Monday, June 18, 2012

LE TROU (1960) - Jacques Becker

Maybe the greatest prison escape movie I've ever seen (and, yes, I've seen The Great Escape). Also, one of the greatest reveal shots in film history (as seen through a sliver of mirror jammed through a prison cell peep slot). I have to hand it to the French-- their movies may be slower-paced, but, man, do they have a way with detail that most American movies will never match. Who other than a guy named Jacques could make me watch a two minute close-up of a hole being dug and still have me on the edge of my seat? Who else has the finesse to include in a five minute sequence of a guard going through a prisoner's care packages and know that it's just as important as any expositional dialogue scene? "God is in the details," indeed. In Le Trou, he is not exactly a vengeful god, but certainly a careful, deliberate one with a cucumber cool cruel streak.

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