Samourai [Criterion Collection]

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Synopsis

Long considered a classic of European film noir, this existential gangster drama from French director Jean-Pierre Melville was released in the United States only in a severely truncated, re-edited, and overdubbed version entitled The Godson. Thirty years after its initial public airing, Le Samourai (1967) finally saw a limited American release in its intended form. Alain Delon stars as Jef Costello, a professional Parisian assassin-for-hire who, by nature of his work's solitary demands, has no friends. Although he is loved by Jane Lagrange (Natalie Delon, the star's real-life wife), Costello knows that Jane already has a lover. After he successfully wipes out a nightclub owner at the behest of his boss, Costello discovers that he was seen by the club's pianist, Valerie (Cathy Rosier). Although he survives a police lineup thanks to a lie offered up by the fearless Valerie, Costello's alibi disintegrates rapidly and his shadowy employer takes out a contract on him. As he seeks revenge on his betrayer, Costello must also stay one step ahead of a wily, determined superintendent (Francois Perier). Melville's film influenced several other filmmakers and projects, most notably director John Woo's The Killer (1989). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
11/14/17 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 45 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
  • Dolby Digital w/ sub-woofer channel
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Subtitles
  • English
Video Features
  • New high-definition digital restoration
  • Interviews from 2005 with Rui Nogueira, Editor of Melville on Melville, and Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris
  • Archival Interviews with Melville and actors Alain Delon, François Perier, Nathalie Delon, and Cathy Rosier
  • Melville-Delon: D'honneur et de nuit (2011) a short documentary exploring the friendship between the Director and the actor and their iconic collaboration on this film
  • Trailer
  • Plus: An essay by film scholar David Thomson, an appreciation by filmmaker John Woo, and excerpts from Melville on Melville
Number of Discs
1

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