For fans of Catherine Deneuve (who is in her gorgeous prime) or lovers of French Cinema these 5 films may be of interest, but unfortunately they don't bear repeating. In Manon 70 she flip-flops between men, trying to decide between love and money - it's all fairly ineffective, except for an almost expected twist ending (2 1/2 stars). Le Choc is more intriguing and co-stars Alain Delon as a retiring hit-man, who not surprisingly seduces the wife (Deneuve) of a disgruntled farmer (3 stars). Le Sauvage is a farcical comedy, where a kooky Deneuve (fleeing from both a crazed fiancé and angry business associate) involves seeming opposite, Yves Montand. (nice scenery - 3 stars) Hotel Des Ameriques is the unnecessary story of a dismal relationship between two forgettable characters (1 1/2 stars). Fort Saganne is a period war epic (French Sahara) starring Gerard Depardieu, and since Deneuve's appearance is minimal, the film's inclusion in this set is surprising. Of the 3 hr. epic, she appears in a couple of scenes in Part II only (as a Depardieu love interest) with less than 15 min. total screen time. The film itself has some great settings and scenery but is too long and could have used better direction (2 1/2 stars). Unfortunately there is no bonus dvd material, and though there are a couple of worthwhile films here, overall the set is questionable - maybe wait for a really good sale.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Deneuve in 5 wonderful transfersJune 12 2008
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FORT SAGANNE is a long, grand epic which must be seen in widescreen. It's really a Gerard Depardieu movie and he is magnificent as a legionnaire in French-occupied Sahara. LE SAUVAGE is a romantic comedy which is one of my favorite Deveuve films. Catherine Deneuve necessarily enters runaway Yves Montand's placid life and wreaks havoc. Chemistry again in LE CHOC with Alain Delon as a professional hitman who meets Deneuve when he is hiding out. I had not seen HOTEL DES AMERIQUES before. While I still enjoyed this drama, I could not eventually understand the stubborn fascination of the Deneuve character with Patrick Dewaere (who died tragically young in real life). In MANON 70, Deneuve cannot commit to any one man till she meets Sami Frey, then . . .
Here's hoping Lionsgate produces and releases a collection of films starring another French legend - Michele Morgan.
42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!! I've tried to order this set 4-5 times in the last few months both from Amazon and third party sellers/new and used and each time I received sets containing two disc#2's and no disc#1.There's a bad run of this thing out there and no one is checking on this.Be sure to contact a seller and ask specifically if disc#1 is PRESENT in the set before attempting to make a purchase.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Terrific transfers, great films!June 11 2008
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After I couldn't get through to the amazon site (my ISP had connection problems), I purchased the C.D. set locally and have already watched most of it. The transfer to DVD is really good, with rich color and crystal-clear images. Although most of the footage is English-subtitled, I had no problem enjoying what I have watched of the five movies. Nice packaging, too!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Definition Of BeautyAug. 27 2012
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Foreign films seem to be few and far between because of limited distribution and we have companies like Lionsgate who have acquired the negatives and rights of some great rare gems. This collection not only highlights the talent and beauty of Catherine Deneuve but also gives us a great insight on basic French filmmaking. With a diverse series of titles, this collection shows how Deneuve could light up the screen in every thing she was in. This set is represented by comedy: Director Jean Paul Rappeneau's 'LE SAUVAGE'-1975 starring Yves Montand playing Cary Grant to Denueve's Katherine Hepburn character with a cameo appearance by American actress Dana Wynter, Swinging Sixties Op Art utilizing the Manon Lascout legend and upgrading it to a sexy affair in Director Jean Aurel's 'MANON 70'- 1968 also cameoing another American actor Robert Webber and gorgeous color photography by Edmond Richard, Crime thrillers such as Director Robin Davis's underrated 'LE CHOC'- 1982 with a great performance by Alain Delon playing an assassin wanting to quit the business, Psychological pot boilers such as Director Andre Techine's off beat 'HOTEL DES AMERIQUES'- 1981, and lastly Epic films as in Director Alain Corneau's three hour opus 'FORT SAGANNE'- 1984 where Catherine is reduced to a 20 minute cameo and giving another shattering beauty Sophie Marceau in an early performance much more screen time sharing things with actors Gerard Depardieu and Philippe Noiret. They also boast great music scores by France's lead composers Michel Legrand for 'LE SAUVAGE' and Philippe Sarde who does 'LE CHOC' , 'HOTEL DES AMERIQUES' and the magnificent score to 'FORT SAGANNE'. Each film is presented in its original aspect ratio in French with English Subtitles but no extras. Kudos to Lionsgate for resurrecting these fine titles for American audiences and showing the rare beauty of an exceptional woman.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful introduction to a cinematic masterSept. 3 2009
C. H. Walters
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The only Techiné film I've seen before is "Wild Reeds". I've been trying to buy it on DVD, which proved either virtually impossible or cripplingly expensive. Then I saw the listing for this compilation, which was not only cheaper than other copies of the film, but contained four films in total!
In addition to giving a broad idea of Techiné's career, the collection allows one to see the wonderful Catherine Deneuve twice (in "Hotel America" and "My favourite season"), as well as other familiar French actors, like Daniel Auteuil ("My favourite season") and Philippe Noiret ("I don't kiss").
"Hotel America" shows how obsessive love can construct and destruct lives. As the film is understated in the European way, it is useful to see it more than once to begin sensing the attraction of the protagonists to each other.
"I don't kiss" portrays the life journey of a young man who has fallen out with his family and works hard to rebuild his life in the seedy underworld of Paris. The young Marcel Blanc was awarded a César as Most Promising Actor for his role.
In "My favourite season" an estranged brother and sister (Auteuil and Deneuve) have to decide what is best for their ageing mother. The subtle complexities and interplay of interpersonal relationships are wonderfully depicted.
"Wild reeds" is often regarded as Techiné's masterpiece, and the intricate complications of young people coming of age, especially within a difficult period of French history (the years just before Algeria's independence), make this tale particularly enjoyable. Interesting to see the young Gael Morel as an actor - he became a strong director in his own right, making searing and violent films like "The Clan". His co-stars in "Wild reeds", Stephane Rideau and Elodie Bouchez, have made good careers for themselves and have later acted opposite each other for Morel. The film shows some scenes which most people would be able to identify with: unrequited love, the loss of a family member, attraction despite ideological differences, the tension before exam results are published. The scene with Serge(Rideau) and Francois (Morel) on the motorcycle is one that has haunted me for years now.
This collection is surely a solid introduction to Techiné's cinematic tales. Like the best directors he shows us stories that are familiar and strange at the same time, forcing us to identify, evaluate and grow.
The set is presented well, with the first two films on one DVD. The three discs are tightly packed in a container of the same size as an ordinary DVD holder.
A final tongue-in-cheek comment: I wonder when European movies, especially films from France, are going to reflect the new vogue of curtailing smoking. Has there ever been a French film with a main character who doesn't smoke?!