Mon Oncle

Mon Oncle


Jacques Tati's multi-award-winning third feature, Mon Oncle – a satirical assault on the twin targets of efficiency and the modern world – confirmed his reputation as the foremost comic artist of his day. Mon Oncle was a major hit, picking up a string of awards, including the Prix special du jury at Cannes, the New York Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Film, and the 1959 Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Tati's second outing as the accident-prone Monsieur Hulot takes him to Paris where the aggressively high-tech lifestyle of his relatives, the Arpels, is contrasted with his old-fashioned ways in a scruffy part of town. Young Gérard Arpel is very fond of his gauche uncle but his disapproving parents resolve to get Hulot a job or a wife. The disastrous outcome is a masterpiece of design and symmetry and of technically brilliant gags. The heart-warming ending is true to Tati's vision of the modern world as a confusing place that is ultimately full of charm and humanity.

Mon Oncle was shot between September 1956 and February 1957 at three different locations. The old Parisian suburb of Saint-Maur served for 'le vieux quartier', where Hulot's wonderfully ramshackle house was built into the town's main square. The Arpels' modernistic dwelling was constructed at the Victorine studios in Nice, and the wasteland between the two was shot at Creteil, a few miles outside Paris, where a new town was about to be built.

Looking to the international market, and wishing to avoid subtitles (which he always disliked), Tati shot two versions of the film – Mon Oncle and My Uncle, the latter with signs like 'Ecole' and 'Sortie' replaced with their English equivalents and much of the main dialogue dubbed into English, but with some characters speaking French.

Special Features

- Original trailer and trailers for Playtime and Les Vacances De Mr Hulot
- Insert with notes and director's biography by film historian Philip Kemp