Claude Chabrol

Le beau Serge

Le beau Serge

Of the hallowed group of Cahiers du cinéma critics turned filmmakers who transformed French film history, Claude Chabrol was the first to direct his own feature. His absorbing landmark debut, Le beau Serge, follows a successful yet sickly young man (Jean‑Claude Brialy) who returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend (Gérard Blain)—now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic—and the provincial life he represents. The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades.

Film Info

  • Claude Chabrol
  • France
  • 1958
  • 99 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #580

Special Features

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring Guy Austin, author of Claude Chabrol
  • Claude Chabrol: Mon premier film, a documentary by Francis Girod on the making of Le beau Serge, featuring interviews with Chabrol and actor Jean-Claude Brialy
  • Segment from a 1969 episode of the French television series L’invité du dimanche in which Chabrol revisits Sardent, the town he grew up in and Le beau Serge’s location
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty

New cover by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring Guy Austin, author of Claude Chabrol
  • Claude Chabrol: Mon premier film, a documentary by Francis Girod on the making of Le beau Serge, featuring interviews with Chabrol and actor Jean-Claude Brialy
  • Segment from a 1969 episode of the French television series L’invité du dimanche in which Chabrol revisits Sardent, the town he grew up in and Le beau Serge’s location
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty

New cover by F. Ron Miller

Le beau Serge
Cast
Gérard Blain
Serge
Jean-Claude Brialy
François Bayon
Michèle Méritz
Yvonne
Bernadette Lafont
Marie
Claude Cerval
Priest
Jeanne Pérez
Madame Chaunier
André Dino
Doctor
Michel Creuze
Michel, the baker
Edmond Beauchamp
Glomaud
Credits
Director
Claude Chabrol
Produced and written by
Claude Chabrol
Photography
Henri Decaë
Sound
Jean-Claude Marchetti
Music
Émile Delpierre
Editing
Jacques Gaillard

From The Current

Le beau Serge: Homecomings

Le beau Serge: Homecomings

When Claude Chabrol’s first film, Le beau Serge, had its premiere at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival (out of competition), a fellow critic at Cahiers du cinéma, François Truffaut, wrote: “Technically, the film is as masterly as if Chabrol had b…

By Terrence Rafferty

On Film / Essays — Sep 19, 2011