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on 13 February 2010
Chabrol's subject is the strong emotions: jealousy, greed, guilt. His films mostly include crimes, but the investigation is a side-show, the policeman a minor character. Chabrol studies the perpetrator taking him or her through various stages. These are bleak films, the settings are off season seaside resorts, country houses, small towns or suburbs. The characters are mainly the bourgeoisie, no working class crime here. Compelling, beautifully filmed and constructed. Chabrol uses a small repertory group of actors who are clearly comfortable with him and he with them. The one surprise is, that while he has tackled Flaubert, Chabrol has never attempted Zola. Therese Raquin could have been written for him.
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on 3 November 2010
A truly Great Film Director the late Claude Chabrol, a film Director who can handle any material to give such devastating effect; he always manages to get such good performances from his female actresses in The Breach a great performance from Stephane Audran, very hard to believe this film is 40 years old, but it has lost none of it's magic. I can remember being very young when I first saw this film all those years ago.
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.
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on 8 April 2010
Chabrol is an acquired taste, so the two Arrow box sets are not only great value (especially at Amazon discount prices) but also a good way to get a taste for the cool detached droll pleasures of Chabrol's cinema.
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.
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on 19 April 2013
Chabrol films always fascinate and contain surprises which keep you on the edge of your seat. He also portrays French social life in the era excellently.
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on 2 August 2013
Good value collection - 6 films for less than £20 - got to be good!. Never really been into Chabrol before, preferring Melville, Louis Malle and Truffaut but as an intro to Chabrol this a good way to go.
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on 15 April 2010
At least 4 out of 6 films are very watchable. The first one Road to Corinth is too silly to be taken seriously. The last one The fower of Evil is too contrived for my liking. My favourite is Innocents with dirty hands with Romy schneider and Rod Steiger, whose acting skills are remarkable although the story is a bit convoluted and has a messy ending. Pleasure Party is a character study of the jealousy of a monstrous husband. The Breach (La rupture) shows class warfare and snobbism of bourgeoisie in France not too different from English society.
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on 2 March 2014
While the first Chabrol box is a thrill to watch, 4 out of the 6 films included being masterpieces, 1 still a good film and only one I couldn't get into, now this Vol. 2 is a bit of a disappointment.
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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on 3 November 2015
Five excellent films and one mediocre. Although the mediocrity has excellent touristy shots of the Corinth Canal.
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on 7 November 2015
I love French Films
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on 21 April 2016
Played them all really did not want to come to the end of this set very enjoyable
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