Le Cercle Rouge - The Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (Version française)
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Alain Delon (The Leopard, Le samouraï) plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic ex-cop (The Wages of Fear’s Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, and then a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates. Le cercle rouge, from Jean-Pierre Melville (Le samouraï, Army of Shadows), combines honorable antiheroes, coolly atmospheric cinematography, and breathtaking set pieces to create a masterpiece of crime cinema.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • Restored, complete, uncut version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • Excerpts from Cinéastes de notre temps: “Jean-Pierre Melville” • Video interviews with assistant director Bernard Stora and Rui Nogueria, the author of Melville on Melville • Thirty minutes of rare on-set and archival footage, featuring interviews with director Jean-Pierre Melville and stars Alain Delon, Yves Montand, and André Bourvil • Original theatrical trailer and 2003 Rialto Pictures rerelease trailer • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Fujiwara, excerpts from Melville on Melville, a reprinted interview with composer Eric Demarsan, and an appreciation from director John Woo
Crime cinema has never been so meticulously and coolly executed. Taciturn thief Alain Delon (intense and dapper in trenchcoat and fedora) and escaped prisoner Gian Maria Volonte cross paths as if by fate, bound by saving each other's life, and join with disgraced ex-cop Yves Montand for their next job: a daring jewel robbery. Le Cercle Rouge is the ultimate expression of the romantic doom that Jean-Pierre Melville established in his masterpieces Bob Le Flambeur and Le Samourai. The centerpiece heist, a wordless 20-minute sequence with masked men communicating in codified gestures, is a tour de force of cinematic efficiency that tops even Rififi in its celebration of criminal skill and nerve. Melville's cool detachment doesn't allow us to really warm up to these uncompromising pros, but his cinematic precision is spellbinding and his unforgiving world of loyalty, professionalism, sacrifice, and codes of honor is an irresistible underworld fantasy.
The Criterion DVD restores the film, which was originally cut by 40 minutes for its American release, to its full-length director's cut. Additionally, it features new interviews with Melville's assistant director Bernard Stora and friend and expert Rui Nogueira, rare archival interviews with the director and his cast, and a new introduction by filmmaker and Melville fan John Woo among its wealth of supplements. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
and fatalistic tendencies of his colleagues Marcel Carne (Jour Se
Leve, 1939) and Henri-Georges Clouzot (Quai des Orfevres, 1947).
Yet Melville's ethos is one which, unlike theirs, often delineates character almost entirely through action and gesture.
This makes for compelling viewing, particularly in the case of Melville's late, exquisitely crafted thrillers "Le Samourai" (1967), "Un Flic" (1971), and of course "Le Cercle Rouge" (1970).
A picture of this quality deserves the success it had in limited theatrical runs during the Stateside reissue this past Spring;
Criterion has done a marvellous job with it. I can only encourage anyone with a taste for the sheer visceral pull of
a great film to spend two evenings with the disc: one with
the picture itself, and another to view the special features
on the second disc, many of which are documentary materials that
give a wonderful glimpse of the modest, self-effacing director's
M.O. Another winner from Criterion, which I would give ten stars if I could. Let's hope for "Le Samourai" next!
And yes...this, as stated before, epitomizes cool. Scared of the "artsy" flicks? My own mother liked this film.
Most recent customer reviews
This is from French director Jean-Pierre Melville (‘Le Samourai’ and ‘The Army of Shadows’) and he is rightly seen as a major contributor to France’s film history. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tommy Dooley
I bought this based on Yves Montand being in it, and sadly it turns out it's not much of the movie. The movie is very slow and subdued. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Johnny Rocker
i love it , i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it.
i love it , i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it, i love it. Read more
Tauting , provocative and sugestive thriller ; this monumental work still hasn't received the important place it deserves widely. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
"When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever their diverging paths, they will inevitably come together in the red circle."
Its just a title relax/
"When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever their diverging paths, they will inevitably come together in the red circle. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by Robin Simmons
The cold, slow-paced and existential treatment of this crime story comes from a different world, Melville's world, where darkness is pure enlightment.Published on Sept. 23 2003 by ilyushin
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