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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GAMES OF CHANCE.....
Little seen Jacques Demy film restored by his widow is a lovely New Wave look at chance. Stiff, young unmarried Jean (Claude Mann), who works in a bank, is introduced to gambling by a co-worker. When Jean wins a bundle on beginners' luck, he impulsively defies his father's warning of the evils of gambling and heads for a resort town on the Bay of Angels to start a new...
Published on November 28, 2003 by Mark Norvell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moreau Displays Her Four-Octave Dramatic Range in a Mediocre Picture
Bay of Angels (1963 La baie des anges), is a 90-minute French romantic drama that was written and directed by the noted Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,The Young Girls Of Rochefort). BAY stars the beauteous Jeanne Moreau (Jules and Jim (The Criterion Collection)) as Jacqueline 'Jackie' Demaistre, hopelessly addicted gambler, estranged wife of a millionaire,...
Published on September 30, 2011 by Stephanie De Pue


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GAMES OF CHANCE....., November 28, 2003
This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
Little seen Jacques Demy film restored by his widow is a lovely New Wave look at chance. Stiff, young unmarried Jean (Claude Mann), who works in a bank, is introduced to gambling by a co-worker. When Jean wins a bundle on beginners' luck, he impulsively defies his father's warning of the evils of gambling and heads for a resort town on the Bay of Angels to start a new life...as a gambler. There he meets bleached blonde Jacki (Jeanne Moreau) who gambles recklessly and compulsively. She's split from her husband and young son because of her need to gamble. She slyly moves in on Jean in his hotel room because she's broke and has nowhere to go. Jean then becomes her lucky charm at the casino tables. They win big together. They also lose big together. But Jean is in love with Jacki even though to her he's more of a good luck piece. But Jacki isn't as tough as she seems. Lush b&w filming of a deceptively short tale (79 min.) is easy to watch and enjoy. Moreau is a stunner as Jacki---a woman caught in a haze of addiction but nevertheless upbeat even though her heart is breaking. Young, inexperienced Jean is repulsed by what Jacki sometimes does to get money or chips but he's like a gangly lovestruck puppy tagging along. He's caught in the gambling web, too, but is willing to take the chance to get out. Jacki LIVES on chance...but she's too scared to take that kind. How two unlikely people find each other and Jacki finds such a strong supporter is also pure chance. Like the roulette wheels they play, every day is a game of chance. Michel Legrand's score is loaded with dramatic piano flourishes rising at key moments and moody jazz flavors at others as the couple roam from casino to casino, hotel to hotel, high times to low times. Moreau, cigarette dangling from her full lips, her hip swinging worldly walk and hand brushing her teased platinum hair isn't easily forgotten. For film lovers---this is a find. Enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific Jeanne Moreau film from Demy, til now hard to find, December 12, 2003
By 
Film Buff Chris (Doylestown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
I had heard of Jacques Demy's "Bay of Angels"; and Pauline Kael gave it a favorable review that made me want to see it, saying Jeanne Moreau blond gambling bombshell was the New Wave equivalent to some of Bette Davis' intense 30s portrayals. But it never played anywhere I knew of, it's never been on tv, it seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. I just came across the dvd in a store the other day, saw that Demy's filmmaker wife restored it -- and it's gorgeous in the dvd edition -- and I bought it and watched it. It's strange and peculiar but thoroughly engrossing. Most of Demy's work is very stylized ... and in this Moreau has white/blond hair and white/blond clothes and I guess black/addict's soul. I was surprised how powerful, in its off-hand way, the film was about gambling as addiction... Moreau seemed to live in a kind of hell, but also loved being in it. She's very good in the film, and very unlike many of her other roles (where she's also great). Very worth watching, memorable. And the visuals are really stunning. (By the way -- I did manage to see Demy's "Lola" with Anouk Aimee years ago, loved it, and will probably get that dvd too. Also has been hard to find.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BAY OF ANGELS at last on DVD, December 12, 2003
By 
mackjay (Cambridge, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
BAIE DES ANGES is beautifully shot in Paris, Nice and Monte Carlo--even in B&W that place was a paradise. The gifted (but for some, always slightly off-putting) Jeanne Moreau is a late 30-something gambler--she has ALL the issues, very much like an alcoholic, which she is as well. A handsome young Parisian, Claude Mann, meets, and becomes fascinated with her. They embark on a gambling binge together. In mere hours they go from poor to near-rich and back again. The film convincingly conveys the allure and dangers of gambling--and all the games one plays with oneself and others as well. The characters develop an interdependence (no surprise), but the young man is not really a gambler--his approach to playing is careful and calculated-- and his sense of self-preservation never leaves him. Demy's vision is fundamentally optimistic and romantic, but this film has nonetheles a wide range of character and emotion. It is not as great as his LOLA (1961), now also on DVD, a film that more satisfyingly creates its own universe and haunts the viewer long after with its own conflicted romantic vision.
There is a pleasing score by Michel Legrand, which can overwhelm in the DVD's 3.1 "stereo" optional audio track--the orignal mono is also an option. The restoration of this film is very well done and it looks marvelous in this letterboxed presentation. Also included are the film's trailer and a brief segment from Demy-widow Agnes Varda's documentary on Demy, with comments from Moreau and Mann and Demy himself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Nigtmare of Gamblers, November 28, 2004
By 
R. Crane (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
While this is a remarkable film, the story is about addiction to roulette gambling and the devastating impact gambling has on the lives of the gamblers. So much of the film was spent watching the balls roll around the roulette wheel, that it felt sufficating, but not to the gamblers. The actors were marvelous, but the story is very depressing. Brillantly filmed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moreau Displays Her Four-Octave Dramatic Range in a Mediocre Picture, September 30, 2011
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
Bay of Angels (1963 La baie des anges), is a 90-minute French romantic drama that was written and directed by the noted Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,The Young Girls Of Rochefort). BAY stars the beauteous Jeanne Moreau (Jules and Jim (The Criterion Collection)) as Jacqueline 'Jackie' Demaistre, hopelessly addicted gambler, estranged wife of a millionaire, mother of a son she has given up. Before its current release, the film has been extensively cleaned up and restored by Agnes Varda, Demy's widow, and a noted director in her own right.

Jean Fournier (Claude Mann,Army of Shadows (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]) is a bank clerk who has just been turned onto casino gambling by his colleague Caron (Paul Guers). Jean will meet Jackie in the casinos; their love affair will follow their luck at roulette. Moreau, I think, wasn't born to be a blonde, as she is in this movie; still, she's elegantly dressed in designer Pierre Cardin creations, all in black and white to match her beloved roulette wheels, and she looks good. Mann, in a good light, looks a little like Jean-Paul Belmondo. As assistant director behind Demy, we have the Greek Costa-Gavras (Z,Missing) who would become an admired director himself. The score was by the talented Michel Legrand, who also did scores for UMBRELLAS and THE YOUNG GIRLS. In fact, there's a lot of talent before and behind the cameras in this black and white film; the question is, that being so, how did it turn out as such a mediocre venture?

If you're not particularly interested in Demy, the only good reason to see it is Moreau. Reviewers raved about her at the movie's initial release. Time Magazine said, "Jeanne Moreau forcefully demonstrates the verve, style and flamboyant femaleness that make her the envy of European sex symbols much greener in years and cooler in blood. Her wicked, winning presence has saved a bad movie from utter oblivion, and at 36 she knows how to turn Bay of the Angels into a one woman show." And the New York Times said "With unfailing artistry, Jeanne Moreau displays her four-octave dramatic range. A bravura demonstration of star power on the rampage." So, only for her fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and Beautiful, December 17, 2011
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This review is from: Bay of Angels (DVD)
I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it, the soundtrack, the filming, the story!!! Tragic story, fantastic acting and directing, they rarely make movies like this now and almost never in the United States. Black and white filming has never been so beautiful as in this film.
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Bay of Angels
Bay of Angels by Jacques Demy (DVD - 2003)
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