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Symphony For A Massacre Blu-ray Review

‘Symphony For A Massacre’ is an involving French film noir. 

Based on the novel by Alain Reynaud-Fourton, ‘Symphony For A Massacre’ (AKA ‘The Corrupt’) revolves around 5 men (Clavet, Moreau, Jabeke, Valoti, and Paoli) who decide to pool their money together to buy drugs with the hopes of making a huge profit. Moreau is tasked with handling the money, but he is killed (and the money is stolen). Who is responsible? That’s something you’ll have to see for yourself. After that event, the story deals with the fallout of the theft and how distrust begins to form between the 4 men. Is someone trying to take the money for themselves? All is revealed in the end.

Directed by Jacques Deray and written by Deray, Jose Giovanni, and Claude Satet, 1963’s ‘Symphony For A Massacre’ is a slow burn noir/heist film that builds and builds. Seeing how the deal goes down and how the situation unravels and escalates is what draws the viewer in. You want to see how the story pans out and who will be left standing in this story filled with murder, double crosses, fake money, infidelity, tricks, and even a bit of revenge. Admittedly, it does start a bit slow (especially with all the long shots), but it certainly pays off in the end. 

Visually, the film is spectacular. Not only does Claude Renoir’s cinematography immerse you into this seedy underworld, but the location shooting is absolutely first rate. 

Although Jean Rochefort is the big name here as Jabeke, this is very much an ensemble piece. Rochefort (who played against type at the time in a very serious and eerie role here), Claude Dauphin (Valoti), Michel Auclair (Clavet), Charles Vanel (Paoli), and Jose Giovanni (Moreau), Michele Mercier (Madeleine) and Daniela Rocca (Helene) are all on top of their game here.


Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W film has been beautifully restored in 2K from a 4K scan of the surviving 35mm interpositive.

Audio Track: French Mono. How does it sound? For a Mono track, this is very lively and crisp.

Extras include a Re-release trailer, Cohen Media trailers and a 28 minute bonus feature (in French) titled ‘The Score’ in which film historian Francois Guerif and Jean Rochefort Jean-Philippe Guerand discuss ‘Symphony For A Massacre.’

September 11, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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