Jules Dassin

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Jules Dassin

#1 Post by Scharphedin2 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:37 pm

Jules Dassin (1911-2008)



The Tell-Tale Heart (short, 1941) Warner Brothers (R1) – included as extra on Shadow of the Thin Man and in The Complete Thin Man Collection

Nazi Agent (1942)

The Affairs of Martha (1942)

Reunion in France (1942) Warner Brothers (R1) – also included in John Wayne Film Collection

Young Ideas (1943)

The Canterville Ghost (1944)

Two Smart People (1946)

A Letter for Evie (1946)

Brute Force (1947) Criterion (R1) / Wild Side (R2 FR) – also as double feature with The Naked City / Image (R1) / Film Prestige (R2 RU)

The Naked City (1948) Criterion (R1) / Wild Side (R2 FR) – also as double feature with Brute Force / Image (R1)

Thieves' Highway (1949) Criterion (R1) / 20th Century Fox (R2 UK)

Night and the City (1950) Criterion (R1) / Carlotta (R2 FR)

Du rififi chez les homes (Rififi) (1955) Criterion (R1) / Arrow Films (R2 UK) /

Celui qui doit mourir (He Who Must die) (1957)

La Legge (The Law) (1959) Image Entertainment (R1)

Pote tin Kyriaki (Never on Sunday) (1960) MGM (R1)

Phaedra (1962)

Topkapi (1964) MGM (R1 & R2 UK)

10:30 P.M. Summer (1966) MGM (R1)

Hamilchama al hashalom (1968)

Up Tight! (1968)

Promise at Dawn (1970)

The Rehearsal (1974)

Kravgi gynaikon (A Dream of Passion) (1978)

Circle of Two (1980)


American pinko in London - David Thomson (The Guardian, 2002)

Brute Force: Screws and Proles - Michael Atkinson (Criterion)

Jules Dassin: The early years - Michael Sragow (Salon, 2000)

Rififi - Paul Arthur (Cineaste, 2005)

Rififi: Love Made Invisible - Jamie Hook (Criterion)

Rififi: There was a time when noir was the new black - Philip French (The Guardian, 2002)

The Naked City: New York Plays Itself - Luc Sante (Criterion)

Night in the City: In the Labyrinth - Paul Arthur (Criterion)

Thieves Highway: Dangerous Fruit - Michael Sragow (Criterion)

When Noir Turned Black - Sandra Berg (Written By/WGA, 2006)


Brute Force (Criterion)

The Naked City (Criterion)

Night and the City (Criterion)

Rififi (Criterion]

Thieves' Highway (Criterion)
Last edited by Scharphedin2 on Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Dylan » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:53 pm

Anybody have any thoughts on Dassin's post Never on Sunday output? His contribution to film noir and suspense filmmaking in the forties and fifties is well-documented, and I've already seen his excursions into Italian comedy-style fluff (The Law, Never on Sunday) but what interests me more right now is what he was doing from after Never on Sunday until he quit the film business. I just saw 10:30 P.M. Summer (which I wrote about at length on the '60s list thread) and it's a fascinating, chilling film, and I was wondering if some of his other later work is in a similar vein.

Some titles in question: Phaedra, Topkapi, Up Tight, Promise at Dawn, A Dream of Passion

Last edited by Dylan on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#3 Post by tryavna » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:05 pm

Dylan wrote:Topkapi
Topkapi is the only one of these films that I've seen, and it most definitely done in a light-hearted mode. If you like 1960s heist pictures, you'll enjoy it. It would make for a nice double-feature with How to Steal a Million. It's well-constructed and benefits enormously from Ustinov's performance, but like Never on Sunday, there isn't any there there.

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#4 Post by Dylan » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:10 pm

It could likely be that, aside from possibly Phaedra, a film like 10:30 P.M. Summer was an anomoly in Dassin's career, although I'm no less curious about what else he was up to. Phaedra, by the way, sounds like an excellent film. Perhaps one of the Anthony Perkins fans on here has seen it?

As an aside, A Dream of Passion is a retelling of Medea with Mercouri and Ellen Burstyn. Promise at Dawn also has Mercouri and a score by the wonderful Georges Delerue.

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#5 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:28 pm

I just updated the Dassin profile with a links section kindly provided by Kinjitsu.

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#6 Post by david hare » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:01 pm

Phaedra is definitely Dassin in high hysteria mode. Perkins and Mercouri as Oedipal mother/son - it's even more hysterical in tone than 10.30PM Summer and frankly collapses completely into camp.

And I'd love to see it again after all these years.

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#7 Post by Haggai » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:30 am

Dassin's '46 romantic comedy A Letter for Evie was on Turner Classic Movies a few days ago, and I watched it last night. It's a mistaken-identity plot with a lot of the usual hijinks: a secretary writes anonymously to a soldier, his buddy decides to reply but uses the first guy's picture because the other guy is better looking, eventually they all meet, etc. I really enjoyed it. Dassin got a lot of great scenes out of it, and the leads (Marsha Hunt and Hume Cronyn) are very earnest without being sappy. It's interesting that Dassin was so close at that point in time to starting on the much darker material that would (justifiably) make him more famous, but he showed a very deft touch with the sentimental material of this script that could easily have fallen apart in lesser hands.

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#8 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:05 am

I just watched Das's entree' into Big Budget Filmmaking (by making do with cheese and no budget) viz Young Ideas.

Wow.. despite a chuckle or two (and my sympathies to a trooper of a Herbert Marshall), there is no hint of what's to come. There's more Dassin in his earlier shorts than in this film.

But hey... he made it work.

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Re: Jules Dassin

#9 Post by Ovader » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:06 pm

Film Forum is having a Jules Dassin Tribute from March 27 to April 7 for anyone interested.

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Re: Jules Dassin

#10 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon May 18, 2009 4:06 pm

Oscilloscope will be re-releasing The Law in theaters in fresh 35mm prints and will releasing a brand new DVD in 2010.

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Re: Jules Dassin

#11 Post by royalton » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:08 am

I'll take up for Phaedra - it's insane and ridiculous and not at all subtle, but awesome and beautifully put together.

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Re: Jules Dassin

#12 Post by tartarlamb » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:37 am

He Who Must Die and Phaedra are both available on Netflix Instant Play. I haven't had the chance to see the latter yet, but I just watched He Who Must Die and I'm amazed that the film isn't better known. Its quite different than his American films and Rififfi, but definitely of the same caliber.

And speaking of later Dassin, The Rehearsal was not my cup of tea. Dassin does not do that style of political theater very well. A big disappointment.

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Re: Jules Dassin

#13 Post by Dylan » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:31 am

Phaedra has been on MGM HD lately and it looks wonderful. What a film! All hothouse and awesome, Dassin directing a modern day Greek tragedy with this great cast in all of these beautiful locations. The first sex scene is operatic and beautiful with the blur and loud score. It's definitely my favorite Dassin after 10:30 P.M. Summer. I wish he'd made more films like these two.

Here are some screengrabs from the broadcast:




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Re: Jules Dassin

#14 Post by manicsounds » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:22 am

review of PHAEDRA from MGM's burn-on-demand DVD.... Sucks MGM didn't put a little more work the fine folks at Criterion or Oscilloscope have.

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