Directed by: Olivier Marchal
Countries & Regions: France
Length: 100 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 18 September 2006
Cat No: TVD3623
Screen ratio 1:1.85
Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround Sound
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36 Quai des Orfevres (Marchal, 2004)
Also available on Blu-ray
French police drama. In Paris, within the space of a year, a gang of vicious armed robbers has committed seven violent robberies.... Read More
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.
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 the true story of two rival detectives working at 36 Quai des Orfevres, the Parisian equivalent to Scotland Yard, whose feuding lead them into a brutal display of power, .so impressed Robert DeNiro, that, his company Tribeca Productions bought the rights. DeNiro will star opposite George Clooney in the US re-make, which begins filming later this year on location in New York.
The action in this film is set in Paris, where the head of the Parisian detective squad, Robert Mancini (Andre Dussolier) has decided to retire. Both Leo Vrinks (Daniel Auteuil) Head of the Anti-gang section and Denis Klein (Gerarde Depardieu ) Head of the Organised Crime Unit are in the running as his successor. When Vrinks is put in charge of the investigation into a series of expertly executed but violent robberies, Klein sabotages the stake-out in a ruthless bid to hinder his former friend’s chances for promotion. As subsequent acts of vengeance and retribution become more sinister , tragedy becomes inevitable.
The strong performances of Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu in this highly regarded original have prompted comparison’s to Michael Mann’s Heat. The twists and turns of plot however, which portray the relationship between power and corruption, crime fighting and crime more accurately reflect recent films such as Scorcese’s Departed and its inspiration, Infernal Affairs.
The writer/director, Olivier Marchal, was still a detective in Paris, when he decided to make films about corruption and loneliness in the French police force. 36 Quai des Orfevres is therefore dedicated to a detective, ‘who died in the line of duty’. Marchal’s passion for filmmaking and the story for the film are explained with a frankness that is unreservedly French on the DVD's extras.