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Could the true story of the financial scandal that shook France to the brink of civil war in 1933 be more timely? Jean Paul Belmondo is perfectly cast as Serge Alexander (a.k.a. Stavisky), the one-time underworld con man who charms his way to the top of the French financial world with bluff, cunning, and a bankroll of phony vouchers. Screenwriter Jorge Semprún (Z) weaves Stavisky's story through the tapestry of European politics: the rise of fascism, the stain of anti-Semitism, the shadow of impending war. The aloof style of Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad) is warmed by the smiling charisma of Belmondo and by Charles Boyer's poignant turn as a sentimental, nearly bankrupt Baron. Elegantly shot by the great Sacha Vierny and accompanied by a lush Stephen Sondheim score, this multi-faceted gem is one of Resnais's most satisfying and accessible films.

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KI3633 Stavisky VHS (1974/Alain Resnais) $18.99