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Le Doulos (The Criterion Collection)

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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$39.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The backstabbing criminals in the shadowy underworld of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le doulos have only one guiding principle: Lie or die. A stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as enigmatic gangster Silien, who may or may not be responsible for squealing on Faugel (Serge Reggiani), just released from the slammer and already involved in what should have been a simple heist. By the end of this brutal, twisty, and multilayered policier, who will be left to trust? Shot and edited with Melville's trademark cool and featuring masterfully stylized dialogue and performances, Le doulos (slang for an informant) is one of the filmmaker's most gripping crime dramas.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Selected-scene audio commentary by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris
Video interviews with directors Volker Schlöndorff and Bertrand Tavernier, who served as assistant director and publicity agent, respectively, on the film
Archival interviews with Melville and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo and Serge Reggiani
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved subtitle translation
PLUS: A new essay by film critic Glenn Kenny

Review

Brutal and brilliant...underscores why the French put the name to film noir. --Manohla Dargis, NEW YORK TIMES

The great Jean-Pierre Melville's most influential film...A masterful blend of economy and style. --Andrew O Hehir, SALON

Special Features

  • Selected-scene audio commentary by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris
  • Video interviews with directors Volker Schlondorff and Bertrand Tavernier, who served as assistant director and publicity agent, respectively, on the film
  • Archival interviews with Melville and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo and Serge Reggiani
  • A new essay by film critic Glenn Kenny

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly, Fabienne Dali, Michel Piccoli
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White, Anamorphic, Digital Sound, Mono
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CW7ZSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,158 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Le Doulos (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on May 5, 2009
Format: DVD
Cool, collected and oh so sheik, `Le Doulos' reminds me a lot of Melville's later triumph `Le Samourai'. Both films are just dripping with attitude and suave entitlement and both films delve into the gritty life of a criminal. This time around, the trench coats and jazz music follow a group of thieves as they deal with a supposed informant. With enough twists and turns to keep you guessing till the very end, `Le Doulos' does everything it needs to in order to hook you and keep you hooked.

In `Le Doulos', Jean-Pierre Melville introduces us to Silien, a shady character of sorts who may or may not be a police informant ratting out his friend, the recently released Maurice Faugel. As Maurice finds his latest job botched at the hands of the police he begins to wonder just who his real friends are, and when he finds himself behind bars it seems all too obvious who is behind it all; but is it really all that simple?

No.

I raved `Le Samourai' and I will continue to do so. It is one of the greatest film noirs I've ever seen, and it continues to impress me every time I sit through it. `Le Doulos' is right up there for me; a sublime example of a director and a group of actors taking a mood and carrying it through to completion. Everything about this film is perfectly designed to embellish the mood Melville was attempting to convey. This film is dripping with style, yet it doesn't rest easy on that said style; it actually backs it up with substance. The plot is thick and intricate and the acting is superb. Jean-Paul Belmondo is stellar as Silien, possessing the same coolness that Alain Delon strutted around with in `Le Samourai'.
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Format: DVD
1949 La Silence de la Mer
1950 Les Enfants Terribles (Criterion) *****
1953 Quand tu liras cetta lettre
1956 Bob le Flambeur (Criterion) *****
1959 Deux Hommes dans Manhattan
1961 Leon Morin
1962 Le Doulos (Criterion) ***
1963 Aime de Ferchaux
1966 Le Deuxieme Souffle (Criterion) *****
1967 Le Samourai (Criterion) *****
1969 Army of Shadows (Criterion) *****
1970 Le Cercle Rouge (Criterion) *****
1972 Un Flic ****

Jean-Pierre Melville has made some noir masterpieces. I would not call this a masterpiece (I've rated the Melville films that I have seen above, the ones without stars are ones I haven't yet seen) but Melville and film noir fans will find enough here (Melville's stoic tough guys in trenchcoats and hats, the self-conscious homages to the American cinema of the 1930's, and the cold as nails world view accented by a cool jazz score) to keep them glued to the screen for 1 hr and 49 minutes.

The plot: Maurice Faugel (Serge Reggiani) is a thief whose fresh out of jail. One of the old gang, Gilbert Varnove, is helping Maurice out until he gets back on his feet, but Maurice doesn't know who he can trust anymore. He suspects that someone set him up years ago, and he suspects that that someone might just be Gilbert Varnove. Additionally, for some inexplicable reason, Maurice has befriended a new kid named Mr. Silien (a fresh faced Jean-Paul Belmondo). Though it is never explained where or how they met the two seem to have some unspoken bond that exists only in noirs and westerns between old outlaws and new. Since everyone knows that Silien has "friends" on both sides of the law, the old gang doesn't really trust the new guy and Maurice agrees to keep Silien out of the loop on the upcoming heist.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD has been around long enough to have garnered some highly intelligent reviews, most of them favourable. The only critical exercise left that may be of use to prospective purchasers is to review the film AND the reviews in parallel. It is necessary to point out that Melville came late to the gangster genre and had established his credentials as a master of the cinematic Art in such gems as Les Enfants Terribles, Le Silence de la Mer, and Leon Morin Pretre, without any need for louche persona dressed in trench-coats and Borsalinos. These are wonderfully poetic explorations of love in many different manifestations ------ sibling , cultural , and divine. In the later Army of Shadows, there is not much poetry, but there is an intense concern with fundamental issues of morality and justice in the context of a fight to the death. It is not too far-fetched to suggest that these issues also pervade his "gangster" films that, however entertaining, were not necessarily conceived as entertainment only, but also as morality tales. Failure to realize this will deprive the viewer of at least one dimension through which his work must be appreciated. Another concept with which I must take issue is that of Film Noir. It would be best if this term were abolished from the critical vocabulary of the cinema. Reading through any essay, book, or merely lists devoted to so-called Films Noirs reveals a mish-mash of titles where the works are more notable for their differences than their similarities. Even Harry Potter Films meet more than half the so-called criteria. Walt Disney and other cartoons are among the few that can be ruled out. But how about that early exotic Film Noir spy thriller: A Night in Casablanca?Read more ›
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