Jean Servais - News Poster


La fièvre monte à El Pao

Luis Buñuel's most direct film about revolutionary politics brandishes few if any surreal touches in its clash between French star Gérard Philipe and the Mexican legend María Félix. Borrowing the climax of the opera Tosca, it's an intelligent study of how not to effect change in a corrupt political regime. La fièvre monte à El Pao Region A+B Blu-ray + Pal DVD Pathé (Fr) 1959 / B&W / 1:37 flat (should be 1:66 widescreen) / 96 min. / Los Ambiciosos; "Fever Mounts at El Pao" / Street Date December 4, 2013 / available at Amazon France / Eur 26,27 Starring Gérard Philipe, María Félix, Jean Servais, M.A. Soler, Raúl Dantés, Domingo Soler, Víctor Junco, Roberto Cañedo, Enrique Lucero, Pilar Pellicer, David Reynoso, Andrés Soler. Cinematography Gabriel Figueroa Assistant Director Juan Luis Buñuel Original Music Paul Misraki Written by Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza, Charles Dorat, Louis Sapin from a novel by Henri Castillou Produced by Jacques Bar, Óscar Dancigers, Gregorio Walerstein
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Jules Dassin Classic “Rififi” To Premiere In New Dcp Version At Laemmle's Royal In L.A., September 4

  • CinemaRetro
Rialto Pictures will beloved French heist film Rififi by director Jules Dassin, for the first time on Dcp, at Los Angeles' Laemmle Royal, for one week beginning Friday, September 4.

Jules Dassin (1911 - 2008) began his filmmaking career in the early 1940s and is known for his hits Brute Force (1947), The Naked City (1948), and Thieves' Highway (1949). His career later took a hit when he was blacklisted for Communist activities during the McCarthy Era. Dassin's move to France helped revive his career and was the setting for the hit film Rififi that set his career in motion once again. After the film's successful French release, Dassin was awarded the directing prize at Cannes which allowed Rififi to be released in the U.S. where it enjoyed a successful art house run. Rififi is renowned for being one of the early 'heist' films and served as an inspiration for later films in the genre.
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That Man From Rio & Up To His Ears | Blu-ray Review

  • ioncinema
Two of director Philippe de Broca’s earliest renowned titles get new restorations and are available for the first time on Blu-ray, That Man From Rio (1964) and Up to His Ears (1965), the first two titles from a loose James Bond spoof trilogy featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Certainly ahead of his time, de Broca’s amusing adventure films are much more than the kind of lowbrow entertainment that would come to typify the genre known as spoof, and this became a notable inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, particularly 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Inspired by the adventures of Belgian cartoonist Herge’s Tintin adventures (which also provided the basis for a 2011 Steven Spielberg adaptation), a prized Amazonian statue is stolen from a Parisian museum. Three such statues left South American on an expedition that involved the late father of Agnes (Francoise Dorleac) and and two colleagues. Professor Catalan
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The Forgotten: René Clément's "The Castle of Glass" (1950)

  • MUBI
If René Clément's short collaboration with Jacques Tati in 1936 has its later development in the surprising (and political) slapstick of Che gioia vivere (1962), his technical assistance to Jean Cocteau on Beauty and the Beast pays off more rapidly with Le château de verre (The Glass Castle, 1950), starring Cocteau's beautiful beast, Jean Marais, and ice queen monstré sacré Michelle Morgan. This one came highly recommended by Shadowplayer David Wingrove, who saw in its opening sequence a foreshadowing of Last Year at Marienbad's glacial surrealism—frozen figures, somnambulent dancers, palatial surroundings. In fact, the Clément film comes with le jazz hot, and the frozen figures aren't frozen, but there is certainly an air of decadent mystery, with Jean Servais as the chess-playing husband a passable progenitor of the Resnais movie's sepulchral M.But there's more! We begin with a disembodied voice (another Marienbad trope) and open in a fabulous grotto,
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Classic French Film Festival Begins March 13th in St. Louis

Qui aime les films français ?

If you do and you live in St. Louis, you’re in luck! The Seventh Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series begins March 13th. The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1930s through the early 1990s, offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations.

This year features recent restorations of eight works, including an extended director’s cut of Patrice Chéreau’s historical epic Queen Margot a New York-set film noir (Two Men In Manhattan) by crime-film maestro Jean-Pierre Melville, who also co-stars; a short feature (“A Day in the Country”) by Jean Renoir, on a double bill with the 2006 restoration of his masterpiece, The Rules Of The Game, and the
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Remembering Actress Simon Part 2 - Deadly Sex Kitten Romanced Real-Life James Bond 'Inspiration'

Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939).[11] This thematic and
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Exclusive Trailer: New Restoration of 1964 Madcap Adventure 'That Man From Rio' Stars Jean-Paul Belmondo

Exclusive Trailer: New Restoration of 1964 Madcap Adventure 'That Man From Rio' Stars Jean-Paul Belmondo
Cohen Media Group is bringing a new restoration of "That Man From Rio," a dazzlingly wild 1964 adventure comedy starring sexy French screen icon Jean-Paul Belmondo and directed by Philippe de Broca, to NY's Film Forum on August 22. Watch an exclusive trailer for the new print, which bowed at Cannes 2014, below. A blow dart-wielding thug snatches a rare statuette from the Musée de l’Homme; anthropologist Jean Servais is kidnapped in broad Parisian daylight; serviceman Jean-Paul Belmondo begins his 8-day leave by changing to civvies in a Métro entrance and witnesses fiancée Françoise Dorléac (Catherine Deneuve’s sister, killed in a car accident 3 years later) getting kidnapped herself – and then the chase begins: by motorcycle, shoe leather, flight to Rio de Janeiro sans ticket or passport, airport baggage carrier, cable car, pink car complete with green stars and a rumble seat, water skies, Amazon river boat, seaplane, jungle...
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Thief and Rififi Criterion Collection Blu-ray Reviews

With the releases of Thief and Rififi, The Criterion Collection has released two classics of the crime/film noir genre. Where Jules Dassin’s Rififi represents a perfect distillation of the classic noir model, Michael Mann’s Thief takes those tropes into the modern era. My review of the Blu-rays of Rififi and Thief follows after the jump. In Rififi, the film starts as Tony le Stéphanois (Jean Servais) gets out of prison and is immediately invited by his old friend Jo le Suedois (Carl Möhner) to go on another heist. He declines as he thinks the score is too small, and then goes to check on his former girlfriend, who’s become a kept woman. She’s working for Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovici), who takes an immediate dislike to Tony. But his encounter with his former flame is enough for Tony to reconsider the heist, but he wants a bigger score,
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'Rififi' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

A lot of what I have to say about Rififi would probably read as hyperbole as it stands as not only an important film given its director's political status, but the way in which it can double as not only an art film, but also a striking piece of cinema that can be enjoyed by any measure of movie lover. It's a film noir captured in shadows and silence as a jewel heist takes place over the course of more than 30 dialogue-free minutes after we've watched four men meticulously plan every detail. The tension mounts with every pound of the hammer, screech of the hand-powered crank cutting into the safe and the crumble of asphalt, gently landing in an open umbrella with nary a sound. Is there more that needs be saidc Criterion's new Blu-ray transfer adds much more detail to every inky black scene, elevating the overall effect of
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‘Rififi’ lives up to its imaginative, evocative name

  • SoundOnSight

Written by Auguste le Breton, Jules Dassin and René Weeler

Directed by Jules Dassin

France, 1955

Having recently concluded a prison sentence, Tony ‘le Stéphanois’ (Jean Servais), former thief, is now a poor man, reduced to late night gambling to earn paltry pocket change. His two closest friends and former colleagues, Jo ‘le Suédois’ (Carl Mohner) and Mario Ferrati (Robert Manuel) have something else in mind when they present him the idea of stealing jewels from a high society jeweler shop in downtown Paris. Tony is reluctant at first, having lived enough failures as a crook and desiring to reunite with his former flame Mado (Marie Sabouret). Upon learning however that Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovic), eternal rival and nightclub owner, has claimed Mado as his main squeeze, Tony finally gives in to temptation and joins the newly formed quartet of criminal minds, the late addition being safe cracker César, played
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Review: Criterion Releases Jules Dassin's "Rififi" (1955) And Kurosawa's "Throne Of Blood" (1957)

  • CinemaRetro
“French Burglars And Shakespearean Samurais”

By Raymond Benson

Two of the superb releases recently issued by The Criterion Collection are classics from the 1950s international scene. One is arguably the best caper/heist movie ever made, and the other is perhaps the best Shakespearean adaptation ever produced.

First up—Rififi, released in 1955 and directed by American director Jules Dassin—who had exiled himself from America due to the blacklist. It’s a film noir made in France with French and Italian actors and a French crew. As the lyrics in a cabaret number, sung by Magali Noel in the film, reveal, rififi means “rough and tumble.” In other words, Rififi is about riff-raff, tough guys, and would-be gangsters. In this case, the protagonists are a quartet of jewel thieves who plan a big caper together—to break into the safe in a notable jewelry store in Paris. Led by Tony
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Blu-ray, DVD Release: Rififi

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan. 14, 2014

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95

Studio: Criterion

The heist is on in the great 1955 French crime drama Rififi.

The great 1955 French crime drama Rififi is a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious robbery in Paris.

After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to the City of Light and embarked on the Rififi, the film noir that many consider his masterpiece.

Starring Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel and Dassin himself, the film’s suspense, brutality, and dark humor made it an international hit, earning Dassin the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It has since proved to be wildly influential on decades of heist thrillers in its wake.

Presented in French with English subtitles, the Criterion Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the classic movie includes the following features:

• New 2K digital restoration,
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The Forgotten: The Place of the Skull

  • MUBI
Valerio Zurlini, writer-director, is someone I find a little hard to pin down: a career which contains both Girl with a Suitcase (1961), in which prostitute/aspiring actress Claudia Cardinale becomes houseguest of a teenage boy (but it's Not like Risky Business) and Desert of the Tartars (1976), an existential historical epic based on a novel which David Lean had planned to film at one point. What initially seems to unite the work is a rare seriousness: Zurlini is earnest, almost humorless, and at times despairing.

The strikingly titled Black Jesus (1968 - the Italian title translates, more subtly, as Sitting on His Right) is a good example of Zurlini's willingness to follow a story into the darkest places. It's based blatantly on the true story of Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected Congolese leader, who was deposed, tortured and assassinated under the watchful eye of the Un, and with the probable connivance of the Us and Belgium.
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The Forgotten: Gambling Hell

  • MUBI
The second in a short series celebrating the films of the Pathé-Natan company, 1926-1934. 

Fyodore Otsep (Russia), also credited as Fjodor Ozep (Germany), Fedor Ozep (Canada) and Fédor Ozep (France) is probably best known as co-writer of sci-fi epic Aelita (1924) and director of Soviet classic Miss Mend (1926). His work in Europe and America is harder to see, and the whole lot is rarely grouped together for consideration as a whole, the curse of itinerant filmmakers like Dassin, Siodmak, even Ophüls.

To decide whether this is merely a quirk of film history, or a full-on case of major artistic neglect, simply watch this clip:

Amok (1934) is the third of Ozep's Pathé-Natan films, and the most baroque. It's based on a story by Stefan Zweig (Letter from an Unknown Woman) later filmed in Mexico with less fidelity but plenty of gusto. It's a very weird orientalist fever dream.

Jean Yonnel,
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James Reviews Jules Dassin’s Rififi [Arrow Films Blu-ray]

Only a few days after he’s been released from prison, Tony Le Stephanois (Jean Servais) is reunited with his former partners in crime Jo (Carl Möhner) and Mario (Robert Manuel). They want him to do one more job at a Parisian jeweler’s shop, which if successful means they can retire. Tony declines to get involved again in the business. Tony meets up with his old girlfriend Mado (Marie Sabouret) who has been seeing a gangster named Pierre Grutter (Marcel Lupovici). Enraged by this relationship, Tony savagely beats Mado for being involved with Grutter.

Tony then agrees to do the job, but not because he wants the money. He wants to hit he jeweler’s safe instead, not the outside window. We are then introduced to Cesar (Perlo Vita, better known as the director Jules Dassin), a master safe cracker from Milan and a colleague of Mario’s. They then plan the heist meticulously,
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The Forgotten: Here comes the rain again

  • MUBI
Yves Allégret is part of that generation of French filmmakers it's no longer safe to ignore, despite their dismissal by Cahiers du Cinema. Continuing the melancholy strains of poetic realism into the post-war environment, Allegret creates, in his best work, a pervasive feeling of despair that's redeemed by a certain romanticism. In other words, he charts the terrain of depression without actually being depressing.

Une si Jolie Petite Plage (Such a Pretty Little Beach, 1949) stars Gérard Philipe as a young man somewhat lethargically on the run after killing the wealthy older chanteuse who had been keeping him (the film is oddly uninterested in the motives that led to this murder, and nobody except the police seem to think any the less of him for it. Curious and slightly sinister). 

For his hideout, Philipe chooses, with fatalistic perversity, the seaside hotel where he first met his eventual victim, where he simply checks in and awaits developments,
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10 of the best films set in Paris

From a masterpiece of film noir to classic Gene Kelly musical An American in Paris, French film critic Agnès Poirier chooses her favourite sets in the city

As featured in our Paris city guide

Les Enfants du Paradis, Marcel Carné, 1943-45

Penned by poet Jacques Prévert and featuring the enigmatic Arletty, dashing Pierre Brasseur and melancholic Jean-Louis Barrault, Les Enfants du Paradis takes place in Paris in the 1840s and tells the story of the contrarian love of Garance and Baptiste. One key scene takes place in the boulevard du Temple, known at the time as boulevard du Crime. "You smiled at me! Don't deny it, you smiled at me. Ah, life's beautiful and so are you. And now, I shall never leave your side. Where are we going? What! We've only been together for two minutes and already you want to leave me. When will I see you again?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Rififi Blu-ray Review

Jules Dassin's Rififi:Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais), a master thief fresh out of jail, wearing a harried look and suffering ill health he refuses to be involved with crime, until he finds his girlfriend shacked up with a rival gangster. With little reason to keep living he plans a final job. Tony sets about finding his crew and meticulously planning the job; a robbery of the jewellery store Mappin & Webb. Rififi revolves around the central heist, famed for its finite detail and incredible tension, but the drama does not end at the heist like so many other crime films. Dassin's film is a humanist tale that hinges on the loyalty among thieves and draws on the fatalistic, doom laden lives common to crooks and...
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The Forgotten: The Importance of Being Ernst

  • MUBI
The Woman with a Hundred Heads (1968) is a twenty-minute short directed by Eric Duvivier, nephew of the more famous Julien. It's based, closely, on one of Max Ernst's books, a surrealist text joined with surrealist collage prints where the words and images never quite hook up in a way the rational mind can grasp. To turn this abstract work into a film, Duvivier stages a series of tableaux, reproducing the artist's discordant juxtapositions via elaborate production design or double exposures, as Jean Servais intones the prose.

I want to print every image from this film on a T-shirt! And then I want to wear them all at once, and, by ruppling my powerful chest muscles in an Incredibly Hulky fashion, cause them to shred and disintegrate, starting with the outer layers, since they will be the most over-stretched. 

In this manner will I cause an animated flickbook to appear on my chest,
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Top 10 Heist Films

Yesterday saw the release of The Town on Blu-Ray – a thriller that sees a group of Charlestown thieves rob a bank and take the manager hostage… a typical heist film that combines action and suspense in abundance. Films about robbers have been a staple of cinema for nearly 100 years, in fact the gangster film was an early success genre in Hollywood during the days of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney.

Although the basic heist film narrative has proved to be popular worldwide, it has particularly flourished in the UK and France in particular, with a number of notable productions coming out of these countries. Below are ten heist films that combine the best elements of this sub genre, as we pit the U.S., U.K. and France against each other in a quest to find the best heist film out there!

10. The Day They Robbed The Bank Of England
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See also

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