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Though filmed once before as a 1927 silent film by Carné's mentor Jacques Feyder, Émile Zola's novel Thérèse Raquin received a wholly original re-working when director Marcel Carné (Port of Shadows) adapted it himself in 1953. Carné blended the theatricality of his revered Children of Paradise with the neo-realism of his trenchant pre- and post-war dramas into a film that bears more of a resemblance to James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and Luchino Visconti's Ossessione than to the Zola of Nana and Germinal. Carné's "clinical injections of suspense" (New York Times) earned him the Silver Lion director's prize at the 1953 Venice Film Festival. Star-crossed lovers Thérèse (Simone Signoret - Les Diaboliques) and Laurent (Raf Vallone - Bitter Rice) think they've gotten away with murder after Thérèse's weakling husband "falls" from a speeding train. But when forced to contend with a blackmailer's demands and the mute accusations of Thérèse's mother-in-law (French stage and screen diva Sylvie, in a scene stealing performance), it's only a matter of time before the law, their passion, or blind chance trip them up. Future Oscar® winner Simone Signoret emerged from premature self-imposed retirement as full-time wife to Yves Montand in order to play Thérèse. Kino presents Thérèse Raquin -- perhaps the last great Marcel Carné film and one of the first to be championed when French critics rescued Carné's post-war creative reputation from critical limbo in the 1980s -- for the first time in the US on DVD, newly subtitled and ready for rediscovery.

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KI4442 Therese Raquin DVD (1953/Simone Signoret) $29.95 $24.99