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The Law (La loi)

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Pigeons and vagabonds populate the town square of Porto Manacore, the seedy Italian fishing village perched above the Adriatic where passion and power are equally corrupt. Overlooking the immoral hoi polloi from his baroque apartment on high is the townas wealthy patriarch Don Cesare (Pierre Brasseur, anticipating Marlon Brandoas Vito Corleone). Lusted after by the men of the town is his gorgeous housekeeper, Mariette (Gina Lollobrigida), the resident whipping girl to the Donas other female caretakers. When the handsome yet broke Milanese engineer Enrico Tosso (Marcello Mastroianni) comes to town, Mariette concocts a daring scheme to marry him. But the devilish Matteo Brigante (Yves Montand), local brute and admirer of Mariette, connives to shut Enrico out by using aThe Law, a a vicious drinking game and humiliating power play, as his weapon of choice. Piquing censors at the time of its initial release, Dassin's film is a sexy, lurid, occasionally campy romp amongst the lowly and the exalted, the suave and the callow, and the otherwise contradictory inhabitants of the gorgeously photographed Mediterranean.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Yves Montand, Pierre Brasseur, Melina Mercouri
  • Directors: Jules Dassin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003TPZSOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,740 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Law (La loi)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 17, 2000
Format: DVD
What a wonderful cast of actors (good grief: even the son of the director, Joe Dassin , later known as a very popular singer in France, has a small part..)and what strange going-ons in this plot involving the games of power in a (otherwise lovely and peaceful) Italian fisherman's village. It is corny at time , gripping at others,with beautiful camera shots and a never flagging smoldering action, as the heat builds on in the village as well as on the screen.But why did AMAZON list this movie as being Italian spoken, when the version I received is actually in French?
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Format: DVD
THE LAW/WHERE THE HOT WIND BLOWS shows Gina Lollobrigida at 31, in top form both as a beautiful woman and as an actress. God, how gorgeous she was, and how hot, sensual, desirable is her Marietta! No wonder every man in town lusts after her! The whole cast is wonderful: Mastroianni, Mercouri, Montand, Stoppa and the great Pierre Brasseur. Jules Dassin's direction does justice to the Vailland novel, for the most part. It is urgent to restore this film and release it in DVD format with extras, including a competent critical commentary.
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By R Zern on June 21, 2010
Format: DVD
I really enjoyed watching The Law. The storyline was great, and I loved the occasional tidbits that were so unexpectedly hilarious. The theme about who was really considered "the law" and the person with all the power was extremely entertaining. Gina Lollabrigida (Marietta) was fantastic! I loved her character's attitude. She knew what she wanted, and she knew how to get what she wanted. The many different plots and characters were all very enjoyable and interesting. And in the end, it is very clear who the person is that has all the power in the city.

I absolutely loved the movie and was highly entertained! I'm so glad that it's finally being distributed for a wide release in the US! There's love, sex, power, drama, and death! with the occasional hilarity and musical number. What more could you ask for in a movie?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We watch foreign movies all the time with subtitles so it's normally no big deal to us. I knew this movie had subtitles, when I ordered it. But this movie was different. The subtitles were done in white lettering, fairly small font and the movie is in black and white. It was absolutely frustrating trying to focus on the white lettering in scenes with a very light or white background because of the lack of contrast. In some scenes portions of the subtitles were almost invisible to us. As a result we were missing much of the dialogue and only watched about half the movie before hitting the eject button.

Perhaps someday they'll redo the subtitles so we can watch it in its entirety.
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Format: DVD
La Legge (The Law) (Jules Dassin, 1960)

Jules Dassin made a number of films which are now considered among the best ever shot—Rififi, Never on Sunday, Topkapi, etc. The Law is not one of them—it's more low-rent soap opera/rural Peyton Place ripoff than it is classic cinema—but it's stupidly enjoyable and contains Gina Lollobrigida wearing a number of tight outfits. Put those two things together and is it worth killing an hour and a half with? Of course it is.

Lollobrigida plays Marietta, a small-time thief (it is never stated, but implied once or twice, she's also a hooker) in a small, impoverished seaside town in Italy. Half the town is in love with her, including her boss Don Cesare (Children of Paradise's Pierre Brasseur), a bedridden old lech who's actually the power behind the town, and the local crime boss (The Wages of Fear's Yves Montand) AND his brother (Violent Summer's Raf Mattioli), the public faces of the power behind the town, but Marietta only has eyes for Enrico (La Dolce Vita's Marcello Mastroianni). Problem is that Enrico is too poor to get married and Marietta is too poor to have a dowry. So she decides to use her skills to rectify that situation...

The name of the film comes from a drinking game the town's men play every night, something so bleak and hope-crushing that it may as well have come out of a Béla Tarr movie. The men gather at the local tavern to play The Law. They draw lots; the winner is selected as boss, and may treat the others as his lackeys for the rest of the night. (One must be careful not to go overboard, for the chances you won't be in the box the next night are pretty slim.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film for "serious" movie goers. My rating is based on the fantastic story, the characters and the roles they play, in this sleepy, little coastal fishing village in Italy. Then there's Ms. Lollobrigida...what a vixen. Fiery and with brains to boot! Not often do you see women from this era portrayed in this fashion. Yes, it has subtitles, yes it's in black and white and yes the ambiance of the town is well, kinda stark, but those are not the reasons why one watches a film like this, it's for the acting and directing and for the story being told. It does run a bit long, over 2 hours, but it will be time very well spent. Enjoy!
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By ian on December 15, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Take this film as an intriguing view of country town life during the 50's in Italy, rather than an adaptation of the Roger Vailland novel. Jules Dassin has created a richly melodramatic representation of the social structure of the town. The characters presented are distinctively acted by the marvellous collection of artists brought together. Gina Lollobrigida, while not a teenager as presented in the book, creates a believable heroine who has the necessary intelligence, cunning and astuteness to know how to achieve the place she wants in life as Don Cesare's life passes from him. The film is good on it's own level as in it's own way is the novel.
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