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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:38 pm 
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I'm pretty new to Alain, but he has already become one of my two all-time favorite actors (the other being on my avatar). To be brief, he is a dark, poetic, suave, and charming presence, and his acting is some of the finest I've ever seen.

I've seen very little from him though. It's hard to forget his incredible and powerful performance from "Rocco and His Brothers," or the unbelivable charm of "The Leopard" (with his finest scene being Claudia Cardinale's entrance and the dinner that follows). Perhaps the most impeccable Delon performance I've seen is in "Purple Noon," where he plays the sexy murderer/wife-stealer Tom Ripley.

Like many here, I've currently only seen excerpts from Antonioni's "L'Eclisse" on the Scorsese Italian film documentary, but from the looks of it, that may be Delon's best film (or at least it will be my favorite). I also caught some of "Is Paris Burning," which has a small but serviceable role from Delon (beside Jean-Paul Belmondo and others), and his rather sleazy performance in the Spirits of the Dead segment "William Wilson." That's all I've seen. I intend to purchase "L'Eclisse" the day it's released, and "Le Circle Rouge" and "Mr. Klein" perhaps this week. How is "Un Flic?"

The question is, what are the best Delon DVDs to obtain (besides the Criterion releases)? I saw "Purple Noon" on IFC and I really want a DVD of it, but Amazon.com lists it as being unavailable (though a new release is coming on March, apparently). There is also a German DVD of "Noon" that might be good, though I'm unsure if it has English subtitles.

There are also some out of print DVDs of early 60s Delon films I'm curious about (The Swimming Pool, Joy House, Any Number Can Win). Has anybody seen those?

And the legendary "Le Samourai"...how is the French DVD?

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I'm thinking of buying it this week because I've heard so many great things about this film, and the consensus is that it's Delon's best performance and one of the best French films ever made.

I hope some other fans of his work can help me out. I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to Delon.

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:12 pm 
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dylan wrote:
I'm thinking of buying it this week because I've heard so many great things about this film, and the consensus is that it's Delon's best performance and one of the best French films ever made.


my numbers ain't part of that agreement, so and so, but i'd say that his round in visconti's "rocco and his brothers" is by far, more imperious and immediate. as the film, it has the bitter drama and the severe realism, an interesting unfolding structure vis a vis the brothers; while the camera, i'd say, is consummately expert.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:29 pm 

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Delon's probably my favorite actor, also-- I think Purple Noon was the first time I saw him. Needless to say, I was really powerless to resist.

Le Samourai is my favorite Delon film (and my second favorite film, period). I say buy it no matter what the dvd is like-- or you can wait and hope that Criterion release it sooner than later. I think Delon is perfect in the film-- the slight degree that age had started to change his face by 1967 gives his perfection a slight, poignant edge, and his eyes have never been so incredibly expressive. The amount of pain that he conveys in a look here is just amazing, particularly given how still and silent his character is.

From what I can remember, Swimming Pool is silly in a bland way (he's made some serious turkeys) and Any Number Can Win is lively and entertaining. A couple I can think of that you didn't mention: Borsalino is glorious, silly, buddy-film magic that needs to be on dvd yesterday, The Sicilian Clan is a fairly good caper-type flick, and Half a Chance is fluffy but stars Delon, Belmondo, AND Vanessa Paradis and therefore is worth watching several times.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:55 pm 
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"Rocco and His Brothers" is extraordinary, and I look very forward to seeing it again (I only saw it once on TCM a little over a year ago, and it's really stayed with me...a haunting, operatic masterpiece).

Martha, Delon is definitely in my top favorite actors, joining Mastroianni, Leung, etc. and I definitely want to see "Le Samourai." The French DVD appears to be very good from the specs and the wonderful cover art, but I'd like to hear from members who own it on the image quality. Thanks for your critiques on the Delon films, I'll definitely keep my eyes open for "Any Number Can Win" and "Borsalino."

Any other Delon fans? Any more film/DVD recommendations?

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:27 pm 
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Alright, I didn't realize DVDBeaver had a review up:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview/lesamourai.htm

I'm absolutely sold on this, I'm ordering it tomorrow.

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:29 pm 
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The DVD of Le samourai is fine.
Pathé released a whole bunch of Delon films on dvd last year or so in France, but none of them have English subtitles. One of my favorite from the 70s is Mort d'un pourri (with Kinsky amongst the bad guys). He had a bad period in the early 80's acting and even directing a few bad cop films. Came back as a anti-hero in Bertrand Blier's Notre Histoire and later on in Godard's Nouvelle Vague.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:51 pm 
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Marcello Mastroianni and Alain Delon! You have an excellent taste, Dylan. How about adding Gael Garcia Bernal to the list? 8-)

Dylan, you will love Le Samourai - easily the most perfect French film noir ever made. Seductive, chilly, stylish. Gorgeously designed. For a gangster film, it's shockingly poetic and refreshing. And it has the coolest actor around - Alain Delon. I watch Le Samourai once every year and it never gets dated.

The reason why I suggested adding Gael Garcia Bernal to the list is:

He has the same appeal as Alain Delon (of his younger days). Beautiful, distant, mysterious, hot. Look at him in Bad Education. This reminded me of Delon in Purple Noon and in some ways, Rocco & His Brothers .


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:32 pm 
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I ordered the Optimum R2 UK edition of "Purple Noon" from Amazon.uk, which I hear is far superior in audio/video to the R1 (and is anamorphic). Along with it, I ordered the R2 of "Bad Education." Michael, I very much like Gael Garcia Bernal just from the interviews I've seen, but the only film I've seen him in so far is Y Tu Mama Tambien, which I loved, though it's been a long while since I have seen it (and it was before I knew who he was). I will post my feelings on "Education" when I see it.

I'll order the French "Le Samourai" soon.

So, any more Delon fans?

Dylan

PS- the price of those discs was a steal. Mala Education for $25 US and Purple Noon for only $14 US.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:33 pm 

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Well, you have to go out and pick up Concorde: Airport '79 immediately..... where else could you see Charo, Jimmy Walker, Martha Raye and Alain Delon share a screen?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:10 pm 
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Rene Clement's Joy House is sublimely nutty. You can get it used on Amazon for $74.95. It also stars the VERY HOT 1964 version of Jane Fonda.

Here's a plot synopsis (from Amazon):
He couldn't leave it alone... He couldn't leave it alive... The glamorous and sun-soaked French Riviera is the setting for intrigue, seduction and murder as the legendary Rene Clement (Purple Noon) directs an all-star international cast in "Joy House." A playboy and small-time con man, Marc makes the dangerous mistake of having an affair with a gangster's wife and finds himself on the run for his life. He thinks he's found the perfect hideout when a rich American widow and her sexy niece hire him as their live-in chauffeur at their posh villa. But Marc soon discovers that he is not the only refugee in this mysterious house where he is caught in the passionate snares of both women, who are full of deadly surprises. French heartthrob Alain Delon (Any Number Can Win) stars opposite two-time Academy Award-winner Jane Fonda (Klute, Coming Home) in this slick, sultry thriller.

Yeah, I'm lazy with the cutting and the pasting. definitely. This movie is straight BANANAS, I tell you whut.

p.s. If you like watching people stare at each other for about 90 minutes then I'd give Un Flic a shot. It's glacially placed, has an awesome model helicopter chasing a model train, a scene that allows us to watch Richard Crenna change his clothes in said train (UNINTERRUPTED no less! I swear this scene is about 10 minutes long.), and Catherine Deneuve "dans le role de Cathy". I guess this is my way of saying that this movie will blow your ass out the back of tha theater.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:59 am 
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Dylan wrote:
So, any more Delon fans?


My mom is. Seriously. She fell in love with him head over wheels when she first saw him in Rocco(...). I'd say she has a pretty good taste, too.

Oh, and I personally think he was dashing in The Leopard! Yummy!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:22 am 
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Speaking of THE LEOPARD Pierre Clementi also has a brief role in this as a family member. Now there's a rad (if you were into 60s rad cinema like PARTNER, BELLE DE JOUR etc)

Of course Visconti has filled the pre-war scenes of uniforms in THE LEOPARD into Hunk Heaven..


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:15 pm 
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To be brief, he is a dark, poetic, suave, and charming presence. . .


. . .and totally unconvincing as a boxer.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:49 pm 
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To be brief, he is a dark, poetic, suave, and charming presence. . .


. . .and totally unconvincing as a boxer.


I always thought that the film would be alot more interesting if Alain Delon and Renato Salvatori had swapped their roles.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:49 pm 
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Good discussion. As for "The Films of," though I haven't seen "The Office," I'm assuming you're refering to actors being credited to said films rather than their respective directors? Well, I guess I could've titled it "Actors Discussion: Alain Delon." At least I changed the original thread title which was "The Cinema of Alain Delon." :)

I need to see Delon again as a boxer to make a judgement of what you guys are talking about, but from what I remember, he was excellent in the role, and I also remember Renato Salvatori being equally as excellent (and Cardinale being glowing and supremely charming, as she always is...absolutely a dark, sexy presence). But now that I think of it, every actor in that film was just amazing. I look forward to seeing it again.

"Joy House" sounds like a blast, and "Un Flic" sounds like a fun, campy French Bond-like film (with model trains and helicopters!).

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:59 am 
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I agree with Michael I would love to see an alternative version of ROCCO in which Delon and Salvatori swap roles. Although I think Delon is perfect in his role (notwithstanding Dylans' doubts he can box) His part may have given us a very different resolution of Roger Hanin's character (esp the scene where Hanin says - in Italian_ "he took advantage of my weakness" - usually not translated into english subs, referring to his sexual trysts with Renato that always seem to involve rough trade-violence/humiliation, and a background of classical art on TV. Thanks to Michael I can imagine Alain making the seduction material more seductive, if less physical. (Also think Delon vs. Ronet in PLEIN SOLEIL - here who is the bigger gay tease? Delon or Ronet??)
Clearly Delon never played an openly gay character but his exual magnetism is inescapable, and even chaste in a rare nude scene in LA PISCINE. If you look over the guy's career it is fantastic body of work, notwithstanding his seemingly appalling charcter in real life.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:25 pm 
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Delon is good in Le Cercle Rouge, but Le Samourai is a much better showcase. Purple Noon was alright, to be frank. I haven't seen Un Flic either. Any comments? Vincendeau's book on Melville has some good stuff on Delon as an actor.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:42 pm 
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Adding to what's been mentioned, Delon was fantastic in Robert Enrico's The Last Adventure (les Aventuriers). At one point, he and Lino Ventura go on a bit of a sea voyage searching for sunken treasure, swimming/singing/playing with a beautiful woman (Joanna Shimkus), and growing beards. This movie is cinema gold. Comedy, tragedy, and perfection.

Great score as well. Only available on Russian DVD with no english subtitles (not that there's much to be gained from translation, the plot is pretty simple) and, I think, the wrong AOR (Techniscope 2.35, but imdb says 1.66 and there are cut off heads in numerous shots) . I only have this on a VHS with horrible sound and still watch it fairly often.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:17 am 
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Fitzcarraldo wrote:
I'm a big fan of Delon, but did anyone here think of the British TV show The Office when you read the topic title?


Radio hat!! (I'm sorry, I was really fighting it, but I couldn't resist)

My wife thought Delon was dreamy when she caught him in The Leopard. I think she described him as sex on a stick or something. I haven't seen many of his films, but I definitely want to check out Le Cercle Rouge and Le Samourai.

I do have one question about the DVD for Le Samourai (hope it's not minded if I post it here) but I see it's a region 0 PAL according to DVD Beaver. While I know it's multi-region, do I need something special to play back PAL? I'm always confused when it comes to that.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:28 pm 

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Dylan wrote:
I need to see Delon again as a boxer to make a judgement of what you guys are talking about, but from what I remember, he was excellent in the role, and I also remember Renato Salvatori being equally as excellent (and Cardinale being glowing and supremely charming, as she always is...absolutely a dark, sexy presence). But now that I think of it, every actor in that film was just amazing. I look forward to seeing it again.


I just saw Rocco last night, and that was my introduction to Alain Delon, and I must concur with most of what has been said: great performance, terrible boxing. It was particularly striking when he first got in the ring against his brother, and everyone is blown away by how good he is, and yet he's not actually throwing any punches, he's just moving around the ring in a defensive posture. Impressive indeed.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 8:03 am 
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I love the early Delon performances. Plein Soleil is amazing. Delon as Ripley is one of Cinema's finest sexy-psychos. The Melville-Delon films, to me, are highly addictive and impress me more with each viewing.

Where-oh-where, is the R1 DVD Les Aventuriers in its OAR? Great film. The ratio is 2.35:1 as there was an awful Japanese disc in that ratio, now long OOP.

The exciting, Any Number Can Win is also OOP and badly needs a new anamorphic transfer.

L'Insoumis, directed by Alain Cavalier, is a film I have always wanted to see, mainly due the cover of The Smiths' album, The Queen is Dead features a photo of Delon from the film.

Diabolically Yours (1968, Julien Duvivier) is another Delon film that has been hard to see over the years, but I have read that it is excellent.

Le Clan des Siciliens, with Delon, Ventura and Gabin badly needs a DVD. It wonderful to see those three legends on screen together.

Losey's, Monsieur Klein features one of Delon's finest performances. Such a ruthless character, but the ironic reversal of fate Klein faces is quite disturbing and reflects the blacklisting that Losey faced. The HVE disc is well worth picking up.

Are the films he directed and co-wrote with Christopher Frank - Le Battant (1983) and Pour la Peau d'un Flic (1981) any good?

Delon recently stated that he "no longer has anything to say" and is to retire from film acting. Strange, but then, Delon has always cultivated mystery.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 8:48 am 

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Delon recently stated that he "no longer has anything to say" and is to retire from film acting. Strange, but then, Delon has always cultivated mystery.

Though, when put in the context of some of the crap that he's made over his career, it's amusing to think that all of them apparently convey some sort of message from him. I adore the man, but come on!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:15 am 
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Yeah, in addition to starring in some landmark films, Delon has indeed appeared in some real crap!

Has anyone seen this Delon film: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0074153

Good?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:25 pm 
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can you please explain why le samourai is thought of so highly?

what is about the directing of Melville specifically that makes this a great film, although i am interested in other aspects [acting[delon], script] also.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:21 pm 
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That's a really hard question to answer. Le Samouraï is definitely a film that needs to be seen to be appreciated. Basically, what makes it an enduring piece of Cinema, is the deft handling by Melville - nothing is rushed; the 'process of actions' is played out methodically, allowing the viewer to enter the character's mind and experience the inner tensions as well as absorb the material details of his actions. "Pure Cinema", as Hitch called it: the images do the talking.

Although Le Samouraï may sound like a typical crime thriller by a filmmaker who greatly admires American gangster pictures, it is anything but: Le Samouraï is an absorbing character study and, as I have stated, one of the great 'lessons in Cinema'. Few French thrillers of the last thirty-odd years have been as influential. Even if one doesn't 'like' Le Samouraï, one has to concede to its technical and cinematic mastery.

Also, an aspect of the film that is rarely mentioned is François de Roubaix's score, which I find haunting and if you heard it in isolation before seeing the film, you would never imagine that it was the score to a 'hitman movie'. Melancholic organ is subtly played thoughout the 'processes of action' scenes, underlining the doom-layden atmosphere which surround the protagonist, perhaps indicating loss of some kind. Just like all other components of the film, it fits perfectly.

As far as I am concerned, you can't go on experiencing films until you have seen Le Samouraï!


Last edited by Gordon on Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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