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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2004
This is quintessential Gallic Cool of the Sixties, detached, stylist in the minimalist fashion, and filmed by a master, Jacques Demy himself.
Claude Mann plays the underpaid bank clerk who falls for Jeanne Moreau's divorced, platinum blonde gambler, and learns that there is no way their love, or whatever it is that they have going, can compete with potential gainings at the roulette table.
"Gambling is no more immoral than poverty or ugliness", a cocky young Jean replies to his father before taking the big plunge that, hopefully, will keep all spectators at a safe distance from gambling which is depicted as pure avarice, undiluted greed, a fever. Moreau's Jacki goes through literally packets of Gauloises in this film, and she pats her peroxide hair nervously at every turn and there is no end to her degradation. And Jean has never EVER met anyone like her before!
This new edition of Demy's fatalistic, deeply impressive film is carefully restored and looks great. Extras are few, but to the point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 September 2011
Bay of Angels (1963) (La baie des anges), is a 90-minute French romantic drama that was written and directed by the noted Jacques Demy (Umbrellas of Cherbourg: Special Edition [DVD]; Les Demoiselles De Rochefort [1967] [DVD]). BAY stars the beauteous Jeanne Moreau (Jules And Jim: Jules Et Jim [DVD] [1962]) as Jacqueline 'Jackie' Demaistre, hopelessly addicted gambler, estranged wife of a millionaire, mother of a son she has given up. Before its current release, the film has been extensively cleaned up and restored by Agnes Varda, Demy's widow, and a noted director in her own right.

Jean Fournier (Claude Mann, Army of Shadows [DVD]) is a bank clerk who has just been turned onto casino gambling by his colleague Caron (Paul Guers). Jean will meet Jackie in the casinos; their love affair will follow their luck at roulette. Moreau, I think, wasn't born to be a blonde, as she is in this movie; still, she's elegantly dressed in designer Pierre Cardin creations, all in black and white to match her beloved roulette wheels, and she looks good. Mann, in a good light, looks a little like Jean-Paul Belmondo. As assistant director behind Demy, we have the Greek Costa-Gavras, (Z, MISSING) who would become an admired director himself. The score was by the talented Michel Legrand, who also did scores for UMBRELLAS and THE YOUNG GIRLS. In fact, there's a lot of talent before and behind the cameras in this black and white film; the question is, that being so, how did it turn out as such a mediocre venture?

If you're not particularly interested in Demy, the only good reason to see it is Moreau. Reviewers raved about her at the movie's initial release. Time Magazine said, "Jeanne Moreau forcefully demonstrates the verve, style and flamboyant femaleness that make her the envy of European sex symbols much greener in years and cooler in blood. Her wicked, winning presence has saved a bad movie from utter oblivion, and at 36 she knows how to turn Bay of the Angels into a one woman show." And the New York Times said "With unfailing artistry, Jeanne Moreau displays her four-octave dramatic range. A bravura demonstration of star power on the rampage." So, only for her fans.
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