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Bay of Angels
Bay of Angels
Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Claude Mann, Paul Guers, Henri Nassiet, André Certes
Director: Jacques Demy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2003     1hr 30min

Lovingly restored by his widow, Agnès Varda, Jacques Demy's brilliant second feature - long unavailable to American audiences due to print damage - can now be seen in its original glorious form. — One night while on vacatio...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jeanne Moreau, Claude Mann, Paul Guers, Henri Nassiet, André Certes
Director: Jacques Demy
Creators: Jean Rabier, Jacques Demy, Anne-Marie Cotret, Paul-Edmond Decharme
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/09/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 11/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Little seen Jacques Demy film restored by his widow is a lovely New Wave look at chance. Stiff, young unmarried Jean (Claude Mann), who works in a bank, is introduced to gambling by a co-worker. When Jean wins a bundle on beginners' luck, he impulsively defies his father's warning of the evils of gambling and heads for a resort town on the Bay of Angels to start a new a gambler. There he meets bleached blonde Jacki (Jeanne Moreau) who gambles recklessly and compulsively. She's split from her husband and young son because of her need to gamble. She slyly moves in on Jean in his hotel room because she's broke and has nowhere to go. Jean then becomes her lucky charm at the casino tables. They win big together. They also lose big together. But Jean is in love with Jacki even though to her he's more of a good luck piece. But Jacki isn't as tough as she seems. Lush b&w filming of a deceptively short tale (79 min.) is easy to watch and enjoy. Moreau is a stunner as Jacki---a woman caught in a haze of addiction but nevertheless upbeat even though her heart is breaking. Young, inexperienced Jean is repulsed by what Jacki sometimes does to get money or chips but he's like a gangly lovestruck puppy tagging along. He's caught in the gambling web, too, but is willing to take the chance to get out. Jacki LIVES on chance...but she's too scared to take that kind. How two unlikely people find each other and Jacki finds such a strong supporter is also pure chance. Like the roulette wheels they play, every day is a game of chance. Michel Legrand's score is loaded with dramatic piano flourishes rising at key moments and moody jazz flavors at others as the couple roam from casino to casino, hotel to hotel, high times to low times. Moreau, cigarette dangling from her full lips, her hip swinging worldly walk and hand brushing her teased platinum hair isn't easily forgotten. For film lovers---this is a find. Enjoy."
Terrific Jeanne Moreau film from Demy, til now hard to find
Film Buff Chris | Doylestown, PA United States | 12/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had heard of Jacques Demy's "Bay of Angels"; and Pauline Kael gave it a favorable review that made me want to see it, saying Jeanne Moreau blond gambling bombshell was the New Wave equivalent to some of Bette Davis' intense 30s portrayals. But it never played anywhere I knew of, it's never been on tv, it seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. I just came across the dvd in a store the other day, saw that Demy's filmmaker wife restored it -- and it's gorgeous in the dvd edition -- and I bought it and watched it. It's strange and peculiar but thoroughly engrossing. Most of Demy's work is very stylized ... and in this Moreau has white/blond hair and white/blond clothes and I guess black/addict's soul. I was surprised how powerful, in its off-hand way, the film was about gambling as addiction... Moreau seemed to live in a kind of hell, but also loved being in it. She's very good in the film, and very unlike many of her other roles (where she's also great). Very worth watching, memorable. And the visuals are really stunning. (By the way -- I did manage to see Demy's "Lola" with Anouk Aimee years ago, loved it, and will probably get that dvd too. Also has been hard to find.)"
BAY OF ANGELS at last on DVD
mackjay | Cambridge, MA | 12/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"BAIE DES ANGES is beautifully shot in Paris, Nice and Monte Carlo--even in B&W that place was a paradise. The gifted (but for some, always slightly off-putting) Jeanne Moreau is a late 30-something gambler--she has ALL the issues, very much like an alcoholic, which she is as well. A handsome young Parisian, Claude Mann, meets, and becomes fascinated with her. They embark on a gambling binge together. In mere hours they go from poor to near-rich and back again. The film convincingly conveys the allure and dangers of gambling--and all the games one plays with oneself and others as well. The characters develop an interdependence (no surprise), but the young man is not really a gambler--his approach to playing is careful and calculated-- and his sense of self-preservation never leaves him. Demy's vision is fundamentally optimistic and romantic, but this film has nonetheles a wide range of character and emotion. It is not as great as his LOLA (1961), now also on DVD, a film that more satisfyingly creates its own universe and haunts the viewer long after with its own conflicted romantic vision.There is a pleasing score by Michel Legrand, which can overwhelm in the DVD's 3.1 "stereo" optional audio track--the orignal mono is also an option. The restoration of this film is very well done and it looks marvelous in this letterboxed presentation. Also included are the film's trailer and a brief segment from Demy-widow Agnes Varda's documentary on Demy, with comments from Moreau and Mann and Demy himself."
The Nigtmare of Gamblers
R. Crane | Washington, DC United States | 11/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While this is a remarkable film, the story is about addiction to roulette gambling and the devastating impact gambling has on the lives of the gamblers. So much of the film was spent watching the balls roll around the roulette wheel, that it felt sufficating, but not to the gamblers. The actors were marvelous, but the story is very depressing. Brillantly filmed."