Fifth about The Seventh

Le Trou (1960)

Le Trou: the story of Jacques Becker’s film is as simple as they come: a group of four inmates decides to take their escape plans forward even after a fifth prisoner moves into their cells. The plan is equally simple: they dig. The film has little space for character development, being instead a procedural: what is the day-to-day life in prison, how they get what they need, and how they perform their steps to escape. Tension is built up through repeated actions, as the film establishes that the unexpected can happen on a whim. The five prisoners are played well by the cast, well-chosen for their hard faces and bodies: Michel Constantin, Jean Keraudy, Philippe Leroy, Raymond Meunier, and Mark Michel are all quite good. Cinematographer Ghislain Cloquet manages to shoot the film in tight spaces and dark tunnels, always creating striking and appropriate frames. The sound design is essential and really well-made.

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