Rent Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

3.8 of 5 from 170 ratings
2h 16min
Rent Le Cercle Rouge (aka The Red Circle) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Alain Delon, Gian Maria Volontè and Yves Montand star as the elegant, mis-matched trio, locked in an elaborate and dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the inscrutable police inspector (André Bourvil), who is determined to foil their attempts to pull off the perfect crime, despite being drawn irresistibly to his prey. As the day of the heist dawns, the story unfolds, with all four players determined to cheat fate.
Actors:
, , , , , , , André Ekyan, , , , , Jean-Marc Boris, , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Robert Dorfmann
Writers:
Jean-Pierre Melville
Aka:
The Red Circle
Studio:
BFI Video
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Countries:
France, Classics, Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
26/04/2004
Run Time:
136 minutes
Languages:
French LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • An audio commentary and introduction by French cinema expert Ginette Vincendeau, a video interview with assistant director Bernard Stora, the original trailer and director's biography
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/09/2010
Run Time:
141 minutes
Languages:
French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
English, French, German
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Introduction by Ginette Vincendeau
  • Code Name: Melville
  • Interview with Bernard Stora
  • Interview with Jose Giovanni
  • Interview with Rui Nogueira
  • HD Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
23/11/2020
Run Time:
140 minutes
Languages:
French LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • New: The Perfect Circle
  • Under the Name of Melville
  • Interview with Bernard Stora
  • Interview with José Giovanni
  • Ginette Vincendeau Presentation of 'Le Cercle Rouge'

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Reviews (1) of Le Cercle Rouge

L.A. Existential - Le Cercle Rouge review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
01/06/2017

If Jean-Paul Sartre had written hard-boiled pulp fiction, the result would probably have been very similar to this incredibly strange Gallic heist thriller. Taking both its title and the essence of its plot from a Buddhist parable quoted in the prologue, it follows the attempts of several factions to accomplish various things that all play out with the precision of a chess game, and which all intersect, sometimes for outrageously unlikely reasons. The sole wild card in this clockwork universe is Alain Delon's anti-hero, the only character who ever does something important for no reason except that he felt like it. Of course, his "freedom" is an illusion, and just binds him ever tighter in the web of fate that ruthlessly ensnares all the characters.

The weird blend of gritty film noir realism and downright Surrealism is strangely fascinating. The jewel heist at the heart of the story involves state-of-the-art (for 1970) security so impregnable it's almost parodic, yet has a mysteriously overlooked hole in it so huge they might as well have left the back door open. Delon's enemies are able to find him without explanation anywhere in France if the plot says they can. Almost everyone lives in slightly Surreal houses, especially Yves Montand's alcoholic sharpshooter, whose bedroom wallpaper alone is enough to drive anyone to drink! No wonder his closet's full of giant imaginary spiders. And pay close attention to the two scenes in which the detective returns home to feed his cats; they're different edits of the same piece of film.

On the face of it, the movie is about tough guys pulling off an ingenious robbery, the wily cop they're up against, and a few other typical hard-boiled complications. But really it's a symbolic drama about the futility of struggling for freedom when destiny always gets you in the end, and your attempts to avoid it are what makes it happen. This aspect of the movie is perhaps overdone. Everyone seems to have oddly limited lives and personalities, and their whole world is so intent on forcing them to get mixed up with each other that if virtual reality had been a thing in 1970, this film might have been set in it. But it's very well-made, not like anything else you've ever seen, and so downright peculiar that it holds your attention. Fans of spaghetti westerns may be interested to see what Gian Maria Volonté, the villain in the two Clint Eastwood "Dollars" movies, is like when for once he's not overacting. Actually he's rather good.

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