March 12, 2020  (Web Review)

Quai des Orfèvres

Kino Lorber, 107 min., in French w/English subtitles, not rated, Blu-ray: $29.99, Feb. 25

Reviewer rating: 4.0/4

Writing in VL-7/03, reviewer Frank Swietek said: “Although Henri-Georges Clouzot is best known for Les Diaboliques and The Wages of Fear, this 1947 suspense classic (aka Jenny Lamour) may be his best work–a wonderfully entertaining combination of murder mystery, police procedural, and romantic melodrama, leavened with mordant humor, light sentiment, and a touch of the writer-director’s characteristic misogyny. The great Louis Jouvet plays a hardened cop tracking down the killer of a lecherous businessman, a trail that leads him to a milquetoast music hall pianist (Bernard Blier), whose voluptuous singer-wife (Suzy Delair) the victim had tried to seduce. Clouzot’s script is witty and wise–the denouement comes as a surprise though he’s provided every clue needed to figure it out–and he captures the gritty milieu of post-war Paris masterfully while teasing marvelous performances from the entire cast (including stunning Simone Renant as a lesbian photographer).” Released in an excellent Criterion edition on DVD in 2003, Quai des Orfèvres makes its Blu-ray debut from Kino and it features a luminous transfer, along with extras including an audio commentary by film critic Nick Pinkerton, plus extensive excerpts from a 1971 TV interview with Clouzot and the leading performers. Highly recommended. Editor’s Choice. (R. Pitman)