Director: René Clément Cast: Maria Schell, François Perier, Armand Mestral



This DVD marks the first appearance of Rene Clement's critically-acclaimed Gervaise in any high-end video format outside of France (where it was released several years ago). The Essential Art House Collection is a creation of Janus Films, the company behind The Criterion Collection, and the name "essential art house" actually carries two meanings -- yes, every film represented in it was an art-house cinema staple of the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, or 1970's; and the presentation takes the movie down to its essentials -- there are none of the frills, whistles or bells that one associates with Criterion Collection DVDs, such as commentary tracks, outtakes, unmixed music tracks etc.; just, as in this case, a well-nigh perfect print of the film in question. And in this case, as with most of the films in this series, the movie is more than enough, especially presented in the manner it is -- this reviewer has known Gervaise since it first turned up (dubbed into English) on WOR-Channel 9's "Million Dollar Movie" in the mid-1960's, and this is easily the best looking presentation of this that we've ever seen. The full-screen image (1.33-to-1) is crisp, rich in contrast, and razor-sharp. Earlier presentations made the film look much older than it actually was, even in the early 1960's. And the sound is unexpectedly loud and robust, which delineates the dialogue far better as well as giving Georges Auric's score better play than ever before. Additionally, the 21 chapters are just right for the highly literate script in this 117 minute movie. And, finally, with that running time of 117 minutes, this marks the first time that Gervaise has been presented in the United States its uncut form. There are, in keeping with Essential Art House's underlying policy, no bonus features, but for those who've long wished for a proper presentation of this movie, none are essential.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/2009
UPC: 0715515050319
Original Release: 1956
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:57:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maria Schell Gervaise Macquart
François Perier Henri Coupeau
Armand Mestral Lantier
Mathilde Casadesus Mme. Boche
Suzy Delair Virginie
Jany Holt Mme. Lorilleaux
Jacques Hilling Mon. Boche
Amedee Actor
Yvonne Claudie Actor
Odette Florelle Maman Coupeau
Jacques Harden Goujet
Lucien Hubert M. Poisson
Jacqueline Morane Mme. Gaudron
Aram Stephan Actor
André Wasley Pere Colombe
Hubert DeLapparent Mon. Lorilleaux
Rachel Devirys Mme. Fauconnier
Micheline Luccioni Clemence
Helene Tossy Mme. Bijard
Gérard Darrieu Actor

Technical Credits
René Clément Director
Antoine Archimbaud Sound/Sound Designer
Jean Aurenche Screenwriter
Georges Auric Score Composer
Paul Bertrand Production Designer
Pierre Bost Screenwriter
Annie Dorfmann Producer
Mai Harris Editor
Robert Juillard Cinematographer
Mayo Costumes/Costume Designer
Jacques Robin Camera Operator
Henri Rust Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Essential Art House: Gervaise
1. Out All Night [10:23]
2. "This is for Your Sister!" [5:37]
3. Wedding Day in Paris [10:15]
4. On a Rooftop [4:23]
5. Goujet's Loan [2:27]
6. An Old Friend [4:03]
7. In Confidence [4:10]
8. Drunkard [7:02]
9. Two Wonderful Things...and Lantier [3:50]
10. Birthday Party [15:43]
11. Unexpected Houseguest [2:49]
12. Arrested [3:36]
13. Lantier Moves in [2:55]
14. Virginie's Plan [10:10]
15. "I Believe You" [5:09]
16. Thief [4:19]
17. Breaking Point [7:01]
18. "I Get it Now" [3:14]
19. The DTs [6:13]
20. Ribbon in Her Hair [3:57]

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Gervaise 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
A beautifully made film based on a novel by Emil Zola. Beautifully photographed and fascinating from beginning to end. Highly recommended. The daughter of the lead character seen in this film is the subject of the next novel in Zola's series, Nana, also made into a film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago