in about 100 words or less
France 104m, sound (B&W)
Director: René Clair; Cast: Henri Marchand, Raymond Cordy; Rolla France
This is light-hearted comedy about two convicts, Louis and Émile whose partially failed prison escape results in freedom for Louis who strikes it rich in the phonograph business, and more jail time for Émile. Years after, Émile accidently escapes and finds himself working at Louis’ factory. The musical score, and in particular, the theme song “À Nous la Liberté”, reminds both the characters and the audience of the importance of freedom! While Louis loses his wealth and power to gangsters who report him to the authorities, he and Émile take to the road as wandering hobos, happy that they’ve maintained their freedom despite losing everything else. The fun story, catchy score and fine acting make this an original in the early days of sound film (Klaus Ming December 2008).