Jacques Becker

  • Various – La Vie est à nous AKA Life Is Ours (1936)

    France1931-1940Jacques B. BruniusJacques BeckerJean RenoirJean-Paul Le ChanoisPoliticsVarious

    A propaganda film produced by the French Communist Party (PCF) for the campaign for the May 1936 elections – which brought the Popular Front to power – “La vie est à nous”, by Jean Renoir, was shot by a team of militant filmmakers and technicians.Read More »

  • Jacques Becker – Goupi mains rouges AKA It Happened At The Inn (1943)

    Drama1941-1950FranceJacques Becker

    In a remote village, a family of hard-working country folk known as the ’Goupis’ live at an inn, proud of their history and distrusting of all outsiders. The youngest member of the Goupi clan, Goupi-Monsieur, now lives in Paris, but he is summoned to the Goupi’s home by his father, who is planning to marry him to the young Goupi-Mugeut. Soon after Goupi-Monsieur arrives in the village, the elderly Goupi-L’Empereur is found unconscious and the imperious housekeeper Goupi-Tisane is discovered dead in the forest. When a wad of money goes missing, the Goupis fear that their ancestral treasure has also been stolen. Only Goupi-L’Empereur knows the whereabouts of the teasure but he is unable to speak. The finger of suspicion points squarely at the new arrival, Goupi-Monsieur. However, the wisest of the Goupis, Goupi mains rouges, has another theoryRead More »

  • Jacques Becker – Rendez-vous de juillet (1949)

    Drama1941-1950FranceJacques Becker

    Lucien is a young man whose ambition is to become a famous explorer, against the wishes of his middle-class parents who hope he might settle for a more conventional career. After a row with his father, he leaves home and meets up with his friends, a wild bunch of aspiring young actors, writers and film directors. The latter have offered to join Lucien on his expedition – if he can get the transportation. Lucien is so preoccupied with planning his expedition that he does not notice when his girlfriend Christine is taken from him by the theatre director she is working for.Read More »

  • Jacques Becker – Touchez pas au grisbi [+Extras] (1954)

    1951-1960CrimeFranceJacques BeckerThriller



    Jean Gabin is at his most wearily romantic as aging gangster Max le Menteur in the Jacques Becker gem Touchez pas au grisbi (Hands Off the Loot!). Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Riton (René Dary), Max’s hapless partner and best friend, lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld. A touchstone of the gangster-film genre, Touchez pas au grisbi is also pure Becker—understated, elegant, evocative.Read More »

  • Jacques Becker – Les aventures d’Arsène Lupin AKA The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957)

    1951-1960ComedyCrimeFranceJacques Becker

    The great gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, engages in a series of daring schemes to deprive his wealthy countrymen of rare jewels and priceless paintings. His activities arouse the interest of Kaiser William II of Germany who arranges for Lupin to be kidnapped and brought to his castle. The Kaiser offers Lupin a challenge: to steal a jewel of great value from a secret hiding place. Should Lupin accept the wager? Read More »

  • Jacques Becker – Le Trou AKA The Hole (1960)

    1951-1960ClassicsCrimeFranceJacques Becker


    Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

    Le Trou (literally, The Hole) is a harrowing experience in claustrophobia, pressure and hope among inmates in a French prison. The hopes and aspirations of the overcrowded members of one prison cell are put to the test as they commit their trust to luck and each other, to effect a difficult escape. Jacques Becker’s final film is the most realistic prison break movie Savant’s seen – as we all know how these stories usually turn out, the tension and suspense grow, every desperate step of the way.

    The La Santé is overcrowded because of construction, and five men are put into each cell instead of four. But in one cell, the inmates are secretly delighted. Claude Gaspard (Marc Michel), faces a long sentence and therefore can be trusted. He’ll be the extra man needed for a daring, complicated escape the men have planned, that requires nerve, deception, and a lot of digging. The scheme is such a beautifully executed communal effort, that when the first diggers break through to the outside world, they dutifully go back so that their comrades can escape too.Read More »

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