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3 Films by Louis Malle (Au Revoir Les Enfants / Murmur of the Heart / Lacombe, Lucien) (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Of all the famous French directors perhaps the best box set would be Louis Malle's Collection vol 2. Read morePublished 15 months ago by technoguy
This box set contains three movies, two of which are excellent. Au Revoir Les Enfants and Murmur of the Heart are both excellent. Au Revoir... Read morePublished on July 24, 2014 by Paul Kao
PERFECT AND CLASSIC BOXSET. I GUESS BUYING THIS WILL TRULY BE AN HONOR TO SOMEONE WHO LOVES FILMS AND COLLECTING THEM.Published on April 7, 2013 by HAN XIAO
Having already reviewed these three films individually (all five star reviews and easily make the top ten's in their respective years), I decided to go ahead and review this... Read morePublished on December 2, 2010 by Andrew Ellington
First, let me say that I greatly respect and appreciate many of the reviewer comments for this collection of three movies by Louis Malle. Read morePublished on November 3, 2010 by Jay Stone
This movie centers around the WWII time-frame, in the French countryside, at a boys school. This school also took in or "hid" certain Jewish boys away from the Nazi's who occupied... Read morePublished on September 13, 2009 by Fuzzy Wuzzy
In 1987, Louis Malle, after a run of American produced films that worked (My Dinner With Andre, Atlantic City) and failed (Pretty Baby, Crackers), decided to return to his roots... Read morePublished on September 7, 2008 by Cosmoetica
Director Malle's masterpiece is a subtly drawn, wrenching tale of childhood innocence lost to the madness of war. Read morePublished on July 6, 2007 by John Farr
I bought this set primarily because I liked Elevator to the Gallows, directed by Louis Malle who also dircted the three films discussed here. Read morePublished on December 3, 2006 by Lord of Dance
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