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FRENCH

ACTION/THRILLERS

MARKED EYES (1964)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Robert Hossein, Stars: Michèle Morgan, Robert Hossein, François Patrice. In "Les Yeux Cernés " ,Robert Hossein wrote, directed and stars in this excellent whodunit. The screenplay is an obvious nod to Clouzot's "Les Diaboliques". Essentially a whodunit :who killed the nasty boss of the sawmill? In town, nobody liked him and now his widow (who left him a long time ago )is alone for the funeral.T he soon-to-be-rich heiress receives anonymous letters that frightens her. Michèle Morgan is dazzlingly beautiful, while Hossein and Marie -France Pisier add to the viewing pleasure.

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THE PURPLE TAXI (1977)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directed by Yves Boisset. Set in the wild coast of western Ireland, the stories within the film are beautifully constructed and melded. It is an absolute treat to see Peter Ustinov, Charlotte Rampling, Fred Astaire, Philippe Noiret giving first-class performances all in the same film. Rampling is particularly good, and the scenes with Ustinov and Noiret crackle with finely-played lines. Based on book Le Taxi mauve (A Purple Taxi) by Michel Deon written in 1973, Fred Astaire, Phillipe Noiret and Peter Ustinov all having a great time with Charlotte Rampling and Edward Albert, In front of camera. A wonderful story of love and sadness in one? Peter Ustinov tries to marry off his beautiful daughter to Edward Albert in order to fund his equestrian center dreams, lots of drinking, fighting, card playing and craic. Charlotte Rampling is a German based princess,Gerry's sister in the film come to find out what is going on with the money for the equestrian center, she needs to approve of it, She tries to get pregnant with Monsieur Noiret, and they have an affair. Filmed in and around Kenmare, County Kerry ,Ireland. Fantastic soundtrack by the chieftains.

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THAT NIGHT (1958)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Stanley Kubrick considered this one of the top 10 releases for 1958. Director: Maurice Cazeneuve, Cast: Mylène Demongeot, Maurice Ronet, Jean Servais, Françoise Prévost. Jean, who is the artistic director of a fashion magazine, is married to a very pretty cover girl, Sylvie. They both work for André Reverdy, a very cynical man, who openly covets Sylvie. Jean, awfully jealous, can't put up with the situation. Persuaded that his young wife has given herself to his rival he goes and waits for Reverdy outside his bachelor flat. When the hated man goes out, he kills him... Great actors such as likes of Maurice Ronet, Jean Servais, Mylène Demongeot, cast here...And an interesting story inspired from a Michel Lebrun's novel. A story that, in the beginning, could make you think of UN TEMOIN DANS LA VILLE. But only in the first part. Not a gangster movie, such as the ones we usually watched in the fifties, but rather an ordinary citizen tale, a character which the audiences could identify in. I don't know the director, never heard of this dude. The plot has already been told in the plot line. Some good sequences, a good photography. An exciting story, yes Sir !! Stanley Kubrick was damn right.

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2 ORPHANS (1965)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Riccardo Freda, STARS: Sophie Darès, Valeria Ciangottini, Mike Marshall. Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way. It was first filmed by D.W.Griffith as "Orphans of the storm" (the best even if it does not closely follow the book , including the French Revolution) in the silent age ,then remade by Maurice Tourneur in the early thirties with some success. Even though the ending is somehow predictable, this story about two girls who grew up as sisters, are separated and finally meet again is quite well directed and performed. The script is good as well, far better than the majority of the italian-french films of the epoch. It is very enjoyable, though not really a collector's item. However I wouldn't mind to have a copy of it. The parts played by the countess and Marianna are exceptional.

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GIVE 'EM HELL (1955)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, slickly made European thriller starring American tough guy Eddie Constantine, who plays Johnny Jordan, a drifter who is hired by a Fat Man to find out who is hijacking his gun shipments. From a script that has the feel of a 40's Warner Bros film with Bogey, "GIVE 'EM HELL" is beautifully photographed (in glossy black and white). Studio interiors are expertly mixed with exotic location work, lending the film the look of a budget bigger than the one it most likely had. Light comic touches, (such as a plug-ugly nightclub bouncer who is constantly combing his hair or filing his nails), a supporting cast of beautiful dames (including the glamorous May Britt), assorted low-lifes (like a jealous, knife-throwing husband), and a climactic shoot-out in a lighthouse make the oddly-titled GIVE 'EM HELL" an unexpected pulpy pleasure. Director Berry was named as a member of the Communist Party by Hollywood 10 member Edward Dmytryk in Dmytryk's 1951 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, when the blacklisted director "named names" to revive his Hollywood career and effect a return from exile in Europe.

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LOOK SEE (1971)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Stars Catherine Deneuve and Anne Parrillaud.  If you like the weird and unexpected, and especially if you have a heart for the french movie chic of the 70s, this is for you. There are people who love these kind of movies, but these folks are not many, and they will have a hard time finding this particular one. However, hunting it down pays. It's intellectual and entertaining (even a bit comical) all at the same time, and all in an almost "elite" way, building barriers for people with an affinity for the conventional Hollywood cinema (which was, of course, itself on a much higher degree of sophistication back in 1979). The plot – starting out with private eye Deneuve taken in service by castle owner Frey to research some strangers' attempts to break into his castle – gets trickier within every five minutes and offers quite a few twists, and not least it offers the young Anne Parillaud. Sound plays a big part in it, but giving away the reason would be too big a spoiler.

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VERTIGO FOR A KILLER (1970)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jean-Pierre Desagnat, Stars: Marcel Bozzuffi, Sylva Koscina, Michel ConstantinMarc Régent, a hit man in the pay of ruthless gang leader Marcus, refuses to gun down René, his friend. Hunted down by Marcus's men, he fakes a suicide but Marcus does not take the bait. He ends up tracing him at the the Nice airport where Marc was to take a plane for Dakar. In order to escape his former boss and his killers, Marc seeks support from a beautiful woman, Sylvie Dussort, who takes him to her home. What he does not know is that the lady has a hidden agenda...

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THE PARTICULAR LESSON (1968)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Michel Boisrond, Stars: Nathalie Delon, Renaud Verley, Robert Hossein. Olivier, a seventeen-year-old high school student, is a good-looking young man, much more mature than most of his schoolmates. One day he meets Frédérique, 25, a beautiful woman who attracts him strongly. The trouble is that she has a life companion, race car driver Enrico. For the time being, Enrico is away in Detroit to test a new prototype and Frédérique is idle in Paris that is why she welcomes the young man's company. Slowly but surely, the friendship turns into an affair, for Frédérique finds she shares Olivier's feelings. But Enrico finally comes back to Paris. Will Olivier and Frédérique's love story be possible in these conditions?

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HU-MAN (1975)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Jérôme Laperrousaz (as Jerôme Laperrousaz), Stars: Terence Stamp, Jeanne Moreau, Agnès Stevenin. An actor is placed in dangerous situations and his fear will be broadcast to the television audience. The audience's emotions will determine whether he is sent into the future or the past. Stamp plays an actor called... Terence Stamp who is still coming to terms with the death of his wife three years earlier and is approached by his former lover Sylvana (Moreau) about the possibility of appearing on a live TV show. The object of the show is to convert the audience's emotional responses into energy that can be stored in a time dome and later used to propel Stamp into the future. No attempt is ever made to explain how this is done which is perhaps a good thing. But then again there is very little attempt to explain anything that is going on such as Stamp's sudden transportation to a glacier or why a trip into the future would also include a complete of change of location to the edge of a very active volcano. There are however some memorable scenes such as Stamp being trapped on the bay of Mont St Michel during a live TV broadcast as a tide approaches from all angles – the attempt to harness audience emotions – and the unexplained shot of our hero gliding through the air during the glacier sequence is as impressive as it was undoubtedly precarious for old Terence. But the film, clearly influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey, suffers from having very little plot or dialogue and often appears as sparse as the landscapes to which Stamp is transported.

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CATHERINE AND CO. (1975)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. NOW UNCUT WITH AN EXTRA 12 MINUTES! Catherine & Co' has always been one of my favorite bits of fluff. It was made in France and has a French sensibility to the nude female form and a light, though not uncritical attitude towards sexual freedom. Catherine is a kind of latter day Moll Flanders--a woman without means in a culture where men control the means to a comfortable life--and she trades on the only resources she has, her looks and charm. She travels through modern French society as a picaresque hero, revealing the comic weaknesses of commercialism, old nobility, unwanted children and ghost-written novels. The satiric targets are likable and sympathetic characters who are convincingly Catherine's friends. While Birkin's characterization of Catherine is often broad and farcical, she also gives the character an innocence, a faithfulness and survival instinct that provides dimension beyond farce. If you like and are not offended by Restoration comedy, you may enjoy 'Catherine & Co.'

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MEMOIRS OF A FRENCH WHORE (1979)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Daniel Duval, Stars: Miou-Miou, Maria Schneider, Niels Arestrup. A girl, Marie (Miou-Miou) is led into prostitution by her pimp boyfriend, Gerard (Daniel Duval). She must not only give money to him but to the gangsters that explore him as well. Marie, together with a friend, Maloup (Maria Schneider), will try to become independent. They start to work the streets on their own but they will meet physical and sexual violence. They return to the brothels, and Marie goes back to her pimp, but Gerard has his caprices and wants more and more – he's in a spiral downwards and he's leading Marie with him. There's seems to be no escape. "La Derobade" is a grim film – it shows the streets, the city scum and the violence that is an ever-constant threat to the girls who work the streets. It's a sad life. The film is based on the memoirs written by Jeanne Cordelier. Miou-Miou is Marie - her acting is nothing short of luminous. And the musical score gives the film a reflexive, melancholic tone. "La Derobade" is unique in the genre – it is at the same time poetic and realistic. A neglected gem that deserves more recognition. Miou-Miou won the César for Best Actress for her portrayal of Marie-Mage; it is well deserved. She brings out the desperate clinging to her pimp Gérard (excellently played by Duval), and makes real the symbiotic relations between the two. Gérard, for all his creepiness, is really the best thing she has ever seen.

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COOKIES (1975)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Features the director and star of DON'T DELIVER US FROM EVIL! Actors: Jean-Pierre Marielle, Claude Piéplu and Jeanne Goupil. Henri Serin, a sales rep in umbrellas who lives in Saumur, is bored with his life. Married to an unloving, uptight wife, who, unlike him, has no interest in sex, he is also rejected by his children. Thus, he spends most of his time travelling from town to town, flirting with women and meeting all kinds of people in the hotels, restaurants, shops and places he visits. He also dabbles in painting, particularly portraits. After his car breaks down as he is driving through Brittany, he meets a rough, foul-mouthed painter who offers him to stay at his house, near Pont-Aven. There, Henri falls in love with Angela, the painters model and fling, and soon they run off together. After a few days of passion, Angela goes away, leaving Henri heartbroken. He then returns to his home only to find his wife having sex with another man. Dejected, he decides to ditch everything, and settles in Brittany to do what he likes best: painting. He also drowns his sorrows by drinking heavily, until he starts enjoying life again with the help of a sweet, young girl who shows him real care and attention.

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THE MONA LISA HAS BEEN STOLEN (1966)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Michel Deville and Stars: George Chakiris, Marina Vlady, Margaret Lee. Michel Deville is perhaps the most underrated French filmmaker alive today. His films are marked by a deft, intelligent style; the editing and transition scenes in his films is often stunning: dialogue scenes are always zippy and fresh, especially in La Lectrice (1988) and the superb, Death in a French Garden (1986). On a Vole La Joconde, as the film is known in is a light a breezy caper film in the best tradition of the subgenre, which was very popular in the late 50s and early 60s, with hits like Big Deal on Madonna Street and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) springing first to mind. What makes the film so appealing is Chakiris' laconic, confident performance which sits well with the overall tone of the film; danger is never present, yet one is intrigued as to how and when the famous portrait will be stolen and who will finally get their hands on it. Slapstick abounds once things get going, but it never becomes overbearing. Marina Vlady gives a coy but sexy performance and her rapport with Chakiris is delightful. Even with fluff, Deville's style is invigorating and The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen is a fun, sexy caper, beautifully shot in scope by Massimo Dallamano; this was his last film as a cinematographer; he also shot Leone's A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More

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PHANTASMAGORIA (1963)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Written and directed by Patrice Molinard, Cast:Edith Scob and Venantino Venantini. A chilling variation on themes from Dracula and Dracula's Guest saturated with references to Nosferatu, Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey and Les yeux sans visage. Patrice Molinard realized in 1962 a summit of French fantastic. A vampire movie with Édith Scob as a children eater and Venantino Venantini in the role of a follower of Dracula, all in  poetic Transylvania. Shot In expressionist B&W,  the film left speechless the fantasy magazine, Midi Minuit Fantastique! This film runs 41 minutes.

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WOMEN ARE DISAPPEARING (1959)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Édouard Molinaro, Stars: Robert Hossein, Magali Noël, Estella Blain. Pierre Rossi and Béatrice live in the same block of flats in Marseille and love each other. One night, Béatrice leaves her apartment. Pierre knows that his fiancée goes to a rendezvous, but she would not tell him more than just that. Worried, Pierre follows her but he is attacked and stolen his identity papers by two men, Tom and Nasol, on the payroll of Quaglio, one of the city's bosses. Later on, Quaglio kills Nasol and deposits the body in a garage, leaving Pierre's papers nearby. As for Pierre, he manages to follow Tom to a villa where several young women have been invited. Pierre, horrified, realizes that this place is the headquarters for the white slave trade.

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THE DEATH OF BELLE (1961)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directed by Édouard Molinaro. Jean Desailly  ...  Stéphane Blanchon, Alexandra Stewart  ...  Belle. Stéphane Blanchon, who teaches at the International College, lives a quiet comfortable life in Geneva. He is married to Christine, a cold, dry-hearted woman, and his sentimental life is reduced to zero. One day, Belle Shermann, an American student and daughter of one of his wife's friends, comes to stay at their villa. The teacher hardly notices her. But his dull uneventful life is turned upside down when Belle is found strangled to death. Blanchon, who was alone with the victim but claims he was sleeping in his room at the time of the crime, is soon suspected of being the murderer...

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IN THE MIDST OF LIFE (1962)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Directed by Robert Enrico. This Civil War anthology adapts three Ambrose Bierce stories, "L'oiseau moqueur" (The Mockingbird), "Chickamauga" and "La rivière du Hibou" (An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge). All three stories blur the boundaries between reality and the supernatural and the first segment 'Mockingbird' is the ideal introduction to the concept when a soldier, rewarded for bravery with a furlough, falls asleep and dreams of a Past that is still in the Future and all too soon becomes the Present. The second segment 'Chickamauga' is a tour de force in which the actual battle is unseen but 'felt' by a deaf-mute child who subsequently plays among the dead victims and induces them to rise and follow his reverse Pied Piper in a danse macabre. The last segment 'An Incident At Owl Creek Bridge' was widely shown in the 1960s as a 'short' and is arguably the most lyrical of the three; a condemned man is hanged from the eponymous bridge and dropped into the river where, miraculously, he is able to free himself and out-swim the bullets of the hanging detail. Joyously he runs all the way home to the arms of his waiting wife but then ...

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THE INTRUDER (1977)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Serge Leroy, Based upon the novel "Shattered" by Dean R. Koontz. Alex (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is newly married, and he and his wife Mireille D'Arc) are setting up housekeeping together in Paris. However, to complete their domestic arrangement, he must drive to pick up his new 12-year-old stepson Marc (Richard Constantini) from his school in Rome. The boy is extremely cynical and resentful at first, and when Alex states that their car is being followed, he doesn't believe it. However, events soon prove that Alex is correct, and their pursuit by an enraged psychopath becomes a terrifying duel to the death.

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TAKE ME, I'M OLD ENOUGH (1970)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. One of the first attempts in Belgium to make sexploitation – by director Henri Xhonneux (“Téléchat”, “Marquis”) using an American sounding alias – is a twisted story about two sisters struggling with their libido. Young and very pretty Eve is confined to a wheelchair, but her body is raging with lust. Hungry for sexual satisfaction masturbation and her dream to meet a man who is can satisfy her insatiable libido. Much to the chagrin of her sister Jeanette,  sex and masturbation are diabolical sins. With brutal whippings, she tries to  deny her sister's desires of the flesh. A stranger enters the house and rapes the paralyzed beauty and this ends up satisfying her lust and cures her paralysis! Jeanette discovers she will inherit her Uncle's estate but only is she's NOT a virgin!!  Another shock is the miraculous healing of Eve after the rape she can walk again and decides to leave her sister and disappear with the stranger. Left alone, Jeanette decides to satisfy the condition of her uncle and to sacrifice her virginity in order to inherit the estate. But what started with a dream of love for Eve, ends for Jeanette with an unexpected nightmare.

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OPERATION LEOPARD (1980)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Raoul Coutard, Stars: Bruno Cremer, Mimsy Farmer, Giuliano Gemma. May 1978 The mining town of Kolwezi in Katanga, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo, the former Belgian Congo) is under attack from a group of communist guerillas coming from nearby Angola. The Europeans who work for the Belgian mining company and the Blacks who live in the town are taken as hostages by the invaders, who start a blood bath, shooting Europeans as well as Africans. Many of the Europeans being French, the French decide to organize a counter-attack, and to send a Regiment of Paratroopers from the Foreign Legion. The movie follows the stories of Delbart, a former non-commissioned officer, who was about to go back to France with his African wife and his child, Damrémont, who was Delbart's replacement, Bia, a Zairian doctor, and Annie, an American married to a Belgian engineer as well as Non com Legion officer Federico and the French Ambassador and the Military Attaché.

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COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (1961)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Claude Autant-Lara, Stars: Louis Jourdan, Yvonne Furneaux, Pierre Mondy. UNCUT 150 MINUTE VERSION! Edmund Dantes is falsely accused by those jealous of his good fortune, and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the notorious island prison, Chateau d'If. While imprisoned, he meets the Abbe Faria, a fellow prisoner whom everyone believes to be mad. The Abbe tells Edmund of a fantastic treasure hidden away on a tiny island, that only he knows the location of. After many years in prison, the old Abbe dies, and Edmund escapes disguised as the dead body. Now free, Edmund must find the treasure the Abbe told him of, so he can use the new-found wealth to exact revenge on those who have wronged him.

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THE GORILLA GREETS YOU (1958)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Bernard Borderie, Stars: Lino Ventura, Charles Vanel, Pierre Dux. We are taken to a prison, where Geo Paquet, alias the gorilla, has been serving time. Geo manages to escape by bending down the bars of his cell window. Then, he joins a man in attempting to discover a plot that not only deals with missing atomic secrets. The viewer's credibility is tested throughout the movie, although watching tough man Geo Paquet doing what he did best was enough to warrant a viewing. Lino Ventura had an aura about him that he transmitted from film to film. He was a charismatic actor with a large following because the kind of role which he invariably was called to play. Other notable character actors in the film include Charles Vanel, Pierre Dux, Rene Lefevre, the attractive Bella Darvi, Andre Valmi, and the elegant Marie Sabouret, who was Geo's woman. Ms. Sabouret, a sophisticated woman died right after the film was released. The film has a jazzy score by Jean Leccia and Georges Van Parys. The black and white cinematography is by the great Louis Page who enjoyed a long career in the French cinema.

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WOMAN EXECUTIONER (1968)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Written and directed by Jean-Denis Bonan, Claude Merlin  ...  Louis Guilbeau, Solange Pradel  ...  Solange Lebas, Myriam Mézières  ...  Suzy, l'assistante. Paris, in the 1960s. A series of crimes troubles the public tranquility. On March, 22, 1968, Hélène Picard, a prostitute sentenced to death two years before for several murders, is killed by executioner Louis Guilbeau. Immediately, the violent crimes, similar to Hélène’s ones, go on again. In parallel, Louis is having an affair with the police woman in charge of the investigation… What are the obscure relations hidden behind the executioner and the mysterious killer? Who is this dark man in reality?

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