Jules and Jim
1962 | Drama/French New Wave | 105 minutes | In French with English subtitles
Jules is a shy writer from Austria working on a novel; Jim is a fun-loving, partying Frenchman. And yet, these two opposite personalities become fast friends. They meet the free-spirited Catherine and the three hang out. Both men fall in love with her. Before World War I breaks out, Jules and Catherine get married and move to Austria. During the war, the two friends find themselves fighting on opposite sides, hoping that one will not kill the other. They both survive the war. Jim visits Jules and Catherine, where he sees that the marriage is a bit on the rocks. Catherine torments Jules and is unfaithful. She seduces Jim and convinces him to marry her. But this marriage also becomes rocky when Catherine can’t get pregnant, Jin leaves the troubled Catherine and sees her reunite with Jules. Jules and Jim, two close and endearing friends, find that having Catherine in their lives not only rips them apart but it can also result in a tragic ending.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
Grand Prix Étoile de Cristal Prize: Best Film; Best actress (Jeanne Moreau)
Empire Magazine: Listed in “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema”
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In JULES and JIM, Truffaut offers a work of decadent high romance—a tour de force carrying hints of terror beneath its gay, melancholy and noble surface. The two men represent the romantic and generous love of life that recall the Greek ideal.
Truffaut is an original, he transforms the world, he plays tricks with time and speed and makes us accept them. JULES and JIM is a rich film, stylistically as well as psychologically.
The tragedy of Jules and Jim is that they shared a magical youth and that adulthood will not and cannot accommodate it. JULES and JIM is one of those rare films that knows how fast audiences can think, and how emotions contain their own explanations. It’s about three people who could not concede that their moment of perfect happiness was over, and pursued it into dark and sad places.
JULES and JIM, Truffaut’s masterpiece, was one of the high points of the French New Wave, a film which, with its uninhibited portrayal of free love and male friendship, instantly caught the Zeitgeist and became a worldwide success.
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