Genre Guesstimation – The Hole (1960)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Howard Casner of Ranting and Ravings and we will be reviewing our favorite French Film Noir.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jul by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Howard!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of French Film Noir…..

“[wiping grease off hands] Hello. My friend Jacques Becker recreated a true story in all its detail. My story. It took place in 1947 at the Sante prison.” – Roland

Number of Times Seen – 1 (16 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A criminal is placed in a cell with 4 others and together they decide to try and escape by tunneling under their cell to reach freedom.

My Take on it – Anyone who knows me, knows that this month’s genre is not one that I usually am drawn to.

This made things a bit more difficult to find films to watch, but in my constant journey to expand my film knowledge into realms that I am less familiar and comfortable with, I was able to find some very interesting movies to watch for this series.

This is a film that I knew nothing about before coming across it in my research of the genre.

I was amazed at how powerful and engaging this film can be and it works mostly due to the choice to make things as detailed as possible.

The movie is show from a perspective that always allows the viewer to feel the claustrophobia of the cell while also allowing us to have a front seat view of all of the action as these characters plan and execute such a daring escape plan.

The detail of everything that happens adds so much to the story and lets the viewer feel the urge that these characters have while smelling freedom just around the bend.

AS they pass and breach each stage of their plan, the viewer gets more and more excited along with the characters.

The suspicions that they each have about the others adds to the tension level of the story because even the viewer is truly unaware if those suspicions are warranted or not as things unfold.

They film things in a very realistic way the whole way through.

In addition, the choice to use long shots in some of these scenes also enhances things so much.

There is even a 5 minute uncut scene that depicts three of the men digging in succession while our eyes are fixated in the work on the ground that these men partake in.

Such a powerful prison escape film!

Bottom Line – Amazing film that woks so well largely due to the attention to detail. This film allows the viewer to feel as if they are right there with the characters as they plan and execute their attempt to escape. The story is quite detailed and that helps us feel the pangs for freedom that these men have as they breach each stage of their breakout. The film is able to add tension to the story by showing how these men are suspicious of one another and of everyone they encounter.  The story also adds to the tension level by not allowing the viewer to know whether their fears are warranted or not and that in and of itself is quite amazing to watch unfold. The movie is filmed in a very realistic way and the choice to use long shots (including a 5 minute shot of 3 men digging) truly enhances the genuine feel of it all. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film was completed according to the director’s wishes after his death, but producer Serge Silberman had it reduced from the initial 140-minute version by about 24 minutes to enhance its commercial possibilities. The missing footage remains lost. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Absolutely!! Such a thrilling story that is enhanced by the lack of trust between the characters.

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Hole (1960)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur July Finale – Grisbi (1954) – Rantings and Ravings | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – July 2020 | MovieRob

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