Feb 112017
 

These three movies by Claude Chabrol range from dark, to black dark to more light-hearted and each are, simply, well done with probably my favorite being The Swindle as I tend to enjoy crime-centric movies a bit more, however each feature great performances, most notably though Marie Trintignant.

 

 

3 Classic Films by Claude Chabrol
— Betty/Torment/The Swindle —

(1992-1997)

Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Cohen Media Group | NR – 103 min. / 102 min. / 105 min. – $49.99 | February 21, 2017

Date Published: 02/11/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Claude Chabbrol
Writer(s): Various
Cast: Marie Trintignant, Stéphane Audran, Jean-François Garreaud, Emmanuel Béart, François Cluzet, André Wilms, Isabelle Huppert, Michel Serrault
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentaries, Trailers
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: French (PCM 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.66
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 

THE MOVIES — 4.0/5


Betty (1992) — 4.0/5
Plot Synopsis:
Betty (MARIE TRINTIGNANT) is a woman whose alcohol-soaked life has finally fallen to pieces. She fortunately falls under the care of an older woman (STEPHANE AUDRAN) with a similar background, but her benefactor’s sympathies may be misplaced.

Quick Hit Review: This is my first foray into director Claude Chabbrol’s work, heck with my lack of knowledge for French cinema this movie was something new in general. Although slowly paced, and somewhat hard to follow jumping back and forth in time, this is a wonderfully, and dark, character drama featuring two amazing performances by Marie Trtinignant and Stephane Audran who work well off of one another.

L’Enfer aka Torment (1994) — 4.0/5
Plot Synopsis:
Paul (FRANCOIS CLUZET) seems to have it all: a charming hotel on a serene lake, a beautiful wife Nelly (EMMANUEL BEART) and a new son. Forced to work extremely hard to keep things afloat, Paul begins hearing voices in his head questioning the choices he’s made. He’s convinced that Nelly has been unfaithful and starts to see every male guest as a potential threat. What follows is Paul’s downward spiral into the madness of deranged jealousy where he finally discovers that hell is not a state of mind–hell is himself.

Quick Hit Review: The second movie in the “3 Classic Films by Claude Chabrol” is easily the most disturbing. The French title L’Enfer (Hell), the English title was a more generic, Torment which doesn’t nearly touch the themes of this nightmare in which a man’s psyche degenerates into domestic abuse and kidnapping. While the previous movie, Betty, was certainly dark, this one was pitch black and if you’re looking for a conclusive finish, “No End” is the final words… Still, L’Enfer features a powerhouse performance by Emmanuel Béart who runs the gamut from beautiful yet strong to an utterly destroyed soul by the end.

The Swindle (1997) — 4.25/5
Plot Synopsis:
Isabelle Huppert and Michel Serrault star as a couple of small-time con artists looking for the next big game in this psychological thriller tinged with wry humor.  Into their web stumbles a naïve financial courier (FRANCOIS CLUZET) accompanying what might be their biggest score yet.

Quick Hit Review: Easily the most enjoyable of the three movies, The Swindle is a fun crime-comedy featuring two wonderful performances by Isabelle Huppert and Michel Serrault as well as François Cluzet who certainly plays a more likeable character compared to L’Enfer. The plot, or the con I should say, is a bit confusing but the tension in the third act is well done and there are certainly a lot of Hitchcock elements whom director Claude Chabbrol was an expert on. If you’re not into dark films like the previous two, this one has plenty of charm and entertainment.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5


This 3-disc release comes housed in a standard Blu-ray case. Inside is a short booklet with credits for each film.

Betty (1992) — 0.5/5

  • Re-Release Trailer (1:34; HD)

L’Enfer (1994) — 1.5/5

  • Audio Commentary – Critics Wade Major and Andy Klein
  • Re-Release Trailer (1:24; HD)

The Swindle (1997) — 2.5/5

  • Audio Commentary – Critics Wade Major and Andy Klein
  • Interview (42:32; HD) – Actor François Cluzet
  • Re-Release Trailer (2:00; HD)

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


Each movie is presented in their respective 1.66 aspect ratios and given a nice 1080p high-definition transfers. The picture quality across all three films showcases some bright colors, natural looking skin tones and excellent clarity and detail throughout. For Betty and Torment, I didn’t notice much in the way of obvious artifacts, aliasing, banding, dust marks or other flaws so it does appear care was handled in these French classics. The Swindle on the other hand, there were numerous instances of scratches, some seem to be from stock footage but there were specs in other scenes. Otherwise, this one also featured sharp detail and good color array.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


Each film comes with an effective French language PCM Stereo track and for the most part, they sound fine. Dialogue levels sounded fairly clear though some instances where it topped out while some depth is showcased with the score and some ambient noises.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, these three movies by Claude Chabrol range from dark, to black dark to more light-hearted and each are, simply, well done with probably my favorite being The Swindle as I tend to enjoy crime-centric movies a bit more, however each feature great performances, most notably though Marie Trintignant. This Blu-ray release by Cohen Film features good video and audio transfers and a so-so selection of features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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