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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.