Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Just Before Nightfall" or "Sul far della notte")
Italy / France 1971


The blond is good-looking, maybe a little over the hill. She lolls on the bed. "Come and play . . . or I'll make you pay!" she says, licking her lips. Michel Bouquet sits by the window in misery. He's a small man, very neat, receding hairline, pursed lips. He doesn't want to play. But he does. The blond closes her eyes and recites her rape fantasies - old favorites, apparently. She gets to the one aboutchoking. She asks him to choke her. Fade to a dark screen and the credits for Claude Chabrol's "Just Before Nightfall." When the lights come on again, she's dead.

It's often like this in Chabrol's films. His characters are the molds from which the French bourgeoisie cast. They're terribly respectable, they live in comfortable homes and work in well-paying professions, they present a facade of total respectability. But underneath there are dark passions and well-kept secrets and, frequently, the ultimate embarrassment of murder. They aren't killers; that's the whole point. They're people who commit murder to their own astonishment. "Just Before Nightfall" is one of Chabrol's best films on his favorite theme. He has, it turns out, a great deal more to say about his characters than we think at first, and after the blond's murder the movie proceeds through guilt, remorse and forgiveness - and finds none of them as enduring as middle class respectability. It is one thing to commit murder. After all, that could happen to anybody. But it's another thing altogether to do anything so vulgar as confessing to it.

Excerpt from Roger EBERT's review at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE


Theatrical Release: France 31 March 1971

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews


DVD Review: Arrow Film - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Arrow Film

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 102:06 (4% PAL speedup)

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English and None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: July 25, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12




Comments On the positive side is that this DVD seems to be in the correct ratio, it's quite sharp, the picture and audio is clean from dirt and dust, and the English subtitles are inside the screen frame. The rest has more or less trouble:

When the film has the very dark or night scenes, it's more or less blocked without any depth at all. There are some important scenes that are almost total black. The colors are also faded and looks quite ugly, which can also be a result of the shape of the original, 34 years old film elements. The bigger you make the picture, the less details there is on it. That's not the case with new transfers.

There's no extra-material.


 - Per-Olof Strandberg



DVD Menus  



Screen Captures













One of the key scenes are to dark



Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Claude Chabrol (French Film Directors)
by Guy Austin
Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni

Check out more in "The Library"

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:


Arrow Film

Region 0 - PAL



Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!