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French Noir Collection [2 X Blu-ray]
 

Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis) 1957    Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur) 1958

Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville) 1959

 

 

This collection features three film noir classics from France.

 

Speaking of Murder (1957) a.k.a. Le rouge est mis – From acclaimed crime writer Auguste Le Breton (Rififi, Bob Le Flambeur) comes this gripping noir thriller starring cinema icon Jean Gabin (Rififi in Paris, The Sicilian Clan). Louis Bertain (Gabin) is the owner of a Paris garage which serves as a front for a gang of thieves. He and his accomplices are careful to keep up a civic veneer by day, indulging in criminal activities only when “the red light is on” at night. This status quo is upset when one of the gang members becomes convinced that Louis’ younger brother is a police informer. Featuring taut direction from Gilles Grangier (The Night Affair) and excellent supporting turns by Paul Frankeur (Touchez Pas Au Grisbi), Marcel Bozzuffi (Illustrious Corpses), Lino Ventura (The Valachi Papers) and Annie Girardot (Rocco and His Brothers).

 

Back to the Wall (1958) a.k.a. Le dos au mur – Screen legend Jeanne Moreau (Elevator to the Gallows, Seven Days... Seven Nights) stars in this twisty, mood-drenched film noir from acclaimed crime writer Frédéric Dard (Rendezvous). When wealthy industrialist Jacques Decrey (Gérard Oury, Sea Devils) discovers that his wife (Moreau) is having an affair with a young actor, he decides to exact revenge by blackmailing her under an assumed identity. In the film’s bravura introductory sequence, we witness Jacques meticulously disposing of a corpse—just a taste of the pitch-black intrigue to follow in director Édouard Molinaro’s (Witness in the City) stylish tour de force, featuring dazzling black-and-white cinematography. Co-starring Philippe Nicaud (The Mysterious Island) and Claire Maurier (The 400 Blows).

 

Witness in the City (1959) a.k.a. Un témoin dans la ville – Based on a novel by the legendary Thomas Narcejac (Diabolique, Vertigo, Eyes Without a Face), this dark tale of vengeance stars the great Lino Ventura (Razzia Sur La Chnouf, A Pain in the Ass) in an early leading role. Industrialist Pierre Verdier kills his mistress Jeanne Ancelin by throwing her off a train. Her husband (Ventura) decides to take revenge on his wife’s murderer, who has been acquitted by justice. Directed by Édouard Molinaro (Back to the Wall) and shot by Henri Decaë (Diabolically Yours), Witness in the City is a pulse-pounding film noir set on the grim and gritty streets of Paris. Co-starring Fellini favorites Sandra Milo () and Franco Fabrizi (I Vitelloni), with Jacques Berthier (Shoot First… Ask Questions Later), Daniel Ceccaldi (Rififi in Paris) and Françoise Brion (L’Immortelle).

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 12th, 1957 - May 6th, 1959

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis): 1:25:41.416
Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur): 1:34:25.916
Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville): 1:29:36.500
Video

Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis):

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,138,033,171 bytes

Feature: 27,388,256,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur):

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,701,312,728 bytes

Feature: 20,349,407,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.60 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville):

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,701,312,728 bytes

Feature: 20,516,505,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.33 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis) Blu-ray:

Bitrate Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur) Blu-ray:

Bitrate Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville) Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1587 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1587 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailers for Speaking of Murder (3:41) and Back to the Wall (2:43)

Reversible covers (see below)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 29th, 2022
Standard Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 8 / 8 / 8

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (November 2022): Kino have transferred a new 'French Noir Collection' to Blu-ray consisting of three films; Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis) from 1957, Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur) from 1958 and Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville) from 1959 - housed on a two dual-layered Blu-rays. with Speaking of Murder on its own, first Blu-ray, and the other two films sharing a second disc. It is stated that "All three films were restored in 2K". The 1080P image quality is quite good for all three films. Witness in the City can be a shade dark (muddy) but there is solid contrast in the other two, smatterings of grain, damage free and all three HD presentations appear film-like without digitization or compressions issues.

NOTE: We have added 116 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original French language. There is a variety of, generally underplayed, aggression that comes through flat with modest bass. Speaking of Murder had a score by Denis Kieffer (Les assassins du dimanche.) On Back to the Wall the score was credited to Richard Cornu (Le crime du Bouif) and on Witness in the City the score was by Barney Wilen (his first film composition but he worked as a tenor sax musician on Elevator to the Gallows.) It's pleasingly jazzy, often performed by his Quintet. The films music is fairly subtle but helps establish dark moods felt through the presnetations. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers only some, French-language film trailers - two of which are for Speaking of Murder and Back to the Wall. The package does have reversible cover art (see above.)

Kino's new 'French Noir Collection' on Blu-ray is highly anticipated by 'dark cinema' and French film fans - not to mention those keen on icons Jeanne Moreau, Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura. We already know the French are fearless in exploring humanity's dark side - often through a lens of crime-infused Noir with directors like Jean-Pierre Melville, Julien Duvivier, Jean Renoir, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Arnaud, Jacques Becker, Louis Malle, François Truffaut, Jacques Deray, Claude Sautet, Costa-Gavras etc. in films like Pépé le Moko, Port of Shadows, La Bête Humaine, Le Corbeau, Le Jour Se Leve, Panique, Casque d'Or, Touchez Pas Au Grisbi, Le Trou, Bob Le Flambeur, Rififi, Elevator to the Gallows, Purple Noon, Shoot the Piano Player, Classe Tous Risques, The Sicilian Clan, Le Cercle Rouge, Max and the Junkmen, Le Deuxième Souffle, Le Doulos, Le Samouraï, Army of Shadows and A Cop to name a few. Two of the films in Kino's 'French Noir Collection' are directed by Édouard Molinaro who was best known for his comedies, but this cinema is quite dark with the filmmaker's entries dealing with vengeful, scheming, husbands cheated on by their adulterous wives. Both of these films are excellent. In the other, Speaking of Murder, ruthless Louis the Blond (Jean Gabin) manages a gang of criminals fronted by his legitimate businesses, until trust issues set in. These are wonderful efforts with mood-enhancing black and white cinematography, desperate criminal elements, and jealousy-damaged husbands. I hope Kino do as many volumes as they are for their Noir Dark Side Blu-ray sets. Hopefully commentaries will also be included. Absolutely recommended!   

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

(aka "Le rouge est mis" or "Speaking of Murder")

 

directed by Gilles Grangier

France 1957

 

Speaking of Murder (1957) a.k.a. Le rouge est mis – From acclaimed crime writer Auguste Le Breton (Rififi, Bob Le Flambeur) comes this gripping noir thriller starring cinema icon Jean Gabin (Rififi in Paris, The Sicilian Clan). Louis Bertain (Gabin) is the owner of a Paris garage which serves as a front for a gang of thieves. He and his accomplices are careful to keep up a civic veneer by day, indulging in criminal activities only when “the red light is on” at night. This status quo is upset when one of the gang members becomes convinced that Louis’ younger brother is a police informer. Featuring taut direction from Gilles Grangier (The Night Affair) and excellent supporting turns by Paul Frankeur (Touchez Pas Au Grisbi), Marcel Bozzuffi (Illustrious Corpses), Lino Ventura (The Valachi Papers) and Annie Girardot (Rocco and His Brothers).

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

(aka "Le dos au mur" or "Evidence in Concrete" or "Back to the Wall")

 

directed by Édouard Molinaro

France 1958

 

Back to the Wall (1958) a.k.a. Le dos au mur – Screen legend Jeanne Moreau (Elevator to the Gallows, Seven Days... Seven Nights) stars in this twisty, mood-drenched film noir from acclaimed crime writer Frédéric Dard (Rendezvous). When wealthy industrialist Jacques Decrey (Gérard Oury, Sea Devils) discovers that his wife (Moreau) is having an affair with a young actor, he decides to exact revenge by blackmailing her under an assumed identity. In the film’s bravura introductory sequence, we witness Jacques meticulously disposing of a corpse—just a taste of the pitch-black intrigue to follow in director Édouard Molinaro’s (Witness in the City) stylish tour de force, featuring dazzling black-and-white cinematography. Co-starring Philippe Nicaud (The Mysterious Island) and Claire Maurier (The 400 Blows).

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

(aka "Un témoin dans la ville" or "Witness in the City")

 

directed by Édouard Molinaro

France 1959

 

Witness in the City (1959) a.k.a. Un témoin dans la ville – Based on a novel by the legendary Thomas Narcejac (Diabolique, Vertigo, Eyes Without a Face), this dark tale of vengeance stars the great Lino Ventura (Razzia Sur La Chnouf, A Pain in the Ass) in an early leading role. Industrialist Pierre Verdier kills his mistress Jeanne Ancelin by throwing her off a train. Her husband (Ventura) decides to take revenge on his wife’s murderer, who has been acquitted by justice. Directed by Édouard Molinaro (Back to the Wall) and shot by Henri Decaë (Diabolically Yours), Witness in the City is a pulse-pounding film noir set on the grim and gritty streets of Paris. Co-starring Fellini favorites Sandra Milo () and Franco Fabrizi (I Vitelloni), with Jacques Berthier (Shoot First… Ask Questions Later), Daniel Ceccaldi (Rififi in Paris) and Françoise Brion (L’Immortelle).

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis)

 

Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur)

Witness in the City (Un témoin dans la ville)

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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