To celebrate the centenary of one of France’s most celebrated and original filmmakers, Jean-Pierre Melville, Studiocanal will release a new box-set of six of his key films on 11 December, 2017.
Presented in brand new 4k restorations, Melville: The Essential Collection will include: Le Doulos, Bob Le Flambeur, Léon Morin, Prêtre, L’Armée Des Ombres and Le Cercle Rouge.
Individual editions of the films will follow at a later date.
BOB LE FLAMBEUR (1956) – New 4K Restoration
Bob The Gambler
98 Mins approx / B&W
Suffused with wry humor, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le Flambeur melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication to lay the road map for the French New Wave.
In Paris, Bob Montagne (Roger Duchesne) is synonymous with gambling — and winning. He is kind, classy and well-liked by virtually everyone in town, including police inspector Ledru (Guy Decomble).
However, when Bob’s luck turns sour, he begins to lose friends and makes the most desperate gamble of his life: to rob the Deauville casino during Grand Prix weekend, when the vaults are full….
NEW retrospective documentary by the film critic Dominique Maillet – 20 mins
LÉON MORIN, PRÊTRE (1961) – New 4K Restoration
Léon Morin, Priest
112 Mins approx / B&W
Jean-Paul Belmondo delivers a subtly sensual performance as the titular character in Léon Morin, Priest.
In a French town during the Occupation, Barny (Emmanuelle Riva) is a young, wayward, sexually frustrated widow living with her young daughter. A communist militant who long ago decided that the easiest way was the best, one day Barny enters a church, randomly chooses a priest to confess to and, while in confessional, attempts to provoke him by criticizing Catholicism. Instead of being affronted, the priest engages her in an intellectual discussion regarding religion.
The priest is Léon Morin. Young, handsome, smart and altruistic, he invites Barny to continue the conversation outside of confessional. She begins regularly seeing him and is impressed by his moral strength, while he makes it his mission to steer her onto the right path.
NEW Master class with Philippe Labro (friend and apprentice of Melville) + Rémy Grumbach (Melville’s nephew) – 59 mins
LE DOULOS (1963) – New 4K Restoration
The Finger Man
104 mins approx / B&W
The backstabbing criminals in the shadowy underworld of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos have only one guiding principle: “Lie or die.”
Having recently been released from prison, burglar Maurice Faugel (Serge Reggiani) murders his friend Gilbert Vanovre (René Lefèvre) and steals the spoils from previous robbery. As Maurice prepares for another burglary, his friend Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) brings him the necessary equipment. What Maurice doesn’t know, however, is that Silien is a police informant.
Shot and edited with Melville’s trademark cool and featuring masterfully stylized dialogue and performances, Le Doulos (slang for “informant”) is one of the filmmaker’s most gripping crime dramas.
NEW Interview with first assistant director Volker Schlondorff – 20 mins
L’ARMÉE DES OMBRES (1969)
Army of Shadows
138 mins approx / Colour
This masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville about the French Resistance was unreleased in the United States for thirty-seven years, until its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006.
Atmospheric and gripping, Army of Shadows is Melville’s most personal film, featuring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their conception of honour in their battle against Hitler’s regime.
L’armée des ombres… le dessous des cartes” (Army of Shadows: the hidden side of the story) documentary – 87mins
LE CERCLE ROUGE (1970)
The Red Circle
134 mins approx / Colour
When English criminal Corey (Alain Delon) gets released from prison, he resolves to never return.
Crossing paths with a notorious prison escapee (Gian Maria Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand), he nevertheless agrees to undertake an intricate heist with his unlikely accomplices. Soon, a relentless inspector (Bourvil) and the gang’s own pasts contrive to seal their fates.
Le Cercle Rouge combines honorable antiheroes, coolly atmospheric cinematography, and breathtaking set pieces to create a masterpiece of crime cinema.
Interview with Le Cercle Rouge’s first assistant director Bernard Stora – 30min
Code Name Melville – 76mins)
Interview with first assistant director Bernard Stora – 30mins
Interview with novelist José Giovani – 15mins
Présentation by Ginette Vincendeau – 22mins
UN FLIC (1972)
96 mins approx / Colour
In Melville’s final feature film, Un Flic, Parisian police chief Edouard Coleman’s (Alain Delon), life investigating violent crimes has left him feeling despondent.
After beginning an affair with a beautiful but cold woman named Cathy (Catherine Deneuve), he befriends her boyfriend, Simon (Richard Crenna), a local nightclub owner. Unbeknownst to Edouard, however, Simon is also a ruthless bank robber and drug smuggler who is planning one final heist. Edouard is forced to pursue Simon after learning his true identity.
Documentary featuring interviews with Un Flic’s script supervisor Florence Moncorgé-Gabin and first assistant director Jean-François Delon -24mins
In the mood for Melville documentary – 52mins
24 Heures de la vie d’un clown – Melville short – 22mins