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. -- DVDTalk.com
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, DVDbeaver.com, 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. -- DVDVerdict.com
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.