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One of France's most respected directors of the postwar era, Rene Clement directed such searing psychological dramas as Forbidden Games and Purple Noon. And Gervaise, his vivid 1956 adaptation of Emile Zola's 1877 masterpiece L'assommoir, is no exception. An uncompromising depiction of a lowly laundress's struggles to deal with an alcoholic husband while running her own business, Gervaise was nominated for an Oscar, and the indomitable Maria Schell earned best actress honors at the Venice Film Festival.

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EAH23 Gervaise DVD (1956/Maria Schell) $29.99