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36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004) DVD

Olivier Marchal, 2004

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Film Details

Directed by Olivier Marchal

Produced in 2004

Main Language - FRENCH with English subtitles

Countries & Regions - European Film, French Film

MovieMail's Review

Olivier Marchal, the writer/director of French policier 36, was once a detective himself, with some of Paris’ toughest squads. “I wanted to convey to the audience the pain of what it means to be a policeman”, he has said. “When you're a cop, you tend to be cut off from your friends and your family, you become isolated. And because you get to see too much blood, too many tears, you end up not believing in very much anymore.”
Such sentiment will explain the cynicism that permeates 36, a gripping drama in the tradition of French flic films. Marchal's insider knowledge may not inform the detailing and design of his film, but the central theme, of the self-sacrifice and almost existential angst of the dedicated law enforcer, comes from the heart.
The title, 36 Quai des Orfèvres, refers to the address of the Paris police HQ, home to hard-nosed senior detectives - and bitter rivals - Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) and Denis Klein (Gerard Depardieu). This pair have a history, of friendship turned sour, further complicated by the fact that Vrinks' wife (Valeria Golino) is Klein's former lover. Not the best pair then, to be thrown into a head-to-head.
But that's exactly what happens when a gang of murderous armed robbers start to rampage through Paris. The two detectives know that the one who catches the gang will win promotion to chief of police. With the pressure on, Vrinks starts to bend the rules, though his misplaced faith in an informer is nothing compared to the lengths to which Klein will go to further his ambition.
With its fashionable sheen and high-octane gunfights, not to mention the showdown between two powerhouse actors, 36 brings to mind Michael Mann's modern crime classic, Heat, as well as Melville’s soon to be released Un Flic and the criminally unavailable Le Samouraï.
36 is a compelling, character-driven thriller, with strong work from its leads - in particular Depardieu, who as the odious Klein delivers his most subtle, and boldly unsympathetic performance in years.

on 14th September 2006
Author of 12 reviews

36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004) 36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004)

Film Description

A hugely entertaining French thriller starring two of France's greatest actors, Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, which has drawn favourable comparisons with Michael Mann's 'Heat'. Two department heads in the Paris police force compete to bring in a group of murderous robbers in order to obtain the position of Head Of Police, but their methods frequently border on the illegal, and the distinction between the cops and the criminals is frequently blurred.

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Publisher: Tartan Video

Length: 100 mins

Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 18th September 2006

Cat No: TVD3623

Subtitles: English

DVD Extras

  • Director's Commentary
  • Exclusive Interview With Director Olivier Marchal
  • ?Making Of? Documentary
  • Actors? Costume Tests
  • Choosing The Weapons And The Business Of 36 Quai D?Orf?vres Featurettes
  • Notes.

Film Stills

36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004) 36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004)

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 15th January 2007

A dark and edgy crime thriller from France which won Cesar awards for Best Film of 2004, Best Director, (Olivier Marchal,) and Best Actor (Daniel Auteuil). Based on t... Read on

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