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3 Films by Louis Malle (Au Revoir Les Enfants / Murmur of the Heart / Lacombe, Lucien) (The Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Mar 28, 2006)
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The Criterion Collection
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Boxed set includes "Lacombe Lucien," "Murmur of the Heart," "Au revoir, les enfants" and the bonus disc Louis Malle: The Supplements.

Special Features

  • Three feature films: Murmur of the Heart (1971), Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Au revoir les enfants (1987)
  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Essays by critics Michael Sragow, Pauline Kael, and Philip Kemp
  • New and improved English subtitle translations
  • Exclusive bonus disc of supplements featuring:
  • New interviews with actor and Louis Malle widow Candice Bergen and biographer Pierre Billard
  • Excerpts from a French TV program featuring the director on the sets of Murmur of the Heart and Lacombe, Lucien
  • Audio interviews with Malle from 1972, 1980, and 1988
  • The Immigrant, Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short comedy, featured in Au revoir les enfants
  • A profile of the provocative character of Joseph from Au revoir les enfants, created by filmmaker Guy Magen in 2005
  • Louis Malle filmography

Product Details

  • Actors: Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clément, Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin
  • Directors: Louis Malle
  • Writers: Louis Malle, Patrick Modiano
  • Producers: Louis Malle, Claude Nedjar, Vincent Malle
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 611 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1YVZK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "3 Films by Louis Malle (Au Revoir Les Enfants / Murmur of the Heart / Lacombe, Lucien) (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
These are dark psychological films that examine seemingly normal people in the most unusual circumstances, from a vacation of sexual awakening to the choices that individuals made during WWII.

I was utterly rivetted by all three of these films when I saw them. Murmur of the Heart is about a boy and his mother, who have gone on vacation alone in the South of France. He is an intelligent if callow mama's boy and his mother, who is an extraordinary though aging beauty, is seeking something she can never quite grasp in her many extra-marital affairs. There is an aching sexual tension between them, a source of the kinds of secrets that take years to resolve on a psychiatrst's couch. It is a genuine masterpiece sure to generate controversy.

Lacombe Lucian is about a chamelion-like man who becomes a collaborator after being rejected by the French resistence (I reveal nothing here). It is about how sleaze, in the wrong circumstances, can flower into the greatest evil. Though it is the weakest of the bunch, it is still a 5-star piece of work.

The third film, Au Revoir les Enfants, is a poignant film about a friendship that grows across a cultural divide, jew v. catholic. The setting is a boarding school during the war, and the jewish boy is a fugitive from the German occupiers, who would send him to a concentration camp in an instant. Slowly, we watch the tension and fear grow, along with the love between the two boys, one of whom is playing with power in the most childish ways. I wept at the end of the film.

If anything could convince us capitalists (and I am one) that the "market" (i.e. Hollywood) does not always result in "optimal" results (i.e.
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I wrote a review of this release earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. Fortunately, these wonderful films have not. They've been among my favorites of all time for decades. "Murmur" is probably the best "coming of age" film ever made. It has everything from philosophical angst in the midst of petty shoplifting to, well, something no other "coming of age" film has. But despite the controversial nature of that part of the movie, this film was something of a sensation even when it played in the Midwest in the early '70s. It's funny as hell, but it is also very wise and in the best traditions of French films about life and love, including particularly family life. It will have you laughing and crying.

I don't think "Lucien" ever made it to VHS. It's also "coming of age" but in a different way. It's especially timely in these days of young kids getting caught up in military service

that they do not completely understand. Like "Au Revoir", it's set in the WWII period, whereas "Murmur" is set in the '50s.

"Au Revoir" is another great film with a different "coming of age" theme, like "Murmur" involving friendship and family and like "Lucien", also about choices. This is one of the most beautiful movies about friendship ever made. There are several scenes that will have you transfixed, including some, like the Charlie Chaplin excerpts, that are included in extras.

I haven't seen the extras yet, but as soon as I heard about this release, I pre-ordered it. These are sensational stories and unforgettable characters. Malle made a lot of films, but these are his best by far, and most of the critics, including the crankiest, agree that they have stood the test of time and are now classics of the cinema.

I waited back in the '80s to get these movies on VHS. I was pleased to give my VHS copies of "Murmur" and "Au Revoir"

to a friend as soon as I got my DVD set.
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Format: DVD
The Malle box set contains "Murmur of the Heart" (1971), "Lacombe, Lucien" (1974) and his triumph "Au Revoir Les Enfants" (1987) -- all remarkable films set in France. They are in color, with Criterion's usual first-rate transfers (widescreen, enhanced). These films, taken as a trilogy, argue for Malle's inclusion as one of the great directors of the century's second half. They are humanistic works -- uplifting in many places and deeply sad in others. The performances Malle gets from his players are uniformly rich.

Descriptions of "Murmur" usually begin and end with the incest between the teen hero and his youthful mother, but most of the time the film serves up a comic, life-affirming look at growing up in 1950s France. Biographer Pierre Billard, who gives an excellent talk about Malle in the set's extra-features disc, says the French debate over the incest scene quickly morphed into a larger debate over censorship. Malle, he says, "courted scandal."

"Lacombe, Lucien" also brought controversy. The story of a brutish French teenage who joins occupying Germans in hunting down resistance fighters was condemned as soft on collaborators. Malle, who loved documentaries, employed a distanced, non-judgmental tone that acknowledged the humanity of the blood-simple turncoat.

Malle moved to the United States in the late '70s, creating some notable English-language films ("Atlantic City," "Pretty Baby") and some bombs ("Crackers"). His late '80s homecoming inspired more criticism. Malle's years in the States had alienated his countrymen. "They still haven't forgiven him for that," says Candice Bergen, who gives an otherwise upbeat talk about her late husband on the DVD. "It's horrible." (Malle died in 1995, in Los Angeles.
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