(aka 'Clean-up" or "Clean Slate")

directed by Bertrand Tavernier
France 1981


  An inspired rendering of Jim Thompson’s pulp novel Pop. 1280, Bertrand Tavernier’s Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) deftly transplants the story of an inept police chief- turned-heartless killer and his scrappy mistress from the American South to French West Africa. Featuring pitch-perfect performances by Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert, this striking neo-noir straddles the line between violence and lyricism with dark humor and visual elegance.


Theatrical Release: November 4th, 1981

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 106 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 2:00:28
Video 1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 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, None

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:

Edition Details:

• Exclusive video interview with Bertrand Tavernier (46:56)
• An alternate ending (5:41)
• U.S. theatrical trailer

• 6-page liner notes with essay by Michael Dare

DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 35




This is a very solid anamorphic, progressive transfer from Criterion. Their website claims this is original aspect ratio 1.66, but this DVD shows us the film in 1.75. As was the intention of the film, it is very dark in some sequences, colors are often muted, contrast and sharpness are excellent. Subtitles are a little bold. Audio is original 2.0. The Tavernier interview is excellent and a valued addition. This is a fairly complex film and any substantial extras are of great help in interpreting the films content - a commentary would have been a real viable bonus feature. This is in the lower tier of pricing and well worth it - a real deal from Criterion.  out of   

Gary W. Tooze


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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 106 - Region 0 - NTSC


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