"Monsieur Hulot's Holiday" Is Released
Les Vacances de M. Hulot (released as Monsieur Hulot's Holiday in the UK and as Mr. Hulot's Holiday in the USA), is one of Jacques Tati's most famous films, gaining an international reputation for its director upon its release in 1953.
Les Vacances introduced the pipe-smoking, well-meaning but clumsy character of M. Hulot, who appears in a number of Tati's subsequent films, including Mon Oncle (1959), Playtime (1967), and Trafic (1971).
Already familiar to many, especially following his acclaimed directorial debut Jour De Fete, Jacques Tati came into his own and reached new levels of popularity with 1953's Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot. The first film to introduce his much-loved alter ego Monsieur Hulot, it sets the pattern for future appearances of the character, throwing the bumbling hero unwittingly into the middle of the action and letting the ensuing mishaps provoke humor ranging from gentle observations to fairly biting satire. The setting this time is a stuffy resort community fond of the peace and quiet that Hulot interrupts without fail. Nearly dialogue-free and driven more by episode than plot (like all of the Hulot films), standout set pieces include a disrupted funeral, an interrupted game of cards, and -- one of Tati's signature bits -- a game of tennis played with rules that can politely be called unconventional. ~ Keith Phipps, All Movie Guide