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Monsieur Hire

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Touching, lyrical, erotic, suspenseful and enigmatic, Patrice Leconte s (Girl on the Bridge) 1989 psychological drama Monsieur Hire is both a twisted love story and a tragic thriller (London Sunday Times). In a provincial French apartment block, Monsieur Hire (Michel Blanc) endures a solitary life of dulling work as a tailor and vitriolic scorn from his neighbors. Hire s only solace is an occasional night out bowling and the voyeuristic admiration of his neighbor, the ravishingly erotic (Entertainment Weekly) Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire Vagabond, À Nos Amours), a beautiful, free-spirited woman conducting a heated love affair through un-drawn curtains across the way. But when police discover the nude body of another young woman in a nearby vacant lot, Hire becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation that brings him face to face with the object of his desire even as it threatens to ensnare them both in a web of deceit, accusation, lust, and guilt. Adapted from the book by celebrated Belgian crime novelist Georges Simenon, Monsieur Hire is a film of gorgeously muted widescreen color and funereal beauty (The Washington Post) that coolly unpacks sexual obsession and romantic love with an intelligence and understated intensity so delicate that you almost hold your breath for the last half-hour (Roger Ebert).

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire Michel Blanc
  • Directors: Patrice Leconte
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Kino International
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VAHQUQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,997 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Monsieur Hire" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 12, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I watched Monsieur Hire few years ago, and it has been a while since I've seen it again, but the impact that it has had on me lingers to this day, as one of the most chilling, disturbing drama/thrillers to come from France for a long time.
The film has been compared to Hitchcock, because Monsieur Hire keeps watching his sexy Neighbor, Sandrine Bonnaire from his window, voyeurism ala Rear Window, but I think the comparison is not totally justified.
Monsieur Hire, first and foremost is a character study of a very sad, misunderstood by all and very very lonely man. All the events that follow, up to the climatic ending, which I will not spoil, revolve around Monsieur Hire's character and failings as a human being and in society at large.
His obsession with Bonnaire is quite chilling, yet harmless. It is the love of a man who has closed himself to the world outside, and can only deal with his infatuation the only way he knows. And the sad thing about him, is the fact that his emotions are very transparent and lead to exploitation by some and hostility by many.
The success of the film is due of course to director Patrice Leconte..(he has made many other films, like Hairdresser's Husband, Rue de Plaisir, and Parfum D'Yvonne, but Monsieur Hire is still his best)..Sandrine Bonnaire, in the tradition of French actresses, is very intense and plays her character flawlessly..But all credit should go to Michel Blanc! What a revelation of an actor!!
Many have talked and written about Hoffman or DeNiro's acting methods, but one should really watch actors like Blanc to really appreciate 'method' acting! He is Monsieur Hire and Monsieur Hire is him. He does not play the character but is the character. He does not speak much, but his facial expressions speak volumes.
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Format: VHS Tape
MONSIEUR HIRE, directed by Patrice LeConte, is a flawless film, wining the French Film Critics' Award for Best Feature of 1990. The story, music, acting are all superb; yet the performance and very presence of Sandrine Bonnaire on the screen are quite extraordinary, establishing Mlle Bonnaire as one of the greatest actresses in film history. She has made 30 films and each one re- establishes her as possibly the greatest living actress. Sadly few of her films are available on video. MONSIEUR HIRE is a must-have video and can introduce the viewer to the incredible depth,range and beauty of Sandrine Bonnaire.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Shades of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" permeate this fascinating mystery which explores loneliness and betrayal. There is a surprise ending which I will not reveal but seems logical considering the motives of each character. The acting especially of Michel Blanc is exceptionally good. The story moves at a brisk pace, and you will not be bored. I hope this movie becomes available on DVD soon!
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Format: VHS Tape
"They'll find the killer some day, but no one will ever hold her in his arms again."

Monsieur Hire is the perfect suspect. Nobody likes him. Conversations die away when he passes by. Children play tricks on him. He sleeps very little. He never uses the lights. He sits in the dark in his room. And he likes to watch... So, naturally, when a young girl is found murdered, Hire finds himself put under the microscope, both by the strange detective who regularly humiliates him in the course of his investigation and the girl he spies upon who suddenly confronts him, with very unexpected results.

Patrice Leconte's film is one of those remarkable career turnarounds that defy expectations. Best known at the time for his unashamedly populist French comedies, Monsieur Hire is the equivalent of the director of Adam Sandler films suddenly having a stab at The Girl With the Pearl Earring and actually getting it right. His adaptation of a half-remembered Georges Simenon novel (literally: when he finally got the rights, no-one could find a copy of the novel to work from!) works both as a spellbinding piece of pure filmmaking and an intriguing drama about the difference between watching and comprehending. Hire may think he knows almost everything about his neighbor Alice because he has watched her so closely, but seeing and understanding are not always the same thing, as he himself reveals when he tells one of the whores he visits the story of a popular old lady who fed the pigeons breadcrumbs: because of her kindly face, people never realised that in fact she was poisoning them.

Above all, it's a very sensual film. Not in any erotic sense, although there is a charge when Hire finally allows himself to touch another human being.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Monsieur Hire is one of Georges Simenon's most fascinating narratives. The film, a remake of film made in the late 1940s, the film is carried by Sandrine Bonnaire and Michel Blanc; who plays an odd little man who is hated his by neighbours and children for his impassive nature and indifference to the world around them. Our Monsieur Hire is enthralled by Alice, who he spies on in secret and from behind the window, while Alice loves another man, who is unreliable, frivolous, and is also a murderer. Alice knows of the crime and plays a perverse game of seduction with Monsieur Hire. Thus the film unfolds as the players take on their respective mantels. The director Patrice Leconte's camera is slow as it pans on lingering fashion on faces and hand gestures of the characters. This is a truly excellent film that ticks all the boxes in my case - highly recommended.
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