Million," "Under the Roofs of Paris," and "I Married a Witch."


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