Not Rated | | Comedy
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
Though M. Hulot's part within 'PlayTime' is somewhat diminished, Jacques Tati does appear in the background as four other (very minor) characters across the film. Firstly, he portrays a policeman who is directing traffic (just prior to Barbara's attempts to photograph the florist), the central workman installing a window (just prior to Hulot finally catching up with Giffard), a workman scratching his back at the Royal Garden (just as the restaurant's first guests arrive), and as a different workman on stage (complaining to the orchestra whilst holding electrical cables).
Barbara, Young Tourist:
How do you say "drugstore" in French?
Monsieur Hulot: Drugstore.
In the store Hulot takes the elevator up several floors, but he is then seen looking down from the 2nd to 1st floor, with traffic visible at street level.
The title isn't shown until the end of the opening credits. Additionally, there are no end credits. The final shot simply fades out and there is about a minute of exit music.
First assembled cut ran 155 min. with intermission and exit music. This version was edited down by Tati himself to 124 minutes as a shorter film seemed more lucrative (Tati was in financial trouble because of the non-successful run of Mon Oncle (1958) and the long shooting of _Play Time (1967)_). It was released on 70 mm with 6-Track sound. In the US the film was released with a running time of 93 min. and 1-Track mono sound. Other versions ran between 108-120 min. and were released on 35 mm with 4-Track Stereo sound (quadraphonic). Over the years the 124 min. version became unavailable as the shorter versions were shown in wider circulation. In 2001 the film was restored and shown in its original 124 min. cut at Cannes Film Festival 2002.
French, English, German