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Mr. Klein
Mr Klein
Actors: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé, Juliet Berto, Jean Bouise
Director: Joseph Losey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
UR     2004     2hr 3min

Both a thriller and a Kafkaesque dissertation on identity, Joseph Losey's Mr. Klein stars Alain Delon (Le Samorai, Le Cercle rouge) as Robert Klein?a charming and unscrupulous art dealer in Nazi-occupied France. As Jews fl...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Alain Delon, Jeanne Moreau, Francine Bergé, Juliet Berto, Jean Bouise
Director: Joseph Losey
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Religion & Spirituality, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/18/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

GREAT FILM/ EXCELLENT DVD
mackjay | Cambridge, MA | 05/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For those who have seen all of Joseph Losey's significant films, MR. KLEIN is the greatest after THE SERVANT. Some even call MR. KLEIN Losey's finest achievement. It's telling of our fragmented film culture that such an accomplished work of art remains unknown, even to many serious film buffs. For years, we had to settle for an English-dubbed, panned & scanned VHS tape. But the greatness of MR. KLEIN showed through even that medium.Now the film is available on a high-quality DVD from Home Vision (which manufactures Criterion DVDs). The transfer is very fine, with the broad color pallette ringing out. And the widescreen aspect of the film can be appreciated by many who have never seen it look so good.MR. KLEIN is a work of which its director should have been proud. It's intelligent, intriguing, moving, funny, and beautiful. Like THE SERVANT, it has at its center an ambiguous hero by whom one is, at turns, repelled and attracted. This may also be the greatest acting achievement of Alain Delon. The charismatic French actor's still-stunning good looks sometimes can distract from appreciating his genuine talent. Delon probably never gave a bad performance in any film. But MR. KLEIN provides him with a wide range and depth that he is more than capable of handling. It's mostly a quiet performance, with few outbursts. Delon is required to react, which he does brilliantly at several points, or to express the meaning of scene through posture and facial expression alone. One subtle example is the scene early on, where the mistress is on the bed in the background, wondering if she should get up. Delon is seated at his desk, half-listening to her trivialities. He has far more pressing issues on his mind. The actor perfectly conveys the ambivalent, trapped situation through small body gestures and tone of voice. When he finally rises to address the mistress's concerns, his forced tone is also exactly right for the moment. Later, Delon plays Klein's mixture of desperation and arrogance with so much conviction, it's easy to forget he is, after all, acting.MR. KLEIN is a film of rich interiors, and eye-catching, but not ostentatious, location shooting. It looks tremendous on DVD and it can leave the viewer devastated, but undeniably impressed by the genius of Joseph Losey and Alain Delon.A trailer for MR. KLEIN is also included"
Losey at his best
Charles S. Tashiro | Agoura Hills, CA USA | 05/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While less famous than his collaborations with Harold Pinter, "Mr. Klein" may well be director Joseph Losey's best work. A chilling parable that tends to leave viewers speechless, it offers a brilliantly sustained vision of life in a decadent, futureless society. Perhaps most importantly, this is a film about the Holocaust that does *not* focus on its horrors. Instead, these are taken as a given that surround the central story, smothering all concerned in a blanket of complicity.The most remarkably insidious aspect of "Mr. Klein" is the clever way we are put in a position of sympathy with a basically unlikeable, corrupt character, as he struggles to prove he is not Jewish. Because we know what the consequences of failure in the effort will be, viewers too are implicated in the situation, forced to confront how *we* would behave in similar circumstances. Instead of the easy moralizing encouraged in most treatments of this subject, the film presents a thoroughly political, unblinkered examination of guilt and denial.Like most of Losey's work, the film is slow-moving, distinctively designed and more than a tad opaque. In his less ambitious efforts, that opacity can often irritate. Here, with a real subject worthy of his talents, the director's famously menacing atmosphere seems absolutely right, the only way to tell this story. Losey's penchant for implying something nasty under the surface makes sense when we know that at any moment a jack-booted member of the SS may appear from off-camera. It is this threat, this constantly over-hanging possibility, that generates the fear which is the real subject of the film.All concerned are working in top form. Delon manages the awkward task of making us care what happens to Klein, even as we are repulsed by his actions and attitudes. Gerry Fisher's cinematography is the opposite of beautiful: cold, clammy, it superbly conveys a sense of dank decay. And special mention should be made of Egisto Macchi's spare, dissonant music. If only Hollywood understood such understatement!The transfer for this tape is adequate, but I profoundly wish this superb film were available on DVD."
A beautiful film made by genuises
James Sturch | San Diego, Ca | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Joseph Losey entered college at Dartmouth at age 16, went on to be a successful stage director, and then headed off to Europe before McCarthy could summon him. He is known as an international director. And to this day he is greatly overlooked. Thank god for the release of MONSIEUR KLEIN.This is a film made by a genius, assisted by geniuses. I still can't believe this film was made in 1976! The look of it is extraordinary, with brilliant cinematography by Gerry Fisher (who photographed 7 films for Losey), and art direction by Alexander Trauner. With a script by Franco Solinas, who also wrote the powerful THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, MR KLEIN is a film that doesn't explain itself, or hit you over the head with a philosophy, or message. Delon is incredible, as he is in Losey's other, much less graceful ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY, although Delon is striking, and you would be pressed to not look at him. His face is amazing in this film, as it captures the confusion, bewilderment of the character as he is stripped of his identity. This film is atmospheric and dreamy. This is a must for any serious film enthusiast. THE SERVANT should be next, then ACCIDENT, THE GO-BETWEEN, and the rest of Losey's oeuvre. Great books on Losey are Conversations with Losey by Michel Ciment and Joseph Losey by David Caute. Incredibly insightful and informative."
Pride and prejudice: a tale of French anti-Semitism
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 01/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When the Nazis occupied France during WWII, part of the French population, rather than be imprisoned, tortured, or put to death, uneasily agreed to participate in the fascist hatred of the Jews that Nazism espoused. The depiction of this French anti-Semitism in Mr. Klein, set in 1942, is a telling one, involving a cunning French art dealer who takes maximum advantage of Jews fleeing Paris by offering only the bare minimum amounts for their works of art they want to sell to raise money to leave.

The dealer, Robert Klein, portrayed by Alain Delon, is arrogant, cocky, charming, and handsome--i.e., women fall for him at the drop of a hat, including the wife of a colleague (the colleague is played by Michel Lonsdale, one of the best, most underrated French actors around) who's now firmly entrenched in the ranks of the French anti-Semites. This is tellingly on display at a "theater amusement" put on for the benefit of the occupying Nazis in which a large-nosed Jewish man (an actor obviously wearing a mask) is seen stealing gold chains from the necks of various women. The "theater piece" is a cheap, tawdry affair that attracts those whose narrow minds gravitate to such drek. Klein is there with his girlfriend and at the same time that he wishes not to be seen as a Jew, he has absolutely no interest at all in being identified with these riff-raff.

The dilemma he finds himself in is that he is, in fact, being seen as a Jew; someone, he thinks, is setting him up for that since he receives in the mail a copy of a Jewish newspaper to which he never subscribed and in protesting to the police, a snowball effect occurs.

The trail of activity he initiates, attempting to prove his non-Jewishness only serves, Kafka-like, to dig the hole deeper. One of the best of the Joseph Losey films, Mr. Klein is a penetrating drama with excellent acting, perfect period re-creation, and brilliant plotting by Franco Solinas. There is one point, however, that is puzzling. Many people do not know that the Nazis executed a large number of Catholics; while Judaism was their primary target of destruction, Catholicism was not spared. Yet in this film, a Catholic mass in Paris is depicted with all church officials in full regalia.

Nevertheless, this is a great film, extremely well thought out with great casting and scathing social commentary that makes this resonate long after story's end."