Jean-Pierre Melville (1917 - 1974) is one of the most revered French film directors of all time. Born in Paris during WW1, he was to become a member of the French resistance in the Second World War, an experience which he drew on in his later career as a film director, routinely plunging his characters into an underworld of secrecy and deception. The reluctant godfather of the French New Wave, Melville's highly individual style was influenced by the ideas of existentialism and surrealism, but arguably his greatest debt was to classical American cinema, the traditions of which he wove with inimitable style into his quintessentially French films. Hailed by many as the father of the French gangster movie, he was inspired by the classic film noirs of 1930s and 40s Hollywood, imbuing many his films with a sense of menace and impending peril, creating a sinister underworld to be traversed by his ubiquitous gun-toting hoodlums.
This set contains six of his finest films, from his early bittersweet masterpiece, Bob Le Flambeur, to his final film, Un flic, his wonderfully fatalistic study of loss and deception; a fitting epitaph to one of the finest careers in contemporary cinema.
Jean-Pierre Melville (1917 - 1974) is one of the most revered French film directors of all time. Born in Paris, he was to become a member of the French Resistance in the Second World War, an experience which he drew on as a film director, creating underworlds of secrecy and deception.
Army of Shadows (1969): Regarded as one of the best films ever made about wartime France. Members of the French resistance fight for freedom in the face of constant danger. Extras: Ginette Vincendeau Commentary / Le Journal de la Resistance - a 33 minute documentary / Melville short film
Le Doulos (1962): An unforgettable story of trust, betrayal and honour. A criminal, just free from jail, goes in search of revenge. Extras: Selected Scene Commentary / Ginette Vincendeau Introduction / Interview with Assistant Director Volker Schlondorff / Original Trailer
Leon Morin Pretre (1961): Unforgettable drama set in occupied France. A beautiful but disillusioned woman becomes friends with a priest, but her feelings for him soon deepen dangerously. Extras: Selected Scene Commentary / Ginette Vincendeau Introduction / Interview with Assistant Director Volker Schlöndorff / Original Trailer
Le Cercle Rouge (1970): A suave jewel thief teams up with a fugitive and a reckless ex-cop to carry out an elaborate heist. Extras: Ginette Vincendeau Commentary and Introduction / Interview with Assistant Director Bernard Stora / Original Trailer
Bob Le Flambeur (1956): An early foray into the gangster genre, Melville's self-confessed 'love letter to Paris' follows the world-weary eponymous hero Bob, a down on his luck gambler embarking on his final crime. Extras: Introduction by Melville expert Ginette Vincendeau.
Un Flic (1972): A Parisian police commissioner and the leader of a gang of criminals, in love with the same woman, clash when a daring bank robbery takes place.