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Two Men in Manhattan [Blu-ray]
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Bonus Features: A conversation between critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, New essay by Melville scholar Ginette Vincendeau, trailers.
Top Customer Reviews
Melville, himself, plays the lead. A French United Nations delegate disappears on the day of an important vote and no one seems to know where he's gone. Melville is a reporter tasked to find the man and solve the mystery before the night is over. To do this, he'll need the assistance of someone with more unsavory connections so he enlists an opportunistic photographer played by Pierre Grasset. As the delegate's family seems to be a dead end, they have one other clue. The man was photographed around town in the company of three women. So Grasset and Melville traverse the city from a Brooklyn Burlesque, to an upscale den of inequity, to a Capital Records recording session, to a Broadway show. They talk to each of the women for a few minutes and then move on, never really getting substantial answers. On their tail, though, is a mysterious automobile. Before the sun rises, you can bet the answers will crystallize.Read more ›
Melville is so devoted to his vision that he even plays one of the principal roles, a weary-looking newspaper reporter who—because of his heavy-lidded eyes—bears a certain resemblance to Robert Mitchum. Melville is no Mitchum when it comes to acting, though, and his performance is only partly successful.
Pierre Grasset as near-alcoholic photographer Delmas is the more interesting of the two main characters. It is his dilemma at the end of the film that strongly suggests that he is the true protagonist and his “what the heck” laugh in the film’s final seconds will stay with you once the film is over.
As an homage to Film Noir, there is bound to be a lot of familiarity in the plot and style of the film. While perhaps inescapably spilling into cliché at times, the film is still mesmerizing to watch, in large part because of Its on location footage of New York City. Cliché is often the result of meeting audience expectation, which one is obliged to do in any film defined by its genre, so one can be forgiving if certain stretches seem awfully familiar (the chanteuse girlfriend, the visit to the strip club—with nudity, not common for 1959, the year the film was made).
While the film hasn’t aged as well as Melville might have hoped, there is still much to applaud. One need look no further than the excellent and enlightening conversation between critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ignatiy Vishsnevetsky for genuine insight into the film.
What a great looking movie...................only James Wong Howe's great camera work on Sweet Smell of Success rivals this breathtakingly beautiful film. I may be really biased, but to me Melville ranks with greatest directors of the 20th century......I love film noir and no other director making films outside the USA captures the spirit and fun of American crime films of the 40's and 50's.
Melville plays one of the two leads in this film, and he is very good......there is not much of a plot.....this is an exercise in style, and believe me Melville pulls it off with panache.
There is a Quinten Tarantino blurb on the box that says Melville is to the crime film as Sergio Leone is to the western..............so true; however, Leone was more successful because he lucked into Clint Eastwood.
I would give this ten stars if I could...............the movie is a highest recommendation possible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have seen seven other Mellville movies. I heard that he was not satisfied with this film, and it is quite understandable. Read morePublished 6 months ago by NICOLAS
As a devoted Melville fan, I enjoyed this modest mystery yarn very much. Some location exteriors were shot in NYC, but the rest was made in France, and there are some entertaining... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Eric O. Allstrom
It's fun to gape at 1960s NYC; the cameras were on the street filming ordinary citizens caught in the headlights. The story was a bit too cynical for me. Read morePublished 17 months ago by James Kats
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