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Two Men in Manhattan [Blu-ray] (1959)

Jean-Pierre Melville , Pierre Grasset , Jean-Pierre Melville  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Melville, Pierre Grasset
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cohen Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DPJEWAM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,962 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women. Set against a smoky jazz score and featuring stunning black and white cinematography that beautifully captures the gritty streets at night, this is director Melville s love letter to New York City and homage to the American Film Noir.
Bonus Features: A conversation between critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, New essay by Melville scholar Ginette Vincendeau, trailers.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Of all the recent releases on the DVD/Blu-ray market, I was particularly excited to catch the debut of "Two Men in Manhattan" by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville. Melville was one of the strongest post-WWII era directors to emerge from France with a resume that included such fantastic classics as "Bob le Flambeur," "Le Samouraï," "Army of Shadows" and "Le Cercle Rouge." Thanks to the Criterion Collection, I own all of these films (and a couple of others) and have embraced the minimalist film noir qualities that stamp a Melville picture. I hadn't really heard much about the movie "Two Men in Manhattan," but I was eager to experience the 1959 New York based mystery. Despite my enthusiasm, however, the movie never really connected with me. Let's just say that this stylish endeavor is much more effective at creating a mood as opposed to telling a riveting story.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jean-Pierre Melville at this most noir-ish. April 14, 2014
Format:DVD
Jean-Pierre Melville loved American Film Noir. His attraction to this distinct genre is the impetus behind TWO MEN IN MANHATTAN, now gloriously restored and presented by the Cohen Film Collection.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a swell noir March 28, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw this movie at a Film Noir series I went to. Right from the start I loved it. Being a big Noir fan this movie fits the bill. Amazing black and white with the grittiness of the 50's New York. Subtitles don't bother me, but if someone doesn't like them this may not be for them. Absolutely loved the movie and am happy to have it in my Film Noir library. A real noir classic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TWO MEN IN MANHATTAN makes it's Mark! January 14, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I grew up in NYC in the late 1950's-1960's, and it was so much fun to see scenes shot in the City well before this time. Real film noir style cinematography; good acting; some intrigue; provides opportunity to see people and places in the seedy grimy side of NYC (Times Square and 42nd Street/Hell's Kitchen area); violence, murder and mayhem, but all in all, very satisfactory and interesting to watch! And, best of all, a concious awakening and redemption spirit is alive, even in the most opportunistic of men! Hence, I rate this Five Stars!
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