"UN POUR TOUS ET TOUS POUR UN! VIVE LE SYNDICAT!
1961 play by Armand Salacrou, based on real-life events at the beginning of the twentieth century in France. The plot concerns the fate of a trade unionist (Jules Durand) in Le Havre, Northern France. Jules is a representative of the local coal porters at the port, and a strong defender of workers' rights. He launches a strike, with the aim of winning fairer pay and better working conditions.
When one of the workers, Capron, who had refused to join the strike, is killed, Jules Durand is a prime suspect. His views are well known. He is arrested and put on trial, despite his innocence.
After a shockingly unfair trial, Durand is found guilty and sentenced to death. He is to be guillotined. Jules is sent to jail, where the conditions are even more inhumane than those under which he worked at the port. The months of solitary confinement have a heart-breaking effect on innocent Jules. He eventually becomes insane. Despite gaining an official pardon, the damage is done, and Jules died in an asylum a few years after his arrest.
The most powerful aspect of this play is that all the events described are real. Boulevard Durand in Le Havre, named in Jules' memory, can be visited to this day. Whilst Salacrou does little but recount events as they happened, the effect the play has on audiences even to this day is dramatic. It seems that the story in itself is enough to move an audience, and there is no need for stylistic gimmicks.