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Jules and Jim
Jules and Jim
Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino, Boris Bassiak
Director: François Truffaut
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     1999     1hr 45min

François Truffaut's third feature, though it's named for the two best friends who become virtually inseparable in pre-World War I Paris, is centered on Jeanne Moreau's Catherine, the most mysterious, enigmatic woman in h...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino, Boris Bassiak
Director: François Truffaut
Creators: Raoul Coutard, François Truffaut, Claudine Bouché, Marcel Berbert, Henri-Pierre Roché, Jean Gruault
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/16/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

"We played with life and lost."
Kona | Emerald City | 02/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Excellent transfer, for a film that is more poetry than pros
Robert Bezimienny | Sydney, NSW Australia | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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.
The extras provided are extensive and give great insight into the surprising background of the film - it is based on a book which in turn is a distanced recollection of the author's experience - so, in a sense, this is a 'true' story - although its tone is, as Truffaut puts it in an interview, more like a nostalgic traipsing through an old photo album.
A truly beautiful film, and the Criterion edition does it excellent service."
The film that changed my life
Louise R. Pulini | Glendale, NY | 02/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."
An important and beautiful masterpiece
Hung Cheuk Man | Hong Kong | 12/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

""A director only makes one film in his life, others are just replicas of this (extracted)" so said François Truffaut. Jules and Jim is "the" François Truffaut's movie. A classic film in its own right, the film shines until now since it is released almost 40 years ago. In the film history of New Wave, Jules and Jim is a milestone. A follower of Jean Renior and Alfred Hitchcock, François combines mise-en-secne with featured story flawlessly and creates powerful images which aim at developing characters' in-depth psychological changes and multi-facets. The 60s are the golden era of movies in which you read movies like books. You read the movies in a philosophical way. People talk and talk about the movies and never get tired of them. "Jules and Jim" is one of these films. "Jules and Jim" is an important movie of François Truffaut in that it is his first featured film that can achieve commercial success with the French critics. This love story portrays a love-triangle among two men and a woman. Light and pessimistic, the film conveys a sense of defeatism and existentialism in the French society overshadowed by the imminent First World War. Catherine (played by Jeanne Moreau) is a manipulative and luring woman. She represents the object of desire of man that a man could never expect her next move. Jules (Oskar Werner) falls into her trap. Worse still, he married this woman who, deep inside her heart, doesn't know who she loves (or nobody actually). Technically, the film exhibits the theory of mise-en-scene to the fullest in which French film theorist Andre Bazin has long been advocating, who developed his thesis from Jean Renoir's movies. Story is told by series of movie cuts and in a symbolic way. Narration alongside the moving of the story keeps the movie fast paced. Woman is not to be trusted, love is blind and random, man is a tragic/ pathetic creature. Intricate, rich, thought-provoking and affectionate story, "Jules and Jim" is one of the greatest movie of all time. François proved to be a gifted, talented and innovative movie director. Any moviegoers and students should watch this movie at least once, if not several for the life to come."