|Le Cercle Rouge|
Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Gian Maria Volonté, André Bourvil
Criterion Collection Two-disc set; in French; widescreen; English subtitles; excerpts from a 1970 documentary on Jean-Pierre Melville's career; new video interview with Rui Nogueira, Melville friend and editor of "Melville on Melville"; new video interview with "Le Cercle Rouge" assistant director Bernard Stora; 30 minutes of rare on-set footage featuring interviews with director Jean-Pierre Melville, and stars Alain Delon, Yves Montand, and André Bourvil; French television interview footage with Melville and Delon; poster gallery, behind-the-scenes photos, and publicity photos; 24-page booklet with an introduction from filmmaker John Woo, new essays by film critics Michael Sragow and Chris Fujiwara, and excerpts from Rui Nogueira's book "Melville on Melville" regarding "Le Cercle Rouge"; iriginal theatrical trailer; 2002 theatrical re-release trailer.
|The only French filmmaker who could match Jean-Pierre Melville when it came to cranking out a killer "policier," as cops 'n' crooks films are known in France, was Henri-Georges Clouzot. But writer/director Melville specialized in heists and existential anti-heroes, while Clouzot was more about ordinary people drawn into criminal acts. Melville's underworld pros, from the suave, world-weary title character in his landmark "noir wave" caper flick "Bob le Flambeur" to the hardened schemers played by Alain Delon, Yves Montand and Gian Maria Volonté in "Le Cercle Rouge," are some of the most compelling, yet morally ambiguous figures in film. And "Le Cercle Rouge," lovingly restored by Criterion in a two-DVD set, is a memorable example of the expertise and sensibility that influenced international devotees such as Chinese action-movie kingpin John Woo. Callous crook Corey (Delon), just released from jail, encounters Vogel (Volonté), a dangerous criminal who has escaped the custody of Parisian police captain Mattei (André Bourvil). Teaming up with ex-cop-on-the-skids Jansen (Montand), Corey and Vogel map out an elaborate jewel robbery. But Jansen's alcoholism and Mattei's diligent pursuit of Vogel may be the plan's undoing.|