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  • Querelle
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45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

QUERELLE is the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder's final film. Here is the story of a beautiful, proudand tough loner, a sailor named Querelle (Brad Davis), whose commanding officer, Seblon (Franco Nero), worships and desires him from afar. Querelle turns on his drug-smuggling partner and murders him. He then goes to a notorious brothel run by the rapacious Lysiane (Jeanne Moreau), who leads Querelle into his first homosexual encounter. Subsequently, he falls in love with a fellow murderer, Gil (Hanno Poschl). Partly because his love for Gil panics him, and partly so that he can keep Gil all tohimself, Querelle betrays him to the police. But, by now, Querelle has become vulnerable and soft and, soon, the once-powerful object of passion comes to belong to Seblon.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau, Laurent Malet, Hanno Pöschl
  • Directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Writers: Burkhard Driest, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jean Genet
  • Producers: Dieter Schidor, Michael McLernon, Sam Waynberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JXY5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,799 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Querelle" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jose R. Perez on April 4, 2002
Format: DVD
Brad Davis is captivating as the sailor boy prostitute "Querelle" desired by men and women alike in this odd, yet gentle masterpiece. Clearly not for all audiences, the movie is dark and often harrowing, at times recalling other classic Genet adaptations, and occassionally, even the legendary "Midnight Express" which made Davis a star. Like the latter film, there are moments here that shock the viewer into action, perhaps fewer than necessary, and yet always mezmerizing and accomplished. Steeped in an aura of bright, almost unimaginable color, "Querelle" is one of those gay-cinema classics that deserves a place in an adult video collection (like "Taxi Zum Klo" for example.) Yet remember - this is a harrowing vision, and clearly not for every member of the family. Still, Davis is superb!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tim C on July 12, 2003
Format: DVD
This movie truly made me rethink my pompous blow-hard nature: that is to say, I'm fanatical about Jean Genet, madly in love with Brad Davis, and I even MOSTLY like Fassbinder. But for some reason, I can never seem to get through the first half of this movie.
Jean Genet's forbidden story of Querelle was, simply put, never meant to be translated into a movie. The internal struggles of Querelle were too innate, too ever be categorized and flow-charted and minced down into two hours of a panel-by-panel film script.
Now, with that said, I think Fassbinder made an excellent attempt to put you right up inside the taboo story of our favorite murderer/hero. The scenery is luscious, the costumry finely detailed, the casting superb. Not to mention the delicious sailor booty of a certain leading man, Brad Davis.
Still, I find this movie left me with much to be desired. After the torrid affair of Querelle and Nono, I wanted to roll over and go to sleep (no underlying meaning meant). Even THEN, there was only so much tension up until that point, and the plot manuevering that Fassbinder undertook did nothing to appease me. For example, the lusty leiutenant who writes of Querelle in the novel, keeps, instead, a tape recorded diary. With any horribly tedious passages taken directly from the text. In terribly stiff monologues.
Scary stuff.
All in all, I rated this movie with four of five stars. It perfectly compliments any Genet collection and makes for wonderful ornamentation on your DVD shelves. But if you've never heard of Jean Genet or never saw a Fassbinder movie, you should probably buy a different homoerotic brothel-lined story of metamorphoses and love.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Andy Rubio on July 15, 2001
Format: DVD
What a shame that the distributors are so cynical to release this great film under such poor conditions. The subtle oranges and pinks have been thrown together by a quick and presumably cheap transfer to DVD that they all now merge into some garish red. It's almost unwatchable compared to the VHS copy I own. I thought DVD was supposed to be the ultimate in picture quality... forget it, don't be conned. It's just another way to get us to buy the things we've already got. One more thing: get this - they say that, as a special feature of the DVD, it comes with theatrical trailers - THE TRAILERS ARE FOR OTHER FILMS! AAuuughghghhh!What a [bad deal]... keep your money... you have been warned.
The people who released this DVD should be in jail.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jack Malebranche on October 24, 2004
Format: DVD
Querelle is based on Jen Genet's Querelle de Brest. Fassbinder uses Genet's strange mix of blunt dialog and masturbatory narration to create a film that feels more like a revelation of poetry scratched into one of Brest's pissoirs.

Sometimes the characters speak to each other, sometimes they seem to speak in spite of one another, sometimes they simply speak - all too appropriate in the port of Brest, a fertile ground for nearly anonymous, mechanical sex. Though Querelle (perfectly cast), at once vulnerable and malevolent, is the subject of the film's action, the true star is this seething port. Brest is realized entirely on a soundstage, which allows the director to quite literally paint with colored lights and symbolic, often pornographic details. Though ostensibly set somewhere in the first half of the twentieth century, the classic effortlessly melds with the modern (1980s) with the addition of an arcade game and archetypal "homosexuals" that might have stepped from a Tom of Finland drawing.

Querelle is a sailor "in danger of discovering himself", as the mistress of the brothel reveals from her tarot. His strength demands the respect of his peers, his beauty stokes his supervisor's prurient desires, but his inner conflicts drive him to self-destruction as he explores his own deviance. Lust morphs into violence, denial morphs into degradation, sex morphs into violence, and violence morphs into love.

Far from the flip, whitewashed, sexless homosexuality that saturates the media today, Querelle explores the conflicts and complex relations that occur between virile men who discover they desire each other.

In contrast to some other reviewers, I would have to say that this is actually my favorite Fassbinder film--though perhaps it is not representative of his work overall.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on July 13, 2001
Format: DVD
...and it only gets more confusing after that. 'Querelle' is a difficult movie to follow. I've watched it quite a few times and I end up with something new after each viewing. Querelle (Brad Davis in a way-too-tight sailor uniform) appears to be just another resident meanie in the port of Brest. OK, a very sexually-repressed meanie. He hasn't come to the realization that he just wants to be loved. How he comes to that realization is the plot of the movie (...or is it?). Along the way, Querelle murders, fondles a cop, smuggles drugs and flirts with his commanding officer.
The movie is an eerie, voyeuristic experience painted in sepia tones. Although Querelle participates is numerous kinky episodes, there is nothing pornographic here in the sense of flailing flesh and hungry moans (lots of sweaty sailors, though) and everything that happens moves the plot along.
The DVD is a welcome change from the Columbia and EDDE edition VHS tapes (but I would rather have the original Columbia VHS artwork instead of the big "Q" here). The print is anamorphic (2.35:1) and of a pretty good quality for 1982. I did notice a few frame shakes here and there but nothing too jarring. You also get the original English mono track and an alternate French track. There's no trailer included for this movie but there's a couple of other unrelated ones.
So sit back and prepare to scratch your head and say "What the..." Querelle is definately not a disappointing flick.
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