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Jules and Jim (1962)

Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, more...
Director: François Truffaut, François Truffaut
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, Costume Drama/Period Piece, France
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
Acclaimed French director François Truffaut's third and, for many viewers, best film is an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. Set between 1912 and 1933, it stars Oskar Werner as the German Jules and Henri Serre as the Frenchman Jim, kindred spirits who, while on holiday in Greece, fall in love with the smile on the face of a sculpture. Back in Paris, the smile comes to life in the person of Catherine (Jeanne Moreau); the three individuals become constant companions, determined to live their lives to the fullest despite the world war around them. When Jules declares his love for Catherine, Jim agrees to let Jules pursue her, despite his own similar feelings; Jules and Catherine marry and have a child (Sabine Haudepin), but Catherine still loves Jim as well. An influential film that has grown in stature over the decades, Jules et Jim was often viewed by the counterculture of the 1960s as a cinematic proponent of the free-love movement, but in actuality the picture is a statement against such a way of life. Despite the bond shared by Jules, Jim, and Catherine, their ménage à trois is doomed to fail; and Catherine's inability to choose between the two men leads to tragic consequences for all three. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Truffaut's highly rated but not overrated masterpiece by toddandsteph May 5, 2007 - 4:26 PM PDT
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Jules and Jim: This is what I watched instead of the Oscars, and I must say that this was the best choice possible. For about the first ten minutes of this flick (which is considered by many to be Truffaut's best), I was at a loss. I don't think I was in the mood for the New Wave wonder with the narrator, casual introductions to characters, etc. I was even thinking that maybe I was finally going to see an unentertaining Truffaut movie. Shame on me! Truffaut does a number of things in this film that give it the deserving status of classic. First off, this film is the quintessential New Wave flick, taking every attitude of that particular genre and somehow mingling it into one package. The plot, the acting, the camerawork, soooo freaking New Wave. The camera movement in this movie is astounding. One of the things I really dig about Truffaut is that he makes his stories so damn fresh-feeling, and his light, seemingly whimsical, yet infectious camera movement really drives it home. There's one scene in the film where the film's three main characters are eating dinner. I remember De Palma (and later Tarantino who ripped it off from him) being praised for a similar method in The Untouchables. Here we are, 30 years later, still praising directors for conscious plagiarism of a method perfected by a much better director all that time back. But what I really love about this movie the most, more than anything else, is its mediation on love, which I find to be true more so than any work of art I've ever encountered. Catherine is a feminine predator, taking and tossing lovers with reckless abandon. Her complete submission to her passing passion makes for a good week or two under her eyes, but it's no good to long-lasting things. Meanwhile, Jim's stuck in the middle. He's a slave to his passions, and this renders him unable to commit to either woman in his life, but he does keep his affections within a reasonable field (he just can't choose or settle). This vein of passionate inconsistency isn't as deplorable as the ADD style of relationships maintained by Catherine. Jules is the character I identify with the most, a man whose pure devotion leads him to getting spat upon by his friends, lovers, and pretty much anyone else in his life. I'm not saying that my lover spits on me or sleeps around, but that dedication to an ideal love in an unideal world sets him up as a tragic figure, and his position at the end of the film cements him as the tragic lover. The different examples of love as it is found in people is remarkably natural and human, and its on-the-mark nature really hit home with me. That teaches me to doubt Truffaut who, with this film, has really cemented his status as one of the enduring classics. I can only hope the rest of his filmography can come close to this masterpiece. ***** out've *****

jules et jim by obonin August 9, 2006 - 1:19 AM PDT
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just like the first reviewer says... you watch the beginning of the movie, and wonder half an hour later, if this is still the beginning and why nothing has really happened. maybe we were not watching attentively enough to grasp that the beginning was just an introduction to a much deeper subject that is experiencing relationships without the barriers imposed by the society and cultural rules.

It is quite interesting to watch and some good questions are being asked, and of course nowadays can still be very valid as our societies and culture evolve so slowly. But as a viewer who has asked himself and others those questions about what defines relationships, and how they ought to be pursued, I think the movie doesn't ask enough questions.

It is also interesting to see how the 2 males analyse what they experience (or maybe the voice-over), and how the woman seems to be moving from one emotion to the other. I wonder how different this movie would be if it had been made by a woman. It would be interesting to hear other reviewers' reaction to this.

As I said the movie again has a surprising turn after about 1/2 hour, as the beginning seems to drag, and offers interesting perspectives, but i don't feel completely connected because this was a look at what filmmakers and others were questionning 50 years ago.

worth the wait by rarcher September 8, 2003 - 6:13 AM PDT
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2 out of 7 members found this review helpful
i almost didn't make it through this
the first 40 minutes or so just sort of drag
but if you can get through that it really pays off
in tension, manipulation and not physical but emotional and psychological s&m




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.55)
272 Votes
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