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Therese Raquin

10 customer reviews

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Therese Raquin + Children of Paradise (Criterion Collection)
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Editorial Reviews

Though filmed once before as a 1927 silent film by Carne's mentor Jacques Feyder, Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin received a wholly original re-working when director Marcel Carne (Port of Shadows) adapted it himself in 1953. Carnes blended the theatricality of his revered Children of Paradise with the neo-realism of his trenchant pre-and post-war dramas into a film that bears more of a resemblance to James M Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and Luchino Viscounti's Ossessione than to the Zola of Nana and Germinal. Carne's "clinical injections of suspense" (New York Times) earned him the Silver Lion director's prize at the 1953 Venice Film Festival. Star-crossed lovers Therese (Simone Signoret - Les Diaboligues) and Laurent (Raf Vallone - Bitter Rice) think they've gotten away with murder after Therese's weakling husband "falls" from a speeding train. But when forced to contend with a blackmailer's demands and the mute accusations of Therese's monster-in-law (French stage and screen diva Sylvie, in a scene stealing performance), it's only a matter of time before the law, their passion or blind chance trip them up. Future Oscar winner Simone Signoret emerged from premature self-imposed retirement as full-time wife to Yves Montand in order to play Therese. Kino presents Therese Raquin - perhaps the last great Marcel Carnes film and one of the first to be championed when French critics rescues Carne's post-war creative reputation from critical limbo in 1980's - for the first time on US DVD, newly subtitled and ready for rediscovery.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Simone Signoret, Raf Vallone, Jacques Duby, Maria Pia Casilio, Marcel André
  • Directors: Marcel Carné
  • Writers: Marcel Carné, Charles Spaak, Émile Zola
  • Producers: Raymond Hakim, Robert Hakim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BO0LB8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,835 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Therese Raquin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dale Miller on July 4, 2010
Format: DVD
This 1953 film by Marcel Carne (Children of Paradise) bears very little resemblance to Zola's 1867 novel on which it is based. They share most of the same set of characters. And both novel and film deal with an adulterous affair and the murder committed by the lovers. There the resemblance begins to come undone.
Simone Signoret gives a one-dimensional performance as Thérèse. This may be the result of her (Thérèse's, not Simone's) deadening upbringing, though in the novel at least her stolid temperament is roused to heights of passion when she meets Laurent, who has been transformed in the film version from a civil servant into an Italian truck driver, played by Raf Vallone. Again, Vallone seems capable of only a limited range of expression. Missing are the agonies experienced by the lovers following the murder, and Zola's lengthy dissection of them. What remains, then, is a stripped-down story, lacking great depth of character or profundity, but with enough intrigue and suspense to keep things moving until the unexpected ending.
However, it is unfair to compare, the film with Zola's novel. Carne's adaptation needs to be considered on its own merits. The treatment is excellent as one would expect from the director of Children of Paradise, once voted by French film critics as the best French film ever. Though Thérèse Raquin comes nowhere near Carne's masterpiece, it is worth watching. Just don't expect a faithful adaptation of Zola's early work. Better to read the novel instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JAB51 on September 2, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Marcel Carne. He made six of the best films ever: Port of Shadows (38), Hotel du Nord (38), Le jour se leve (39), Les visitors du sour (42) and my favorite film Children of Paradise (45) --- (Truffaut reportedly stated that he would have given up all of his films to have made Children of Paradise, understandable, though it was Carne who reported that he said.) --- and then there is Therese Raquin (also known as the Adulteress), a perfect film of a young woman entrapped in a loveless, lifeless marriage to a weakling cousin (several times removed we hope) dominated by her mother-in-law. There is the twists of adultery, murder, remorse and blackmail --- with a double twist of fate bringing it all to resolution. Simone Signoret and Raf Vallone are stunning as the couple brought together by circumstances updated from Emile Zola's 1867 novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Magda Katz on November 24, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This has a great story and Simone Signoret is wonderful as the unfaithful wife. I had seen at at the French Institute many years ago and I was delighted to rediscover it and see it again.
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Format: DVD
This is but one of Marcel Carne's masterworks and his unforgettable gift to good cinema lovers. Miss Signoret performed like no one else--artistic precision and elegance. Vallone who played her lover was excellent and the actor playing the blackmailer was riveting and sexy. See this movie--an outstanding homage to the genius of Emile Zola.
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By Oscar Montero on September 8, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Updated version of the Zola classic, with new twists and turns. Erotic and sinister all at once, like the novel.
Luminous Simone Signoret. Powerful Raf Vallone. From the master director Marcel Carne'. Great actors in the ensemble.
A slice of sordid Parisian bourgeois life, unredeemable by passion, sad but elegantly served.
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