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Spiral: Series 1 [DVD] [2005]

4.4 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Grégory Fitoussi, Caroline Proust, Philippe Duclos, Audrey Fleurot, Fred Bianconi
  • Directors: Philippe Triboit, Pascal Chaumeil
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Dolby, Digital Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Oct. 2008
  • Run Time: 418 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015083Q2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,661 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

This recent French TV sensation is a dark and labyrinthine Parisian crime drama with shades of CSI, The Wire and 24.

When the badly beaten body of a young Romanian woman is discovered on a Parisian rubbish dump, the investigation plunges us deep into the murky worlds of prostitution, drugs, business, politics and justice…

The investigation is led by Pierre Clément, a young recently-named public prosecutor, who teams up with Police Captain Laure Bathaud and investigating magistrate Judge Roban – three indomitable characters with their own methods, beliefs, demons and visions of justice.

As the young woman’s identity and past life are gradually uncovered, it soon becomes apparent that her story is tied to a network of corruption touching the very people charged with uncovering the truth about her.

Starring Gregory Fitoussi, Caroline Proust, Philippe Duclos, Guillaume Cramoisan and featuring Anne Caillon.

Review

Tense and nasty, restrained and realistic: more Bête than Belle
-- The Guardian

There's an element of CSI in the graphic autopsy scene, a bit of 24 in the fancy camerawork and a lot of the wonderful State of Play in the hints of wrongdoing in high places. -- The Observer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Extremely enjoyable. Good story, well played out in Paris. The actors believable, filming out of the studio and a story that keeps you interested. Far superior to The Wire where it was difficult to follow due to the fact that the actors mumble.
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Highly addictive French subtitled drama. Am on season 4-now
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Very satisfied. Arrived promptly.
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I bought this series for two reasons. I speak french so like to watch french films to stop getting too rusty. I also like series like The Wire, 24, the shield and to a lesser extent CIS. So I thought this would be entertaining.

I wasn't expecting to be blown away.

I sat down yesterday, a lazy Sunday afternoon, to watch the first couple of episodes and went to bed at 1am, after having watched the entire series back-to-back.

A complicated storyline, about a murdered young woman found in a skip, that reveals itself episode by episode with surprises right up until the end. A police investigation with flawed detectives. A politically sensitive criminal justice department that will happily persecute anyone without political clout. Shameless lawyers with heart. A dark and twisting crime thriller wrapped up in french flair. Spiral is the name, and the name reflects the plot - don't expect anything to be straightforward.

I'm not sure exactly what it is about the series that gripped me so much. The acting is very good, the interplay between characters is subtle and real, the storyline is fairly straightforward but is interwoven with many subplots, some simple some convoluted. Production values are high. It is the sum of the parts that makes the series excellent.

However, the series does have some flaws. The major flaw is that the storyline, as it reveals, depends on some quite striking coincedences of who knows who, which do stretch credibility once you sit back and think about it. The point is, though, that you don't think about it as the drama is so engrossing.

Another flaw, for some, is that the storyline does not resolve as neatly or as clearly as you might want. Personally, after enjoying the ride so much whilst it lasted, I am not going to complain now.
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Great
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Format: DVD
This series really is brilliant. Like previous reviewers I didn't have high hopes - the French are not renowned for exporting quality television - but by the end of episode one I was not only very impressed, I was hooked. The 8 episodes are uniformly high quality but the whole production is so subtely executed that it's hard to pinpoint exactly why it's so good. Some stand outs -

It looks fantastic. The cast are striking and the whole thing is filmed through a wonderful muted metallic sheen. The camera work is modern and dynamic but not intrusive. It works. The backdrop is Paris, but unlike so many other productions set there this isn't an advert on behalf of the French tourist board. We know we are in Paris but it's no sightseeing tour - there's no time for elaborate scene-setting. The odd glimpses we do get - The Eiffel Tower, Basin de la Vilette, the Bois de Vincennes, the Seine, the Musee Gustave Moreau - are all the better for being so brief.

The plot is excellent. The main story of the dead Romanian girl unravels slowly and brings together many disparate subplots and characters - it is masterfully done. It's not super-complicated, but there are many surprises along the way and almost every episode ends on a cliff hanger so effective that you will find it hard to get off the sofa.

The ideas are fresh and varied. While it's all been done in this type of show, the crimes and criminals in Spiral are well thought out and varied. There are many dilemmas presented to the viewer and an array of villains in every guise. The motives are believable, the stories conflicting, and you are left questioning if everything is as it seems.

The performances are of a very high standard.
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I watched this on BBC Four way back. It is one of, if not the best crime drama to be made in years. I've had it on my V+ since it was repeated last year and watched it again and again, it still doesn't get boring. I can't believe it has taken this long to come to DVD.

It refuses to shy away from the graphic realities of the criminal underworld - visually it is stunning and sometimes sickening - probably not for those with a weak stomach. The title in French is 'Engrenage' meaning 'ratchet'. The tale gets more and more twisted, more and more engrossing as it progresses, the tension builds and compels you to watch on. Up there with 24, Waking The Dead and Lost. It's just such a shame that Canal+ haven't made a second series until now, and I cannot wait to see later in the year when it's on British TV.
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A superb series and well worth the money, a dense plot that slowly unravels at a measured atmospheric pace. The coke snorting damaged detective is well worth the price of this set on his own.Interesting to see how the French Justice system works or doesn't as the case may be. I hear a second series is out soon just hope the BBC give it a better time slot as the first series was far superior to much of the so call drama on the UK networks.
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