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Le Plaisir (Blu-ray) Arrow


The French writer Guy de Maupassant has inspired many great filmmakers. Among those to adapt his short stories and novels were Jean-Luc Godard, Kenji Mizoguchi, Walerian Borowczyk, Harry Kümel, Luis Buñuel and Christian-Jacque. But it was arguably Max Ophuls, with his 1952 feature, Le Plaisir, who proved to be the most adept.

Le Plaisir takes three of de Maupassant’s stories as its source: in Le Masque, a masked dandy conceals a secret; in La Maison Tellier, the girls of a small-town brothel are taken on an outing to attend the communion of the madam’s niece; and in La Modèle, a painter falls in love with his model, but the course of love isn’t as smooth as either expected.

To tell these tales, Ophuls assembled a remarkable cast of French talent, including Jean Gabin (Pépé le Moko, La Grande Illusion), Pierre Brasseur (Eyes Without a Face, Spotlight on a Murderer), Danielle Darrieux (Madame de…, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort), Claude Dauphin (Casque d’Or, Barbarella), Simone Simon (Cat People, La Ronde) and many more besides.

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Special Features

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, from materials supplied by Gaumont
Original French mono audio (uncompressed LPCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles
A Journey Through Le Plaisir, a 54-minute documentary by Philippe Roger featuring interviews with cast and crew, and a visit of the film’s locations fifty years on
Diary of a Film Shoot, an interview with Ophuls’ assistant director, Jean Valerie
An interview with Marcel Ophuls, the filmmaker son of Max
Le Plaisir Restored, Ronald Boullet and Andre Labbouz discuss the restoration process
Theatrical trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio