- Directors: Claude Chabrol
- Format: Box set, PAL
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 6
- Studio: Arrow Films
- DVD Release Date: 27 Aug. 2007
- Run Time: 636 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000JR0C7U
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,695 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Claude Chabrol Collection - Vol. 2 [DVD]
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Box set collection of six classic films from the French New Wave director. In 'Innocents With Dirty Hands' (1975), looking for distraction from her passionless marriage, Julie Wormser turns to the arms of family friend, Jeff Marie. Julie's ailing husband Louis is 18-years her senior and becoming increasingly less attentive, and Jeff's feelings for her are barely concealed. However, when distraction is no longer sufficient, she turns to Jeff again - this time lookling for a permanent solution. In 'Who's Got the Black Box' (1967) the wife of an undercover NATO officer comes under suspicion when he is murdered. Determined to clear her name, Shanny (Jean Seberg), sets out to uncover the truth and clear her name. In 'Pleasure Party' (1975), swinger Philippe (Paul Gegauff) gets more than he bargained for when he suggests that he and his wife Esther (Daniel Gegauff) try having a few affairs. When his wife takes him at his word, becoming less and less dependent on him, Philippe's jealosy and possessiveness rears its head. In 'Cop Au Vin' (1985) a small French town suffers a string of murders, Inspecteur Lavardin (Jean Poiret) is despatched to find the culprit. Discovering that the local postman, Louis Cuno (Lucas Belvaux) has been using his position to gather information on potential rivals, Lavardin starts to dig deeper, using any tactics necessary to get his man. Family tensions rise in 'The Flower Of Evil' (2003) as local mother Anne decides to run for mayor. Her decision brings old wounds to the surface, prompting a slanderous letter in the local newspaper accusing the family of, among other things, incest. Although the family maintains a united front, there are hints of even greater secrets to emerge. In 'The Break Up' (1970) Stephane Audran plays Helene Regnier, who has just left her mentally-ill husband Charles (Jean-Claude Drouot) after he assaulted their son. When Charles's parents hire family friend Paul Thomas (Jean-Pierre Cassel) to get some dirt on Helene before the custody battle, he eagerly takes to his new assignment.
Top customer reviews
Also a very good performance from Romy Schneider in Innocents with Dirty Hands, I would rate this being one of Romy Schneiders very best roles and I think this being due to this very exceptional Director being able to coax such a performance from Romy.
I think many of Claude's film give a nod to the American Director Alfred Hitchcock, whom I do know he admired, This Box Set from Amazon is good value.
Individually the films can seem slight but collectively Chabrol's approach becomes clearer & more enjoyable. Basically, he uses popular mainstream genres (eg the Hitchcockian psychological thriller) but uses them as a vehicle for his obsessions involving questions of guilt & justice, as well as for satire at the expense of the French bourgeoisie & authority. But it's probably a mistake to take the films too seriously, mostly Chabrol (like Hitchcock) seems to enjoy playing around with the stock plots, scenarios and characterizations of thrillers as a pleasure in itself.
Chabrol's good films work both as thrillers and as darkly comic "deconstructions" of the genre, but the less good films become little more than uneven potboilers. Almost all the films in box set volume one are good - deliciously plush & perverse efforts from Chabrol's late 60s / early 70s heyday. I have to say that this second volume (six films), on the other hand, is a rather motley collection.
"Road to Corinth" is cheapo 60s B movie spy thriller, though enlivened by the presence of Jean Seberg. "The Breach" is nutty over the top melodramatic farce. "Pleasure Party", about a man's pathological jealousy finally becomes untenable & genuinely nasty. Not a pleasant film. The seductive "Innocents with Dirty Hands", with Romy Schnieder as the murderess on St Tropez, is close to being classic Chabrol despite an overly convoluted plot.
The box ends with two films from Chabrol's late return to form. "Cop au Vin" is a decent 1980s murder mystery which allows Chabrol lots of opportunity for indulging in his Hitchcockian wickedness. "The Flower of Evil" (2003) is probably the most successful film here, revisiting archetypal Chabrol territory - the violent & perverse secrets that lie behind the facade of an upper middle class family and the question of what actually constitutes guilt. Excellent performances from the starry cast.
Anybody interested should definitely get Collection volume one first & then, if you acquire a taste for Chabrol, get this second volume - by which point you'll probably be addicted and more than happy just to sit back and enjoy watching them all without judging each individual film too harshly.
The road to Corinth (1967) might be one of the worst films I've ever seen (not just of Chabrol's catalogue), even Romy Schneider can't save the ridiculous script of Innocents with dirty hands (1975), La rupture (1970) is saved by the always adorable Stephane Audran in a somewhat psychedelic film.
The other films are well-acted, well-directed and nicely photographed pictures. Other than many reviewers (especially American ones) I kind of liked the egocentric protagonist of Pleasure party (1975) - Paul Gegauff.
Cop au vin (1985) and the late work The flower of evil (2003) are well-crafted, but don't throw you off your chair.
So, all in all: OK for entertainment, but just in a different league than the films included in Vol. 1
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