Classe Tous Risques [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1960]

Claude Sautet rarely receives his due as one of the more interesting French filmmakers of his generation, especially outside his native France, and the Criterion Collection have stepped forward to make a case for his talents with this solid DVD release of his first feature film. Classe Tous Risques has been given a widescreen transfer to disc in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16x9 monitors. The source materials look fine, and the transfer is clean, crisp and captures the details of Ghislain Cloquet's photography. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and it sounds as good as can be expected for a film of its vintage. The dialogue is in French, with optional English subtitles. As is their custom, Criterion have added a number of relevant bonus features for this release, including excerpts from Claude Sautet ou la Magie Invisible, a documentary on the director's career; an interview with Jose Giovanni, the former convict who wrote Classe Tout Risques' screenplay and the novel upon which it was based; clips from several interviews with star Lino Ventura in which he talks about his career and his craft; and trailers for both the French and American releases for the film. And the accompanying booklet features essays from filmmakers Jean-Pierre Melville and Bertrand Tavernier and biographer N.T. Bihn, as well as Sautet himself. Fans of French cinema looking for a crash course on this elusive talent will be well served with Criterion's release of Classe Tous Risques, and it's a typically well-executed effort from America's best video label.
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Special Features

  • Excerpts from Claude Sautet ou la Magie Invisible, a 2003 documentary on the director by N. T. Binh and Dominique Rabourdin
  • Interview with Classe Tous Risques novelist and screenwriter José Giovanni
  • Archival interview footage featuring Lino Ventura discussing his career
  • Original French and U.S. theatrical trailers
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A booklet featuring new essays by director Bertrand Tavernier and Binh, a reprinted interview with Sautet, and a 1962 tribute by Jean-Pierre Melville


Classe Tous Risques
A criminal on the run finds going home after a decade is harder than he expects in this drama from French filmmaker Claude Sautet. Gangster Abel Davos (Lino Ventura) is wanted for murder in France, and has been living underground in Italy for ten years. Since then, Abel has married Therese (Simone France) and fathered two sons, and he's decided it's time to come home. Abel has planed an elaborate scheme in which he'll steal a fortune to finance his journey and head home with Therese and the boys, but little goes as planned, and he arrives in Paris without his wife and running from the law with two kids in tow. An underworld boss who owes Abel some favors helps him put together a plan to travel across France in an ambulance to avoid suspicion, and recruits a headstrong young gangster, Eric (Jean-Paul Belmondo), to serve as Abel's driver and right-hand-man. En route, Abel tries to settle some old score with criminal associates who betrayed him. Based on a novel by Jose Giovanni, Classe Tous Risques was the first feature film from Sautet, who previously had worked as an assistant director for some of France's most prestigious filmmakers. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Lino Ventura
    Lino Ventura - Abel Davos
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo
    Jean-Paul Belmondo - Eric Stark
  • Sandra Milo
    Sandra Milo - Liliane
  • Jacques Dacqmine
    Jacques Dacqmine - Blot
  • Claude Cerval
    Claude Cerval - Raoul Fargier
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