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(1967, directed by Jacques Tati)

- inducted 2018 –

“Like Red Desert or 2001, Jacques Tati's Play Time is a highly skeptical view of the high modernity of the 1960s, the computerized, capitalistic grey rationalism overtaking all aspects of life. But whereas Kubrick and Antonioni's visions are austere and dour, Tati's is light and whimsical, essentially human and reachably optimistic in ways that other filmmakers could never manage. While Kubrick, Antonioni, Bergman and Godard saw the era as an ennui-laden morass of commercialism and despair, Tati was wise enough to know that those miserable monochrome rooms were still ultimately a trend, that the basic messiness of humanity would emerge triumphant - although what might lay next would remain a mystery.

“The centerpiece of the film, the opening night at a restaurant that turns into a chaotic free-for-all, is a masterpiece of organized chaos and visual comedy. This 49-minute sequence stands as one of the highest achievements in cinema all by itself, a string of mini-narratives and gags that slowly build on each other into a roaring crescendo of vitality - of human life unconstrainable by the bounds of the rather tacky restaurant itself, which begins to crumble mere hours after it opens.

“In the category of ‘super-expensive personal visions that basically ruined a director's career,’ Play Time is hard to beat, leading Tati into debt for the rest of his life. And yet, what a glorious folly, a quiet, delicate symphony about the absurdity of everyday urban life that rewards patient observance and attention to tiny details, from the smirk of a waiter to the buzz of a neon light.”

~ Jeff McMahon

Principal cast: Barbara Dennek, Jacques Tati, Rita Maiden, France Rumilly, France Delahalle, Valerie Camille, Erika Dentzler, Nicole Ray, Yvette Ducreux, Nathalie Jem, Jacqueline Lecomte, Oliva Poll, Alice Field, Sophie Wennek, Evy Cavallaro, Laure Paillette, Colette Proust, Luce Bonifassy, Ketty France, Eilane Firmine-Didot, Billy Kearns, Tony Andal, Yves Barsacq, André Fouché, Georges Montant, Georges Faye, John Abbey, Reinhart Kolldehoff, Michel Francini, Grégoire Katz, Jacques Gauthier, Henri Piccoli, Léon Doyen, Douglas Read, François Viaur, Bob Harley, Jacques Chauveau, Gilbert Reeb, Marc Monjou, Billy Bourbon, and many more
Screenplay by: Jacques Tati in collaboration with Jacques Lagrange, with additional English dialogue by Art Buchwald
Produced by: Bernard Maurice
Associate producer: René Silvera
Director of photography: Jean Badal, Andréas Winding
Production design by: Eugène Roman
Costume design by: Jacques Cottin
Film editing by: Gérard Pollicand
Original music by: Francis Lemarque
Makeup artists: Serge Groffe, Igor Keldich
Hair stylist: Janou Pottier
Sound by: Jacques Maumont (sound director), Jean-Paul Loublier (sound mixer), Maurice Laumain and Camille Laurenti (sound editors)

Duration: 115 minutes
Languages: French, English, German
Filmed in color
Sound mix: 4-Track Stereo (35mm prints); 70mm 6-Track (70mm prints)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Produced by Specta Films and Jolly Film
Released in USA by Continental Distributing
Premiered in France on December 16, 1967
USA release date: June 27, 1973

Awards and honors:
- 50th Anniv. Muriel Award, 2017
- Selected as one of Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies,” 29 August 2004