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Cul-De-Sac [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1966] [Region B]

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Donald Pleasence, Iain Quarrier, Francoise Dorleac, Jack Macgowran, Lionel Stander
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Producers: Martin Ransohoff, Sam Waynberg, Gene Gutowski
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Feb. 2017
  • Run Time: 1.52 hours
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B01N7CVMAA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,728 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Synopsis

Roman Polanski (Repulsion) orchestrates a mental ménage à trois in this slyly absurd tale of paranoia from the director's golden 1960s period. Donald Pleasance (Halloween) and Françoise DorlÉac (The Soft Skin) star as a withdrawn couple whose isolated house is invaded by a rude, burly American gangster on the run, played by Lionel Stander (Unfaithfully Yours). The three engage in role-playing games of sexual and emotional humiliation. Cul-de-sac is an evocative, claustrophobic, and morbidly funny tale of the modern world in chaos.

Amend Special Features:

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Two Gangsters and an Island, a 2003 documentary about the making of Cul-de-sac, featuring interviews with Polanski, producer Gene Gutowski, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor
  • Television Interview with Polanski from 1967
  • Theatrical trailers
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thompson

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Don't listen to the other reviewer. He doesn't seem to have grasped or appreciated what makes this film so good - the atmosphere and the characters. The plot is minimal and only serves to enhance these other two aspects of the film. Personally I think this is a much more moody, much more unique, and much more interesting film than Repulsion. It's an acquired taste but if you love stunningly shot character-based films with a twist of surreal humour, I would advise to get it this instant. All in all, an unforgetable film.
Be aware though, there is another version of the disc in a Roman Polanski boxset, including both this film and Repulsion and Knife On The Water. Works out cheaper than buying all the titles individually!
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It has been 30 years since I first saw this film, yet it still rates as one of my all time favourites. Forget about special effects and daredevil stunts-you won't see either of those in Cul-De-Sac. It's a strange film which highlights the devastating effect that unexpected events can have on human relationships. At first glance it's a black comedy, but running throughout the film are dark menacing undercurrents which maintain the attention of the audience. All of the leading acters are good, but Donald Pleasance, as the bumbling, insecure host to his unwelcome guests is outstanding. In my opinion his best performance ever. Polanski's quirky direction has never been bettered, and the exterior photography is spectacular. Brilliant.
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This is one of those great "Art" films - a term I don't like much, but which has to be applied here. It's about time this got a good DVD release and ODEON have done us proud. Beautiful B/W 1.78.1 photography, Crystal clear picture. The sound leaves just a little bit to be desired, but that is mainly due to Plesence's tendency to mumble hysterically (which of course is his character),and Dorleac's occasional impenetrable accent, neither of which spoiled a moment of this film's pleasures. What performences Pleasence and Stander give! Both probably deliver the best performences of their careers, and I just marvelled at them both. Dorleac is so just right as the (odd) young trophy wife, and adds her madness to the plot, as well as her rather perfect nude body. It doesn't seem a moment too long at 107' and made me want to watch "REPULSION" again. Highly recomended to everyone who likes slightly different, non mainstream cinema (I hope those words don't limit an audience to film buffs only). Oh, Jack MacGowran is pretty good too!!. There are extras too, but I haven't watched them.
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Firstly despite the difficult filming process that this film was engaged in,The direction and performances run so smoothly as if it's chocolate flowing neatly in to its final block that will be welcomed greatly from one like me to get my jaws in too. Quite simply every line in this film is delivered with the utmost perfection leading to some of lines being absolutely hilarious. 'Pleasence' made me laugh greatly when ever he's trying to explain that 'Stander' has mental problems talking about him as he's some senile old fool, brilliant. The performances of all involved are highly energetic kept me hooked throughout,the casting for this picture was a stroke of genius.I am a massive fan of Polanski and this is certainly one that stands out quite possibly as his best. It's a unique experience not many other films give of quite such a good ambiance , Top marks it's a cinematic gem.
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From the immaculate direction to the perfect casting, Cul-de-Sac is a truly sucessful and unique film. Beautifully shot in black and white with a haunting soundtrack this DVD is also a document of the tough circumstances under which it was made.
If you despair at films like Polanski's 'Oliver Twist' then get this to remind you of his undoubted genius.
You can lose yourself in this one.
A haunting minor classic of major proportions.
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Format: DVD
Released in 1966 right after Repulsion, Cul-de-sac is Roman Polanski's third feature film and one of his favorites according to his autobiography. In a world that acclaims Repulsion as being not only his masterpiece but also one of the greatest films ever made, it is revealing to read the great director dismissing his `greatest achievement' as a mere cash cow needed to fund the real labor of love that followed it. Cul-de-sac did win the Silver Bear at the 1966 Berlin film festival, but it's hardly accepted as a major work even today although it is good to see some positive posts here on Amazon. It flopped disastrously in the States and even in Europe it fell into the shadow cast by its predecessor. It's a shame really because I think in its own unique way it is rather wonderful. In fact all early Polanski is essential viewing, and Anchor Bay's 4 DVD set of Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Cul-de-sac and a selection of his bizarre short films from the late `50s would be self-recommending if it wasn't so expensive.

Cul-de-sac is undeniably an odd affair. Co-written by Polanski with Gérard Brach, it's a mixture of gangster flick and jet black comedy related in a style reminiscent of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter which makes for a film which is difficult to pigeon-hole. Think The Petrified Forest (1936, Archie Mayo), Key Largo (1948, John Huston) and The Desperate Hours (1955, William Wyler) crossed with Waiting for Godot and The Birthday Party, and you might get close to describing Polanski's exploration of themes that became obsessive for him across all his films - especially sexual repression, gender games, psychological retardation and the tendency of human beings to assert themselves by destroying those around them.
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