La poison  Film Still

La poison

Sacha Guitry

 
La poison  (Criterion Blu-Ray)

22 Aug 2017

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • France
  • 1951
  • 85 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  •  
  • Spine #891

The writer, actor, and director Sacha Guitry emerged from the theater to become one of France’s best-known and most inventive filmmakers, and La poison marked his first major collaboration with another titan of the screen, the incomparably expressive Michel Simon. With Guitry’s witty dialogue and fleet pacing, this black comedy is the quintessential depiction of a marriage gone sour: after thirty years together, a village gardener (Simon) and his wife (Germaine Reuver) find themselves contemplating how to do away with each other, with the former even planning how he’ll negotiate his eventual criminal trial. Inspired by Guitry’s own post–World War II tangle with the law—a wrongful charge of collaborationism—La poison is a blithely caustic broadside against the French legal system and a society all too eager to capitalize on the misfortunes of others.

Cast

Paul BraconnierMichel Simon
Louis AubanelJean Debucourt
The shopkeeperPauline Carton
The prosecutorJacques Varennes
The floristJeanne Fusier-Gir
The priestJean Duvaleix
The pharmacistGeorges Bever
Blandine BraconnierGermaine Reuver

Credits

DirectorSacha Guitry
Written bySacha Guitry
Cinematography byJean Bachelet
Produced byPaul Wagner
Music and songs byLouiguy
Edited byRaymond Lamy
Production design byRobert Dumesnil

Disc Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with filmmaker Olivier Assayas on writer-director Sacha Guitry’s influence on French cinema
  • Sixty-minute episode of Cinéastes de notre temps from 1965 featuring interviews with some of Guitry’s collaborators
  • On Life On-screen: Miseries and Splendour of a Monarch, a sixty-minute documentary from 2010 on the collaboration of Guitry and actor Michel Simon
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ginette Vincendeau and a tribute to Guitry by filmmaker François Truffaut

Film Essays

Current_28637id_007_thumbnail

La poison—or, How to Kill Your Wife

By Ginette Vincendeau August 22, 2017

French cinema titan Sacha Guitry brings a savage misanthropy to this exploration of a toxic marriage and the arbitrariness of the legal system. Read more »

Video

Olivier_thumbnail

Olivier Assayas on the Magic of Late-Career Guitry

August 29, 2017

Late in his career, iconic French filmmaker Sacha Guitry reoriented his style by collaborating with the legendary actor Michel Simon for the pitch-black comedy La poison. Read more »


Film Essays

Current_28637id_007_thumbnail

La poison—or, How to Kill Your Wife

By Ginette Vincendeau August 22, 2017

French cinema titan Sacha Guitry brings a savage misanthropy to this exploration of a toxic marriage and the arbitrariness of the legal system. Read more »

Other Editions

La poison  (Criterion DVD)

22 Aug 2017

DVD

2 Discs

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

Available Online

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