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Quiet Days in Clichy

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Joey is a struggling writer with no money. His roommate Carl is a charming stud with a taste for young girls. Together these two insatiable dreamers laugh, love and screw their way through a decadent Paris paved with wanton women, wild orgies, and outrageous erotic adventures. Based upon the long-banned Henry Miller novel, this is the most daring adaptation ever of one of the most controversial authors in history. In May of 1970, the U.S. government seized the only English-language prints on charges of obscenity; while it was ultimately cleared in Federal Court, the film mysteriously disappeared shortly after its release. Now this landmark "adults only" classic can be seen again completely uncut and uncensored, featuring the original hit soundtrack by rock legend Country Joe McDonald.

Suffused with the improvisational playfulness of the French New Wave and brimming with naked flesh and explicit scenes, Jens Jorgen Thorsen's freewheeling adaptation of Henry Miller's notorious novel offered a different kind of American in Paris and pushed the boundaries of sex on the screen. America pushed back: the film was seized on charges of obscenity in 1970 and condemned by the Catholic bishops review board. Though hardly tame by modern standards, it's less an underground classic than a curious timepiece. Paul Valjean is a colorless star, and behind the hedonism and erotic adventures is a chauvinist portrait of sexual relations (Philip Kaufman's Henry and June offers a more interesting take on Miller). See Quiet Days in Clichy for the marvelous black and white images of late-1960s Paris, an energetic supporting cast (many of them actual Parisian streetwalkers, according to legend), and Country Joe McDonald's ribald songs. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • "Dirty Books, Dirty Movies: Barney Rosset on Henry Miller" - Interview with Henry Miller's Editor and Publisher
  • "Songs of Clichy" - Interview with Country Joe McDonald
  • Poster and Still Gallery
  • Talent Bios
  • Liner Notes by Best-Selling Author Jim Knipfel
  • DVD-ROM: Court Documents

Product Details

  • Actors: Marianne Bergh, Elsa Jackson, Britten Jensen, Anne Kehler, Ulla Koppel
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714AB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,979 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Quiet Days in Clichy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 1, 2002
Format: DVD
Quiet Days in Clichy was the first Henry Miller book I read, at the impressionable age of 17. While traveling through Europe, I bought the Grove Press movie tie-in edition, featuring numerous stills from this picture. I read the book several dozen times, and as a result the images from the movie formed part of my memory along with Miller's words.
Now, more than 31 years later, the film is available at last, and I finally got to see those pictures come to life.
For me, watching this was a wonderful experience. It was one of those rare films that transported me completely to another time and place. For a brief 90+ minutes, I was my younger self again.
The story hasn't changed, but I have. I no longer find Miller's caustic sexism charming; in fact it seems childish to me. The explicit sex in the movie (there are a few bits that could be considered hard-core porn) is no longer shocking, and the freewheeling lifestyle depicted is, I now understand, something that was, and is, almost wholly imaginary.
For all the sexist attitudes of the two male leads, the female characters are brilliantly portrayed. Country Joe McDonald's brilliant music brings more surrealistic magic out of the picture, giving it not only a contemporary feel (the original story was set in the 1930s) but an atmosphere that helps it transcend the limitations of its low budget.
This is a faithful adaptation of Miller's book, which is good news for Miller's fans. If graphic sex makes you at all uncomfortable, by all means avoid this film. But if Miller's erotic work appeals to you at all, you owe it to yourself to give this one a chance.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lord of Dance on December 23, 2006
Format: DVD
Quiet Days in Clichy is based on a formerly banned Henry Miller novel. The film itself was banned at one time due to the graphic sexual content. What there is of a story involves the sexual exploits of Joey and Carl, who spend most of their time wandering around the French city of Clichy and meeting up with women. There is lots of explicit nudity, though, fortunately, all the women are fairly attractive. Joey and Carl aren't as attractive as the women they have sex with, but apparently their lustfulness and sexual candor is charming.

Quiet Days in Clichy is filmed in black and white, and rather arty. There are long stretches where no dialogue is spoken and narrative duties are taken on by the music of Country Joe McDonald. I've only heard one song by Country Joe before this film, which was an anti-Vietnam song, but in Quiet Days in Clichy he sings mostly about what Joey and Carl are doing on screen. Sometimes this movie seems like a really long music video.

The sex in this film isn't really arousing or anything, primarily because Joey and Carl are seen naked almost as much as the women. As I said before, neither Joey or Carl are particularly attractive. There's one scene where Joey is in the bath tub with a couple of prostitutes and decides to pee for no good reason, causing the women to leap out in disgust. I'm pretty sure this movie isn't really intended to be erotic. Or the director has a strange idea about what erotic is. Joey and Carl come across as juvenile misogynists alot of the time.

There are moments of humor in the film, and there is a bohemian style about it that I liked, but it's not exactly a good movie by typical standards. If you want something a little different and aren't troubled by graphic sexuality, Quiet Days in Clichy isn't too bad. I doubt the majority of filmgoers will be able to sit through it, though.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on December 30, 2004
Format: DVD
Free spirits, nihilists, professional nonconformists, and unabashed civilization despisers count author Henry Miller (1891-1980) as one of their patron saints. It's not hard to see why. Miller's numerous books espouse a carefree lifestyle that rejects hierarchy, embraces living in the moment, and condones a reckless lifestyle marked by free expression, drink, and experimentation of all sorts. I suspect the phrase "I'll try anything once" describes Miller's philosophy to a T. In now lionized books like "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn," Miller outlined his own outlaw lifestyle during his tenure as an American expatriate in Paris. "Quiet Days of Clichy," another book about his days in France, documents his friendship with Alfred Perles and their subsequent wild and wacky adventures. While I haven't read a word of any of Miller's books, I did recently sit down to a 1970 film version of "Clichy" directed by Jen Jorgen Thorsen. It's no mistake this film arrived in theaters--at least the ones daring enough to screen it--during the heights of the counterculture. The ideas expressed in the movie certainly fit the worldview of many American and European youths in that era. A word of warning at the outset: if you dislike racy depictions of "human interaction," avoid this film at all costs.

Meet Joey (Paul Valjean) and Carl (Wayne Rodda), two devil may care miscreants roaming around the highways and byways of France picking up women, drinking, and generally having a fun time. In more ways than one, it's surprising Joey is so successful with the ladies: he's bald, thin, and wears glasses. Nonetheless, he and Carl bring back to their filthy apartment a string of young French women looking for a night of carousing.
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