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Alphaville [1965]

Eddie Constantine , Anna Karina , Jean-Luc Godard    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Howard Vernon, Valérie Boisgel
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Producers: André Michelin
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002YARSD6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,545 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Written and directed by Godard, ALPHAVILLE is the strangely beautiful futuristic tale of Lemmy Caution, an American private eye sent to a planet ruled by Von Brau, a malevolent scientist who has outlawed human emotions in favour of logic. ABOUT THE DVD: This is a DVD release by OPTIMUM RELEASING for the UK market (Region 2 PAL format - which will play on all standard DVD players in the UK and the rest of Europe, buyers outside of Europe will need a multi-region player in order to view it) - The film deals with the fight between individualism in the face of inhumanity and blind conformity, and won the Golden Bear award of the Berlin Film Featival in 1965. ABOUT THE DVD: The film is presented in BLACK & WHITE and FULL SCREEN format (1.33:1 Aspect Ratio) and runs for 95 minutes - the AUDIO is the original FRENCH language and MONO - SUBTITLES are in ENGLISH and are optional (they can be switched on or off via the menu).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and Profound Film 25 Sep 2005
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Forty years old it may be , but I was mightily impressed by "Alphaville" ,a monochromatic science-fiction/detective/love story directed by Jean-Luc Godard.The plot is not unlike that of "1984" , with Eddie Constantine playing Lemmy Caution, a spy sent to eliminate the creator of a "Big Brother" computer called "Alpha 60" which controls the lives,thoughts and actions of the Alphaville metropolis. Lemmy assumes the identity of a reporter ,meets up and falls in love with Anna Karina's Natasha Von Braun (the daughter of the dictator of Alphaville who Lemmy is there to assassinate) and as he discovers more about the city and "Alpha 60", he comes into conflict with the authorities. The cinematography ,direction and editing of "Alphaville" is mesmerising; every image is full of movement ,inventive camera angles and surreal imagery all combined together into one mellifluous visual totality. This cinematic quality complements the profundity of the philosophical questions raised in the film ,which are many years ahead of their time and are equally relevant today because the symbolic city of Alphaville bears marked similarities to modern Western society;a corporate civilisation which strives for cultural,social and political homogeneity, holds emotions such as love,tenderness,generosity and sacrifice in contempt, and prefers to build a hierarchical society based on logic,science ,censorship and regimentation. However the main symbol of resistance to Alpha 60 , Lemmy Caution ,is a bit of an anti-hero and this adds further depth to the film. While abhorring the totalitarian technocracy of Alphaville , Lemmy is not averse to displaying some of the negative emotions and actions that Alpha 60 was created to eliminate, such as machismo,murder, impulsiveness and self-centredness. Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Godard belongs to that first generation of filmmakers who could reference the history of cinema - he grew up in a culture which was largely shaped by cinematic reference. The nature of Godard's cinema is the wonder of the cinema - his films are as much about filmmaking as about character or narrative, are told in the language of cinema.
Godard developed a style of remaining distanced, of observing his characters, often leaving them to improvise while he tried to capture the immediacy of their action and reaction. In "Alphaville" - originally entitled "Tarzan vs. IBM" - Godard combines a futuristic, science fiction tale with American gangster noir and the comic book tradition to explore the dehumanising effects of computers and the corporate identities they create. Made in 1965, its vision is extraordinary. While the 'new' technology demonstrated in the film now appears clunky and quaint, "Alphaville" parallels Orwell's "1984" in creating a dystopic vision of the future.
Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is agent 003, a Dick Tracy character, complete with trenchcoat, felt hat, Zippo, and a .45 calibre automatic. He has come to Alphaville to assassinate its dictator, Professor Von Braun. This is a city ruled by the computer, the Alpha-60, and its scientist creators and neophytes. Politics no longer exists, only the dehumanising logic of the binary system.
Shot in Paris on a very tight budget, Godard makes graphic use of his surroundings, playing with the black and white images and emphasising the ruggedness of Constantine and the striking beauty of Anna Karina.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult for some! 22 Jan 2012
Theres no doubt about the directors status as one of the greats, but this will not be for everybody. Partly a film noir movie, with some elements, particularly in the dialog, of sci-fi, and also allegorical references to concentration camps and 1984. This should make an interesting mix.....

However, whilst this might have been in the new wave of cinema in the 60s, it now seems gimicky, in places pretentious, and ended up annoying me. The strange lighting effects, jumpy music and frankly weird goings on are very stylised, which may leave todays audience stone cold.

Its not without merit though. Some of the camera work and photography is superb and there is no doubt that Goddard has created a unique little film here. Whether its your cup of tea will be very much a personal thing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars trite and misogynistic 26 May 2011
By Reader
You really need to be doing a PhD in film studies in order to overlook the simple fact that this is a horribly sexist and intellectually trite film. Its message that love and poetry can defeat 'technocracy' is so ham-fisted, its ironies and attempts at clever reflexivities so dull, that all the viewer is actually left with is a laughable and very ugly bloke 'teaching' empty eyed nymphettes how a real man can give them loving. The detective sent to Alphaville kills a lot of men in order to save his favourite dolly girl, so you would think there was some tension to the film but, in fact, it is not just existentially flat but dull and, let's face it, badly made. I give it two stars as the idea of a distant planet that looks just like 1950s USA is a good one but this is a film that reminds us that the French avant-garde wasn't nearly as clever as it thought it was.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A film that manages to tell a frightening story of ...
A film that manages to tell a frightening story of the future without recourse to futuristic sets and costumes. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Philip Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
A trip down memory lane - first viewing since 1973. It is difficult to place this into any genre as it fits several. Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. F. Halligey
1.0 out of 5 stars I wanted the DVD version
The DVD version, which I now have, is excellent. A fascinating film, full of the unexpected, even though it was made many years ago.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. R. A. Ferdinand
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Legend, and Words.
"Alphaville" is compelling viewing. I'm glad I bought a copy because you really have to watch it several times to take it in. Read more
Published 8 months ago by David Agnew's windowcleaner
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, sleazy, endless, boring
terrible film, passing off crudeness as culture at very available opportunity. Goddard is a misogynist who portrays women as (insert obscenity), and his arguments to the contrary... Read more
Published 16 months ago by pseudonyme
5.0 out of 5 stars "L'amour, c'est quoi?".
Jean-Luc Godard made many either sheer beautiful nouvelle vague films ao A Bout De Souffle & A Band Apart or at least intriguing films like La Chinoise or female adoration in Une... Read more
Published 16 months ago by sunrisespacelab
2.0 out of 5 stars Godard is a FALSE PROPHET in cinema!
I like some of the Godard movies (Breathless,Contempt).But most of them I don't like at all,and he made a lot of them. Read more
Published on 29 Oct 2011 by Yoselovich Boris
1.0 out of 5 stars Raised eyebrow
Archetypal Godard with strange, symbolic behavior substituting for a plot, and cryptic, philosophical declarations substituting for dialog. Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2011 by J. A. Eyon
3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish but lacks substance
Alphaville has a noir atmosphere that sustains it and keeps you watching. The use of nothing more than the most modern parts of sixties Paris to suggest a futuristic world is... Read more
Published on 26 Jan 2011 by DaveH1973
5.0 out of 5 stars Alphaville DVD
Excellent condition, as new, speedy delivery. The film itself is rather arty-farty but it does take me back to my youth when I was very idealistic, into French cinema and enjoying... Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2010 by Stanverr
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