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One Deadly Summer (L'ete Meurtrier)

13 customer reviews

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Product Description

Eliane (Isabelle Adjani), a beautiful young woman, settles into a small town in the south of France with her introverted mother and physically handicapped father. Traumatized by her knowledge that her mother was raped by three men before she was born, Eliane thinks she's on a trail of vengeance when she's courted by a young garage mechanic (Alain Souchon), whose father has the only clue to the identity of her mother's aggressors. But as the story unfolds in Rashomon-like flashbacks and narrations, the tale becomes increasingly complex and leads inexorably to a stunning conclusion. Isabelle Adjani (Queen Margot, Camille Claudel, Diabolique) stars in this Jean Becker (Children of the Marshland, Conversations with My Gardener) directed tale of misunderstanding, obsession, and madness that s in the tradition of Swimming Pool and Open Your Eyes. One Deadly Summer (L'ete Meurtrier) was the winner of 4 Cesar Awards, including Best Actress for Isabelle Adjani. Newly-remastered in high definition. In French with English subtitles.


French director Jean Becker's 1983 film One Deadly Summer, originally L'ete meurtrier, is a little difficult to describe. Is it a modern iteration of Greek tragedy? Is it an anti-romance? Is it an erotic thriller? Indeed, it has elements of all of these, and more. It is a subtle film, at times uncomfortable, but expertly crafted, and it is given a fine presentation here.

One Deadly Summer is a film that will discomfit many, not the least because of the copious amounts of Isabelle Adjani's bare flesh and the sexual assault themes. This is a film that confronts this kind of material head on, without descending into simple minded black and white oppositions or caricature. Jean Becker delivers an engrossing and subtle film that doesn't pull its punches.

One Deadly Summer is a subtle and impactful film, shot beautifully and masterfully directed by Jean Becker. The cast is superb. The story engaging. And Isabelle Adjani is decidedly easy on the eyes. Her energetic performance is worth attention on its own, but luckily there is much more on display here to enjoy. This is a film worth owning, and watching more than once. Highly recommended. --

So, One Deadly Summer finally comes to NTSC with a surprisingly strong, progressive, anamorphic (original 1.66) and dual-layered transfer. It has some grand moments - especially the outdoor scenes. Close-ups look great, minimal artifacts - I was impressed!

...I think the release should be commended - it looks very strong for SD and the film itself has gained some stature - even beyond Adjani's gratuitous nudity. The thriller aspects kind of sneak up on you after all the sexuality. A curious and appealing film effort from Becker - certainly worthy of repetition but deserves some discussion supplements. Priced high - but, I don't know - could be very worth it for some. Give it a spin. -- Gary W. Tooze,, April 9, 2010

Those warm French exteriors are given an excellent shine on this DVD. The film doesn't seem to suffer from any print damage despite its age, and neither grain nor compression difficulties are problematic. The colors are rich, with strong skin tones. The French audio does the dialogue justice, and subtitles are clear and easy to read.

...this is an interesting addition to world cinema on digital disc. --

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Adjani, Alain Souchon
  • Directors: Jean Becker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tanelorn Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038SUB1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,721 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "One Deadly Summer (L'ete Meurtrier)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Scott Mcgredy on June 7, 2006
Format: DVD
A sultry summer tale of revenge, violence, desire, sexuality and deception, this psychological suspense film is gripping throughout. Shown from two different viewpoints and with the aid of flashbacks and with a slowly unfolding plot, it's long (2 1/4 hrs.) and fairly hard-to-follow upon first viewing but features superb momentum-inducing acting by Alain Souchon as the hopeful "boyfriend", Suzanne Flon as the deaf aunt - watch her facial expressions!, and especially Isabelle Adjani in an outrageous but moving part. As the lead character - known only as "She" - you either hate or sympathize with her. Either way, Adjani is at the top of her form - which is saying a lot! I shouldn't write any more without revealing the denouement, except, having won four Cesar Awards, this 1983 film, which finally became available in 2010 as Region 0 disc, needs to be seen by fans of smart thrillers.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
"l'eté meurtruer" may not be as well known as "the story of Adele H." or "La Reine Margot" in the U.S. But, fans of Isabelle Adjani should most definitely check it out. Once again, Isabelle takes on a very challenging role - this time a mentally unstable young girl plotting revenge against the men (and their families) who brutally raped her mother 19 years ago. Along the way, she struggles to maintain what sanity she has left while coming to grips with her inner deamons. The movie's plot never gets dull and NOTHING is predictible. A multiple Ceasar winner in France, take a look and you'll see why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D_shrink VINE VOICE on July 13, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story concerns Isabelle Adjani, in the role of Eliane or Elle, for short, a gorgeous 19yo, out to revenge the rape of her mother by killing her three rapists, one of whom she suspects of being her father, although the man she calls father has loved her dearly all her life. Her mother is totally reserved and afraid of real life since the rape and cares for her husband, who may or may not be Elle's real father as it seems [and I want to emphasize that point] to have left him partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair as the result of a stoke. The other main character is played by Alain Souchon, a car mechanic who is madly in love with her, although she has had numerous affairs with many locals [both male and female alike] including his best friend Georges and a female teacher at her school, of which he and the whole town seems to be aware.

You realize early on that this is bound to end tragically due to Elle's flights into mental instability and her boyfriend's inability to recognize her madness.

The movie is filled with eroticism throughout including many scenes of Adjani in glorious full frontal nudity. But one of the most disturbing scenes is when she gets mad at her mother for not wanting to tell her more about her rape 19 years ago and whether she enjoyed it or not; Elle then cries and begs forgiveness, ending with Elle, suckling at her mother's breast for comfort, at the age of 19. Yes, that scene is fully depicted also. Much of the movie is depicted through the voice over of a deaf aunt of the mechanic, who becomes friends with Eliane/Elle and is her only real confidant in the household of her husband.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ankur Mukherjee on January 25, 2010
Format: DVD
French cinema yet once again proved its brilliance through this tiny masterpiece. The film if described in one word 'Unpredictable', yes it is so, you never know what will be the next thing or what will be the next intension of a charecter will be. 'L'ete Meurtrier' is a film about charecters you may or maynot be familiar with in real life but you certainly will believe them. Isabelle Adjani is very precise and shines with excellence in her role. Alain Sounchon delivers a remarkable perferormence, and the chemistry between these two are beyond words. The film oozes with mystery every moment, though having situations very believeble and genuine. A film to look out for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on August 12, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There's an old saying: When you go looking for revenge, first dig two graves. This 1983 film by Jean Becker, based on the novel by late, great French author Sebastien Japrisot, is a vivid example of that truism. A beautiful, alluring young woman (Isabelle Adjani) vamps various men in a small French town, particularly one young man (Alain Souchon) whom she tricks into marrying her. Why? Well, that's the mystery in this long, complicated story. It has to do with a long-ago crime, and the young woman is clearly seeking retribution. There's just one problem: she's a certifiable nutcase. How this all plays out is fairly interesting, and it's very well acted by all, particularly Adjani.

I'm a fan of Japrisot's novel, and the film is a (mostly) faithful adaptation. But somehow, the fun of reading the book is not here in the movie. Everything in the film seems very serious, whereas the book has a lighter, more ironic tone. But the moral of the story is still very powerful, whether you read the book or see the film. This new, anamorphic widescreen print from Tanelorn Films is a big improvement over the earlier DVD and the VHS tape. If you want to add ONE DEADLY SUMMER to your film library, this is the version to get. Enjoy the movie, but find a copy of Japrisot's book and read it--it's really much better.
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