Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece about the French Resistance against the Nazi occupation went unreleased in the United States for thirty-seven years, before its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006. Atmospheric and gripping, Army of Shadows is Melville’s most personal film, featuring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and the incomparable Simone Signoret as intrepid underground fighters who must grapple with their own brand of honor in their battle against Hitler’s regime. —The Criterion Collection
Jean-Pierre Melville (born Jean-Pierre Grumbach) was an amateur filmmaker as a teenager who, after the start of World War II, began making his own independent short and feature films. He hit his stride in the ‘50s with his memorable adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s novel, Les Enfants Terribles, and, over the next 20 years, specialized in intelligent and exciting crime films, most notably Bob le Flambeur, Le Doulos (aka The Finger Man), Le Samouraï, Le Cercle Rouge, and Un Flic. Melville also acted in his own Deux Hommes Dans Manhattan, as well as Cocteau’s Orphee, Jean-Luc Godard’s À Bout de Souffle (aka Breathless), and Claude Chabrol’s Landru (aka Bluebeard). He died in 1973.
(From http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:102465 )
Two and a half hours of cinematic brilliance from Jean-Pierre Melville. Each shot is meticulously chosen and is nearly perfect. Melville doesn't take you hostage, instead he gives you plenty of time to contemplate every single moment in this film. Fantastic fantastic fantastic. The Criterion DVD is loaded with special features, and has a beautiful transfer. It's amazing.
Above: Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Pierre Melville's Léon Morin, Priest. Image courtesy Rialto Pictures. Father the French
Jean-Pierre Melville is the master of suspense. Every scene here is filled with so much of it, I felt like I was sweating the whole movie. From the opening moment of Gerbier being transported to the… read review
English Title: Army Of Shadows
Original Title: L’armée des ombres
Country: France, Italy
Language: French, German, English
Genre: Drama, War
Director: Jean-Pierre… read review
dang ! looks like i need to revised my statement that the best decade of cinema is the 70’s. Sure, There’s The Godfather and the so-called A Clockwork Orange. but After all, recent discoveries such… read review