Le Beau Serge (1958)*** Out on DVD

April 2nd, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director:Claude Chabrol

Cast: Gerard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Bernadette Lafont.

99min    French with subtitles

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Generally considered to be one of the first films in the French New Wave movement, Le Beau Serge was Claude Chabrol’s self-financed debut and he launches himself, full throttle, into this bleak piece of social realism that focuses on the homecoming of François (Jean-Claude Brialy) who is back from a few years in Paris. Full of sophisticated confidence, he finds that his old friends aren’t necessarily as happy to see him as he would have hoped, and particularly Serge, a leather-jacketed, rebellious roué who has turned to drink and settled for a loveless marriage

France was still getting back on its feet after the War years and there was considerable poverty in provincial life.  With its nods to the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ and improvised and grainy indie feel, it’s an interesting starting point for those keen on Chabrol or Nouvelle Vague but not gripping or well made enough to warrant much excitement compared to what was to come in the Chabrol canon. Some of the editing is poor with some shaky camera-work, although the performances are surprisingly accomplished particularly for Jean-Claude Brialy and Bernadette Lafont. MT

LE BEAU SERGE IS NOW OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD COURTESY OF EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT’S THE MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES.

* GAUMONT RESTORATION.

* EXCERPTS AND INTERVIEWS WITH CLAUDE CHABROL.

* NEW AND IMPROVED ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

* ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER. 56 MIN DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE FILM.

 

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