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Vive le Tour

A Short film by Louis Malle

Production year : 1962

  • Contents


Impressions about the Tour de France, documentary centred on the spectators, the journalists who follow the competition and the ordeal of the cyclists.


After seven years dedicated to fiction, Louis Malle returns to documentaries. It will be for Long Live the Tour. A movie of limited interest. But nevertheless, already, some essential teachings can be taken. Louis Malle was until then only interested in the Tour de France out of curiosity: for the event and for it's popularity. Meeting the Tour's organiser, gives him the idea to go and get a closer look, and all the authorizations are granted to him. So he is already assured to live three fascinating weeks, with two other operators, a car and two motorcycles. He will spend his days, on the back of his motorcycle, filming with his 16 mm camera with triple lense: It is already a joy. At the same time, is confirmed the legitimacy of his initial intuition: filming opens you all the doors. His accreditation passes, signs on vehicles constitute magic keys: open Sesame! The Tour will have not any secrets for him. He collects seventeen hours of cinema...

First lesson: cinema is a pass. The second lesson: the wonder of filming oneself, 16 mm or 35 mm, camera on the shoulder, and a new power is conquered: this cinema allows encounters, to question who we wish, opens dialogue. The third lesson: not being familiar with the subjects we approach, is the most creative position. The questions are more important than the answers. To help discover this face of reality to others, the most effective, is to discover them oneself. The fourth lesson: to film, it is to look. And at what do we look? People who look at you. Malle films the cyclists: the crowd which watch the cyclists are there, as well as the cyclists watching the public, and film-maker watches the people who watch... This dialectic of watching, Malle will fathom out shortly after, on the occasion of a "report" in Asia (Good kisses from Bangkok, for the television), when he will discover that the old woman, that he films by the sea, cries because he is filming her.

Source :

Full credits (4)

Directors of Photography :

Ghislain Cloquet, Jacques Ertaud, Louis Malle

Narration Writer :

Louis Malle

Editors :

Suzanne Baron, Kenout Peltier

Music Composer :

Georges Delerue

Technical details

Short film

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Nationality :

100% French (France)

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Runtime :

18 min

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