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Criterion Collection: Le Samourai [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Criterion Collection: Le Samourai [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Melville Boxset [DVD] + Alain Delon Boxset (Screen Icons) [DVD]
Price For All Three: £57.89

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Product details

  • Actors: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer, Cathy Rosier, Jacques Leroy
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Writers: Jean-Pierre Melville, Georges Pellegrin, Joan McLeod
  • Producers: Eugène Lépicier, Raymond Borderie
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct 2005
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQKUG8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,026 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Things suddenly go badly for a successful French assassin.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ackneyladd on 21 Sep 2010
Format: DVD
One of my top ten favourite films of all time - the film looks wonderful and Alain Delon as the lone hired killer has got to be one of the few times in any film where you feel any sympathy for him at the end. Paris in 1967 is beautifully invoked in light greys and greens, a perfect film in as the acting, photography and direction couldn't have been better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 July 2012
Format: DVD
The Moodiness is provided by the surly handsomeness of Alain Delon, here, as the Assassin. His trench-coat and hat, his piercing gaze and stylised posturing make him Mean. And the steady, majestic film-noir feel of Jean Pierre Melville's direction, with its muted colours, show a mellow, underside of Paris.

As Jef Costello, Delon carries out his deed in a jazz nightclub, but there are witnesses. He is subsequently picked up by the police and everything links him to the murder, except none of those called to bear witness do so and a false alibi from the lovely femme fatale, Jane, who it seems was played by Delon's wife, as her character is accredited to Nathalie Delon and according to IMDb have had a son, Anthony.

As we subtly learn, the witnesses in the Club are all in on the crime but of course, an assassin that might expose those who commissioned it, by being no. 1 suspect, are susceptible to a taste of their own medicine, shall we say? I'll leave the plot there, as it's enough for one to imagine the storylines linking them without giving anything away.

But, it's the cool complexity and smoothness of the direction, that's a textbook study of the routine police-work, which becomes riveting, in itself. Every frame counts, the angles, the backgrounds - not so much that it gets all too much or is flashy and never upstages the coolest hit-man since Humphrey Bogart. With the looks that even Paul Newman might envy, Delon eschews a steely fragility, he doesn't show it, but we sense it's there, at times. That's the quality of the acting for you.

The music, in particular, has that haunting, 'man alone' sort of theme, by Francois de Roubaix. Very Gallic, very French - the music makes you more intent and fits perfectly.

Now, to the Korean DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 5 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
If you got the excellent Optimum Melville box set you will know that Le Samourai was conspicuously absent. I don't think it's ever been officially released in UK - which is odd given that it is Melville's most famous film (there must be licensing / distribution issues). But have no fear - this Korean edition currently available on Amazon at a reasonable price is perfectly ok - in French with good optional English (or Korean) subtitles & region 2 (it played fine on my fairly basic dvd player). It actually seems to be the American Criterion edition repackaged for the Korean market, so there are also some extras including an intro from Ginette Vincendeau speaking to camera in English. Great film of course.
Note: There may be other editions from other regions floating about now and in the future - this review is for the Korean edition puchased on Amazon June 2013.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The Sundance Kid on 10 April 2007
Format: DVD
Le Samourai is the ultimate in Jean Pierre Melville's essays on the gangster and his image, portraying a gun for hire-style assasin excellently played by the effortlessly cool Alain Delon. Every element of the film is near-perfect: the sparse, minimal style, the fantastic visuals - playing with stereotypical images of costumes, settings, Henri Decae's stunning cinematography, an awesome jazz score from Francois de Roubaix and an engaging noir-ish plot co-written by Melville. This film by one of France's ultimate auteurs is a clever and complex masterpiece.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By EJS on 20 Dec 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The dvd itself is perfectly fine quality, both audio and video, but the link and description hadnt correctly described this as being a Korean version, so the packaging is primarily in Korean text, with some small bits of English here and there. The spine of the DVD has the title in French, then the title in Korean letters. The back is 75% Korean letters.

At the end of the day, this doesnt impact the ability to watch the video, so I'm not that bothered, but the incomplete description when I ordered it is the reason I havent given this the 5 stars that the movie itself certainly merits.

As for Le Samourai - just as smooth, slick and atmospheric as I had remembered it. I'm not the most nostalgic guy around, but this made me want to live in Paris in the 60s!
Alain Delon is the perfect blank-faced "gangster with a code", who plans a hit flawlessly, but when things go wrong anyway, proceeds fearlessly.

A must-watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
Le Samouraï, one of the most highly praised French films of the 1960s, and justifiably so. Having only just caught it for the first time, I'm not sure what more I can say about a film that has been discussed, dissected, praised and pored over for nearly five decades now.

Plot is simplicity, hit-man Jef Costello (Alain Delon) enacts a hit but he is witnessed fleeing the scene and spends the rest of the film trying to make sure his alibi holds up. His employers want him erased so as to avoid detection themselves, the head detective on the case knows Jef did it but can't quite close the noose around his neck, and Jef is mysteriously drawn to a sultry piano player who happens to be the chief witness against him!

Sparse of dialogue, this is a masterstroke decision by director Jean-Pierre Melville, because what chat there is makes us hang on every word being spoken. It also re-enforces the loneliness essence of the hit-man's life. Jef's apartment is so bland and devoid of personality, the only thing of beauty there is a bird in a cage, the metaphor of such is hard to ignore. Jef himself is beautiful, he also is perpetually in an emotionally frozen cage.

Attired in trenchcoat and fedora hat (or is it a trilby?), it's obvious that Delon and Melville are homaging with great respect the American film noir classic cycle. It's also quite amazing that although the film is technically filmed in colour, it still feels like one of those black and white noirs of the 40s and 50s. There's a coldness to Henri Decaë's (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows) photography that so befits the story, the interiors are stripped of life, the exteriors almost always gloomy.
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