Subway (film)

Subway (film)

Infobox Film
name = Subway

image_size = 175px
caption =
director = Luc Besson
producer = Luc Besson
François Ruggieri
writer = Luc Besson
Marc Perrier
starring = Isabelle Adjani
Christopher Lambert
Michel Galabru
Jean-Hugues Anglade
music = Éric Serra
cinematography = Carlo Varini
editing =
distributor = Island Pictures US
Gaumont France
released = 1985
runtime = 104 min
country = France
language = French
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
imdb_id = 0090095

"Subway" is a 1985 French film directed by Luc Besson, starring Isabelle Adjani and Christopher Lambert and is part of the Cinema du look movement. The film was a reflection of the marginalised "Génération Mitterrand" of the 1980s. [Luc Besson - Susan Hayward] Themes of the film include young people without family connections being monitored and policed by older people, the rejection of capitalist society [Luc Besson - Susan Hayward] and 'high' culture being usurped by Pop Culture. [Contemporary French Cinema - Guy Austin]


Having stolen some compromising documents, a man known as Fred (Lambert) takes refuge in the fascinating underground world of the Paris Métro. While the henchmen of the gangster owner of the documents chase him, Fred develops a relation with his young trophy wife Héléna (Adjani) who is getting increasingly bored with her gilded cage life.

A number of fascinating characters pass by in the storyline, as Fred decides to form a band and perform in the subway. Among the band members are the Drummer (played by Jean Reno) and the Bass Player (Éric Serra), who have since accompanied Besson in the making of most of his movies.

The ending is left open as to what actually happens in the growing love relation between Fred and Helena — and to whether he lives or dies. At a performance with the newly formed band (where Fred has paid off the actual performers at an announced concert with money from a robbery and put his band in their place) he is shot by the henchmen of Héléna's husband before she can reach him to warn him of the approaching danger. The film ends with her kneeling beside him, Fred lying on his back looking content and singing along to the band playing in the background.


* Isabelle Adjani - Héléna
* Christopher Lambert - Fred
* Richard Bohringer - Le fleuriste/The Florist
* Michel Galabru - Commissaire Gesbert/Commissioner Gesberg
* Jean-Hugues Anglade - Le roller/The Roller
* Jean Bouise - Le chef de station/The Station Master
* Jean-Pierre Bacri - Insp. Batman
* Jean-Claude Lecas - Robin
* Pierre-Ange Le Pogam - Jean
* Jean Reno - The Drummer
* Éric Serra - Enrico (bassist)


Subway was the third most popular French film in France in 1986, after "Trois Hommes et un Couffin" and "Les Specialistes". It attracted 2,920,588 cinemagoers. [French Cinema - Powrie & Reader] Christopher Lambert won a Cesar Award for best actor. [French Cinema - Powrie & Reader]

The film holds an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on seven reviews [ [ "Subway" reviews] , Rotten Tomatoes] . Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised the film's "highly energetic visual style" and "the sheer fun of staging domestic scenes, musical interludes and roller-skate chases in the underground" but added that " [the] characters and situations [are] so thin that they might as well be afterthoughts." [ [ Review] , Janet Maslin, The New York Times, November 6, 1985]

Film references

The scene where Fred holds up a strip of fluorescent tube is a reference to the light sabers of Star Wars. [Contemporary French Cinema - Guy Austin]

Fred's demise is based on the ending of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless [Contemporary French Cinema - Guy Austin]


External links

* [ IMDb entry]

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