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Kino on Video presents
Two Men in Town (Deux hommes dans la ville) (1973)

"All my memories are of commuter trains and prison walls." 
- Cazeneuve (Jean Gabin)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: August 17, 2005

Stars: Alain Delon, Jean Gabin, Gerard Depardieu, Mimsy Farmer, Michel Bouquet
Director: José Giovanni

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:34m:23s
Release Date: August 16, 2005
UPC: 738329041120
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C CC+B- D

DVD Review

Just when do genre conventions wear out their welcome? I guess it depends on whether or not you're entertained—if you are, it's homage; if you're not, it's derivative. This French cop movie, despite its high-profile leading men, unfortunately falls squarely into the latter camp—this is pretty shopworn stuff, and was even thirty years ago, when the film was made. Still, the names above the title here are good company, and if you're a fan, the interaction between the two stars may be worth the price of admission.

Our narrator is Germain Cazeneuve, aging prison social worker, one of the few in The System with a conscience—the inmates with whom he works are people to him, not just slabs of meat, the prevailing attitude evident in the glazed-over eyes of all the jailhouse lawyers, guards and judges. The story he tells us concerns Gino Strabliggi, an organized crime figure up for parole; though others don't share his assessment of Strabliggi, Cazeneuve is successful in getting the onetime gangster paroled. Will he toe the line, with his pretty wife and her flower shop? Or will he be lured back in to the life that landed him in the big house for the last ten years?

The story plays itself out in rather predictable fashion; you'll probably be able to phone in most of the story beats well ahead of time, especially once Strabliggi's own personal Javert, Inspector Goitreau, shows up in the smaller city to which they have both relocated. The pleasures of the piece instead come from the two leading actors. Cazeneuve doesn't in fact have a whole lot to do with the story, but he is played by the incomparable Jean Gabin, French cinematic history incarnate; he has the air of a legend, and he knows it, his iconic status undercut a little bit by that knowledge. Strabliggi is played by Alain Delon, the charismatically handsome matinee idol of the next generation; he's got the air of Steve McQueen about him in this film, and if we're not terribly emotionally invested in whether or not his character will succumb to the darker angels of his nature, we're quickly won over by the fragility and thinly veiled hurt that always lurks behind Delon's eyes.

From time to time, in fact, you get the sense that even these two famous actors are phoning it in a little bit, that they may just be picking up a paycheck. Every now and again the movie veers into some labored sociology about prisons and criminality, but the story works best as a melodrama, a soap opera; if you lower your expectations, you should be able to avoid disappointment.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Colors are a little flat and drab; the transfer is pedestrian.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Frenchno


Audio Transfer Review: A bit of buzz now and again, but pretty clean.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
10 Other Trailer(s) featuring Les Clan des Siciliens (2 trailers—one in French, one in English), Borsalino and Co., Flic Story, Mort d'un pourri, 3 hommes à abattre, Pour la peau d'un flic, Parole de flic, Ne réveillez pas un flic qui dort
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. stills gallery
Extras Review: Aside from a raft of trailers for other Delon films and a selected filmography for the actor, you'll find a stills gallery, consisting of 20 shots from the set.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Delon and Gabin are the best things about this movie, which frequently feels like a tired rehashing of long-established cop movie clichés.

 


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