Under the Roofs of Paris

"Good"

Under the Roofs of Paris Review


Classic French auteur René Clair, who recently resurfaced on DVD with his film À Nous la Liberté returns to Criterion's DVD lineup with Under the Roofs of Paris, his first feature talkie, released in 1930.

Under the Roofs is a sweet and simple little film, a standard love triangle among a Romanian immigrant, a local mobster, and a street artist. The worth of Under the Roofs comes from its pioneering use of sound -- which Clair reportedly disliked anyway -- in which Clair resorts to clever conceits to add nuance to some equally interesting camerawork.

Case in point: During an otherwise standard fight scene, the William Tell Overture plays as if it's part of the soundtrack. Only when a record starts skipping and the proprietor comes to turn off the Victrola do we realize it was part of the scene. The repeating music is such a nuisance it actually stops the fight.

Clair's production design is so clever it makes his story's weaknesses all the more visible. Sure, there's a thinly-veiled exaltation of the urban, lower classes, but there's little to be gleaned from a plot that had already become tired 70 years ago.

Still, it's an important piece of cinema history, improved by a crystal transfer to digital and enhanced by an outtake (not restored) of the original opening and Clair's Paris qui dort, a 1924 feature that Clair eventually pared down into a 30 minute short.

Aka Sous les toits de Paris.



Under the Roofs of Paris

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 2nd January 1930

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: René Clair

Producer: René Clair

Starring: Albert Préjean as Albert, a young street singer, Pola Illéry as Pola, a Roumanian girl, Edmond T. Gréville as Louis, Albert's friend, as Bill, The Big Boss, as Fred, a purse thief

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.