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The Hole (1960 film)

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Director  Jacques Becker
Screenplay  Jose Giovanni
Country  France
8.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama, Thriller
Producer  Serge Silberman
Language  French
The Hole (1960 film) movie poster

Writer  Jose Giovanni, Jean Aurel
Release date  18 March 1960 (1960-03-18)
Cast  Michel Constantin (Geo Cassine), Jean Keraudy (Roland Darbant), Philippe Leroy (Manu Borelli), Raymond Meunier (Vossellin / Monseigneur), Marc Michel (Claude Gaspard), Jean-Paul Coquelin (Le lieutenant Grinval)
Similar movies  The Shawshank Redemption, Blackhat, Barbed Wire Dolls, The Experiment, Sucker Punch, The Last Stand
Tagline  The greatest film about prison life

The Hole (French: Le Trou) is a 1960 French crime film directed by Jacques Becker. It is an adaptation of José Giovanni's 1957 book The Break. It was called The Night Watch when first released in the United States, but is released under its French title today. The film is based on a true event concerning five prison inmates in La Santé Prison in France in 1947. Director Becker, who died just weeks after shooting had wrapped, used mostly non-actors for the film's main roles, including one man (Jean Keraudy) who was actually involved in the 1947 escape attempt, and who introduces the film. It was entered into the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.


The Hole (1960 film) movie scenes


The Hole (1960 film) movie scenes

Four long-sentence prison cell mates are determined to escape. Before they can start digging a tunnel, the prison staff puts man (wrongfully convicted of attempted first-degree murder), Gaspard, into their cell. They have no choice but to fill him in. At first he's enthusiastic about taking part in the getaway, but as the tunnel nears completion the warden tells him that his victim recanted her testimony and that he will be released soon. Returning to the cell, Gaspard has to dispel the suspicions of his cellmates that that he turned them all in. He does, and they continue with the escape as planned. But in the last seconds when the five are just about to leave through their tunnel, they understand that they have been conned. The last scene is of the four cons being stripped to their underwear before going to solitary, and of Gaspard, walking to his cell down the hall, clothed in his escapee street clothes, where he will complete his sentence.


The Hole (1960 film) movie scenes

  • Michel Constantin as Geo Cassine
  • Jean Keraudy as Roland Darbant
  • Philippe Leroy as Manu Borelli (José Giovanni)
  • Raymond Meunier as Vossellin / Monseigneur
  • Marc Michel as Claude Gaspard
  • Jean-Paul Coquelin as Lieutenant Grinval
  • André Bervil as the director
  • Eddy Rasimi as Bouboule
  • Production

    The Hole (1960 film) t2gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcRfhUBmMn70Sqayek

    According to the 1964 press materials that are included in The Criterion Collection DVD, Jacques Becker first read of the 1947 La Santé Prison escape attempt in a newspaper. Years later, he found out that José Giovanni had fictionalized the same escape attempt in his 1957 novel The Break. Becker contacted Giovanni's publisher, Gallimard, and Becker and Giovanni collaborated on the screenplay of Le Trou.

    The Hole (1960 film) Passion for Movies Le Trou aka The Hole 1960 A Tense Immersive

    During production, Becker hired three of the attempted escapees as technical consultants. One of the consultants, Roland Barbat (using the stage name Jean Keraudy), appears in the film as the character Roland Darbant, who plans the escape tunnel and improvises all the tools they use.

    Barbat also appears at the beginning of the film as himself, working on a Citroën 2CV. (Barbat became a mechanic after prison.) He states directly to the camera that we are about to see his true story.


    The Hole (1960 film) Jacques Becker Le Trou AKA The Hole 1960 Cinema of the World

    The black and white cinematography is by Ghislain Cloquet (Mickey One, Au hasard Balthazar, Tess).

    The Hole (1960 film) Le Trou 1960 IMDb

    The scene where three different characters take turns breaking through the concrete floor of their cell is filmed in a single, nearly four minute long, shot.

    The Hole (1960 film) Passion for Movies Le Trou aka The Hole 1960 A Tense Immersive

    There is no musical score except under the end credits.

    The Hole (1960 film) le trou official film trailer 1960 YouTube

    The film has no opening credits.


    The Hole (1960 film) Wikipedia
    The Hole (1960 film) IMDb The Hole (1960 film)