MovieChat Forums > Le train (1973) Discussion > who says the French make good movies?

who says the French make good movies?

I've been feverishly collecting movies from all countries of the world for the last 6 years. My personal favorites are East European, Russian, and any neo realist movie. I must admit I've a scant few films made by French efforts as I find them trite, insignificant, and boring.

Maybe it's the realistic non romantic in me but this movie sucked. I was warned it was a War-Romance feature but the old war footage of bombs and planes mixed with extramarital intrigue left me angry at the characters and tempted to eject the disc and find a hardcore Eastern Front documentary.

What few French movies I have are now dated, from the 50s and 60s, and haven't the flair to be found in Italian, Polish, or Yugoslavian movie making. I don't know, maybe the French didn't endure the desperation of their more beleaguered Eastern neighbors and the luxury of relative domestic civility was reflected in the aforementioned triteness of French cinema.

Actually, there were only 2 memorable and brief shots in this movie, consigning about 90 minutes of the rest to oblivion.

what ails most madmen is realitys grasp or escape, a paralysis of analysis


Though saluting with you the Polish and Italian greats, I think that truly French films are, like their food and drink, a specialised taste which you have to develop. Not everybody can identify or appreciate a good Bordeaux wine, yet once you do it is worth the effort.

While “Le Train” may not be a world-class masterpiece, it has a number of very French characteristics. Most noticeably, it is not so much about the external events of May 1940 in general or the varied group of refugees in particular, but about the relationship between a man and a woman. All other characters are secondary.

Then, rather than by words, the nuances of their contact with each other are conveyed by gestures and facial expressions. Their first meeting in the freight car is silent, Anna leaves him silently in La Rochelle (amid wolf whistles from German soldiers), and not a word is said at their final brief reunion in the police station. That, to me, is film making!