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The Two of Us (Criterion Collection)
The Two of Us
Criterion Collection
Actors: Jacques Marin, Viviane Bourdonneux, Martin Serre, Michel Simon, Alain Cohen
Director: Claude Berri
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2007     1hr 27min

A Jewish boy living in Nazi-occupied Paris is sent by his parents to the countryside to live with an elderly Catholic couple until France?s liberation. Forced to hide his identity, the eight-year-old, Claude (played delica...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jacques Marin, Viviane Bourdonneux, Martin Serre, Michel Simon, Alain Cohen
Director: Claude Berri
Creators: Claude Berri, André Hunebelle, Paul Cadéac, Charles Nastat, Gérard Brach, Michel Rivelin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007
Original Release Date: 02/19/1968
Theatrical Release Date: 02/19/1968
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 19
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A film to be cherished
Barefoot Boy | 04/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I haven't seen this movie since its original theatrical release, but it's one that stays with you forever. The great french actor Michel Simon, whom many U.S. moviegoers may remember as the crusty old locomotive engineer in "The Train", plays an aged french anti-semite who becomes the unaware guardian of a little Jewish boy sent to his farm to escape Nazi persecution. The simple story of bonding and endearing friendship despite their diverse backgrounds is made especially compelling by the superb performances of the film's two main players."
"If you have to direct, you've chosen the wrong actor."
J. Eric Schonblom | Eastern Kentucky, USA | 07/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The addition of "The Two of Us" to the Criterion Collection disappoints only in having taken too long to come to fruition. Besides the justly celebrated film, we are given a booklet containing an appreciative review by critic emeritus David Sterritt and autobiographical excerpts by Francois Truffaut and the film's director, Claude Berri, together with the usual acknowledgments, scene titles, and cast listing. Extras on the DVD include Berri's Oscar-winning short, "Le Poulet," historical clips of veteran actor Michel Simon--the old man--and contemporary interviews with Berri and with Alain Cohen who played the child and who is instantly recognizable forty years later. It is a splendid store, and students who are assigned--as they will be-- criticisms to write will find everything they need and more for plagiarizing.

All this and the movie, too! Simon, Cohen and Berri have been amply praised by critics with stronger credentials than my own, so I will allow the interviews and the film to speak for me. What higher praise for the acting than this from Berri: "If you have to direct, you've chosen the wrong actor." How better to summarize the film in one line than by the child's question before he meets the old man: "Why doesn't he like Jews if he is nice?" The old man is all that a surrogate grandfather should be: empathetic, loving, comforting, and playful. "I'll teach you myself," he says when the boy is cruelly treated at school, and teach him he does, from an abundant store of misinformation and prejudice, which the boy pumps from him with the impudent certainty that it is all nonsense.

When the village children and their teacher are cruel, it is casual cruelty to a stranger from Paris, not to one of the hated Jews. The war is there, too, with propaganda from the radio, rationing, and overhead bombers, and we are aware, as the child is not, of the devastating consequences should he forget his Catholic prayer, his false name, or the need to dress and bathe in private. Berri, in his interview, says that amidst much suffering, it was possible to be happy during the war, as he was and as is the child in the movie. It is no less an indictment of racism that these two escape its tragic consequences.

I don't speak French, but the subtitles are more than adequate. The dialogue isn't irrelevant, but most of the time the situation is more than clear with no dialogue at all."
Wonderful Flick
readernyc | New York City, NY USA | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Absolutely charming. Michel Simon and the young Alain Cohen are so endearing I watched this film twice the first I opened it. No pain all gain, this during WWII in France, 1944-end of war."
Touching WWII Story of a Jewish boy and Catholic family
kindred spirit | God's Country | 07/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a wonderful film. It is in French with Engilsh sub titles. It takes place in German occupied France. A young couple send their 8 yr old boy to the country to stay with the land ladies parents. He has to keep his secret that he is a jew and pretend to be at Catholic. The old man is so funny and so in love with his old dog that he feeds at the table from a spoon. The couple are so kind to the boy. The child has fears and is not treated too well by the other children but the old man is is friend. It is just touching and leaves you feeling good in the end. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves War time stories."