The Complete Jean-Pierre Melville

The Complete Jean-Pierre Melville

16 Episodes

Take a helping of American pulp cinema, add a twist of French cool and a dash of Japanese samurai lore, and you’ve got the maverick sensibility of Jean-Pierre Melville, a trench-coat-sporting, sunglasses-wearing, chain-smoking renegade auteur who made movies according to his own rules and laid the groundwork for the French New Wave. Maintaining an extraordinary degree of creative independence throughout his career, he forged a distinctive style characterized by a hard-boiled minimalism and existentialist worldview in stylishly spartan crime dramas like BOB LE FLAMBEUR, LE DOULOS, LE SAMOURAÏ, and LE CERCLE ROUGE, frequently starring ice-cool icons like Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo as his lone wolf antiheroes. While best known for his noirs, Melville’s work outside the genre was equally fascinating, as seen in the outré psychosexual drama LEON MORIN, PRIEST and the haunting French Resistance epic ARMY OF SHADOWS, considered by many to be his masterpiece.

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The Complete Jean-Pierre Melville
  • The Complete Jean-Pierre Melville Teaser

    Episode 1

  • 24 Hours in the Life of a Clown

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1946 • France

    Jean-Pierre Melville's first directorial effort was this 1946 short film about a clown and his partner, who find inspiration one day in the streets for their performance in the circus that night.

  • Le silence de la mer

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1949 • France

    Jean-Pierre Melville began his superb feature filmmaking career with this powerful adaptation of an influential underground novel written during the Nazi occupation of France. A cultured, naively idealistic German officer is billeted in the home o...

  • Les enfants terribles

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1950 • France

    Writer Jean Cocteau and director Jean-Pierre Melville joined forces for this elegant adaptation of Cocteau's immensely popular, wicked novel about the wholly unholy relationship between a brother and sister. Elisabeth (a remarkable Nicole Stépha...

  • When You Read This Letter

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1953 • France
    Starring Philippe Lemaire, Juliette Gréco, Yvonne Sanson

    Three years before he laid the foundation for the French New Wave with BOB LE FLAMBEUR, Jean-Pierre Melville offered flashes of his dark moral philosophy with this long-overlooked noir-melod...

  • Bob le flambeur

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1956 • France
    Starring Roger Duchesne, Daniel Cauchy, Isabelle Corey

    Suffused with wry humor, Jean-Pierre Melville’s BOB LE FLAMBEUR melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication to lay the road map for the French New Wave. As the ne...

  • Two Men In Manhattan

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1959 • France
    Starring Jean-Pierre Melville, Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes

    A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau and hard-drinking photographer Delmas on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three w...

  • Léon Morin, Priest

    Episode 8

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1961 • France
    Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva

    Jean-Paul Belmondo delivers a subtly sensual performance in the hot-under-the-collar LÉON MORIN, PRIEST, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The French superstar plays a devoted man of the cloth who is de...

  • Le doulos

    Episode 9

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1962 • France
    Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Monique Hennessy

    The backstabbing criminals in the shadowy underworld of Jean-Pierre Melville’s LE DOULOS have only one guiding principle: “Lie or die.” A stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as enigmat...

  • Magnet of Doom

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1963 • France
    Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Vanel, Michèle Mercier

    Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Jean-Pierre Melville’s idiosyncratic road movie follows a down-on-his-luck boxer (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who, after he takes a job as secretary for a ...

  • Le deuxième souffle

    Episode 11

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1966 • France

    With his customary restraint and ruthless attention to detail, director Jean-Pierre Melville follows the parallel tracks of French underworld criminal Gu (the inimitable Lino Ventura), escaped from prison and roped into one last robbery, and the s...

  • Le samouraï

    Episode 12

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1967 • France, Italy

    In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture--with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology--m...

  • Army of Shadows

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1969 • France
    Starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret

    This masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Melville about the French Resistance went unreleased in the United States for thirty-seven years, until its triumphant theatrical debut in 2006. Atmospheric a...

  • Le cercle rouge

    Episode 14

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1970 • France
    Starring Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Gian Maria Volonté

    Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee (Gian Maria Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, a...

  • Un flic
    Episode 15

    Un flic

    Episode 15

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville • 1972 • France
    Starring Alain Delon, Richard Crenna, Catherine Deneuve

    Jean-Pierre Melville’s final film finds the legendary director paring his minimalist-cool style down to its essence as an impassive police detective (Alain Delon) and a daring bank robber (Ri...

  • “Cinéastes de notre temps”: Jean-Pierre Melville

    Episode 16