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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

("Plot" or "The Assassination" or "The French Conspiracy")

 

Directed by Yves Boisset
France / Italy / West Germany 1972

 

Discovering that exiled Algerian OAS terrorist Sadiel (Gian Maria Volontè, For a Few Dollars More) is about to return to France, both the CIA and the French Secret Service go on red alert. They blackmail a journalist, François Darien (Jean-Louis Trintignant, The Conformist), into helping them to entice Sadiel to Paris, in order to assassinate him. Meanwhile Michael Howard (Roy Scheider, The Seven-Ups) discovers the double-cross, only to be warned off by the CIA, who are quite happy to have the French dig their own political grave. A taut, gripping drama unfolds, as two secret service agencies fight for superiority on the streets of Paris. Yves Boisset (Dog Day) directed this political thriller based largely on the true story of the Mehdi Ben Barka affair, with music by the great Ennio Morricone (The Sicilian Clan) and a loaded international cast including Michel Piccoli (Max and the Junkmen), Jean Seberg (Breathless), Michel Bouquet (The Unfaithful Wife), Bruno Cremer (Sorcerer), Daniel Ivernel (Ulysses), Philippe Noiret (Topaz), François Périer (Le Samouraï) and Nigel Davenport (Phase IV).

***

Sadiel, rebel leader in a North African state, takes refuge in Switzerland in the aftermath of a coup. Aware of the threat posed by Sadiel, the ruthless Colonel Kassar contacts the French security services to help in capturing the political activist. A police informer, Darien, is forced to lure Sadiel to Paris, allegedly to make a television coverage about the Third World. Arriving in Paris, Sadiel is captured and delivered to his opponents. Disgusted by the way he has been manipulated, Darien tries to turn back the clock, unknowing who he's dealing with.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 4th, 1972

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino / Code Red - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino / Code Red - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime

Original French Cut: 2:03:08.714         

English DUB: 1:38:22.479

Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,425,586,145 bytes

Original French Cut: 23,510,925,312 bytes

English DUB: 19,911,757,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.49 / 23/.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Original French Cut Blu-ray:

Bitrate English DUB Blu-ray:

Audio

Original French Cut:         

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

English DUB:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English (only on Original French Cut), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino / Code Red

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,425,586,145 bytes

Original French Cut: 23,510,925,312 bytes

English DUB: 19,911,757,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.49 / 23/.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Includes both the Original French and English Dub Cuts


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 14th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Code Red Blu-ray (September 2021): Code Red have transferred Yves Boisset's The French Conspiracy to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "4K Restoration from the Original Camera Negative". There is a green bias in the interior sequences but it generally looks appealing with fine grain texture, pleasing detail in close-ups and occasional depth. It's also fairly clean without marks or frequent speckles and the HD presentation is smooth in motion. There are a few minor inconsistencies but aside from the 'green' indoor shots - it was a solid.

I sampled some of the, 25-minute shorter, English DUB version (not seamlessly-branched) and the 1080P quality seems on par.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino / Code Red use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original French language and the same encode for the, separately rendered, English DUB version. The French Conspiracy has requirements (brawl, torture, gunfire etc.) for depth but they come through fairly moderately. Fans may appreciate the score by iconic Ennio Morricone (Who Saw Her Die?, The Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Fifth Cord, Luna, Danger Diabolik, Two Mules For Sister Sara, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) sounding supportive of the suspense and thriller components. Kino / Code Red offer optional English subtitles, for the French version only, on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino / Code Red Blu-ray offers no extras aside from the English DUB'ed cut that comes with this disclaimer; "The following is a reconstruction of the U.S. release version of L'attentat. It was sourced from a variety of elements and is not an exact representation of The French Conspiracy." So take that for what it's worth.

Yves Boisset's The French Conspiracy is an excellent political-crime-thriller. It has a veritable 'who's who' of French stars; unflinching Jean-Louis Trintignant, intense Michel Piccoli, loyal Jean Seberg, Michel Bouquet (bourgeois lawyer), Philippe Noiret (TV exec.) etc. - and throw in a DUBB'ed Roy Scheider! - They just need Belmondo (RIP), Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura. It's a shame there wasn't a commentary instead of the largely superfluous English DUB version. It is loosely based on the Ben Barka Affair - the Moroccan politician was an opponent of French Imperialism and King Hassan II, and he was "disappeared" in Paris in 1965. It was strongly referenced, in the film, that he was murdered (assassinated) via a complicit CIA. It was eventually determined, in 2018, to be Moroccan agents and French police, who covertly disposed of the body. The French Conspiracy was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival where it garnered the Silver Prize. It stays at an even keel with no easily identifiable 'white hats' - they all look to have some villainous corruption with Trintignant being the least susceptible. The script was penned by Jorge Semprun - who wrote Costa-Gavras' Z - of which The French Conspiracy frequently evokes. I was very impressed with the film and the, essentially bare-bones, Code Red Blu-ray allowed me to see it in 1080P. The film is strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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