Jean Vigo (1934)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Few films can claim to have inspired two revolutions. Jean Vigo's masterpiece not only established the visual style of 1930s poetic realism as practised by Jean Renoir and Marcel Carné, but was also one of the key influences on the New Wave of the late 1950s and directors such as François Truffaut. It's a simple, almost uneventful picture, chronicling barge captain Jean Dasté's first days of marriage to impressionable country girl Dita Parlo. Yet it becomes a mesmerising personal vision thanks to Vigo's sophisticated blend of fairy-tale romance, documentary realism, surrealist fantasy, bawdy humour and working-class song. Michel Simon's scene-stealing improvisation (most notable while surrounded by cats) and the exceptional cinematography further enhance the pleasure to be derived from one of the most completely cinematic pictures ever made.


Newly married couple Juliette and ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Jules and a cabin boy.

Cast & Crew

Père Jules Michel Simon
Jean Jean Dasté
Juliette Dita Parlo
Pedlar Gilles Margaritis
Cabin boy Louis Lefebvre
Juliette's mother Fanny Clar
Juliette's father Raphael Diligent
Thief Charles Goldblatt
Best man René Bleck
Guest with limp Gen Paul
Director Jean Vigo
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Artificial Eye Film Co. LtdAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 20 Jan 2012