Law (1959)

( 2 )

Overview

Jules Dassin, blacklisted during the McCarthy era, directs this routine, ostensibly romantic tale that really courts an underlying theme of the misuse of power. Based on a popular French novel and set in a small Mediterranean town, the story involves a small group of men and the woman several of them desire. The men gather around in the local tavern each evening to play a rather vicious game called "The Law." One man is chosen to dictate to the others, and they have to do what he says, no matter how humiliating. ...
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DVD (Anniversary Edition / B&W / Full Frame)
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Overview

Jules Dassin, blacklisted during the McCarthy era, directs this routine, ostensibly romantic tale that really courts an underlying theme of the misuse of power. Based on a popular French novel and set in a small Mediterranean town, the story involves a small group of men and the woman several of them desire. The men gather around in the local tavern each evening to play a rather vicious game called "The Law." One man is chosen to dictate to the others, and they have to do what he says, no matter how humiliating. Marietta Gina Lollobrigida is the gorgeous servant of Don Cesare Pierre Brasseur, desired by Francesco, the son of a crime boss Yves Montand, and by her brother-in-law. She herself has fallen in love with Enrico Marcello Mastroianni, a poor engineer. Determined to get a dowry and thereby be able to marry Enrico, Marietta turns the tables on the men who play "The Law."
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Special Features

Uncensored French-language version of the Law; Audio commentary by film critic David Fear; New English subtitle translation by Lenn Borger; Alternat ending - "Mariette's Revenge"; 1958 episode of Cinépanorama from the set of the Law, featuring Jules Dassin, Gina Lollobrigida, Yves Montand, and Melina Mercouri; 1957 television interview with La Lai novelist Roger Vailland, from French television program Lectures pour tous; L'ultima asteria (200, dir. Alfredo De Giuseppe), a documentary film about the game "The Law" as played in Southern Italy today; The Law original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Similar in style and ambition to a Robert Altman ensemble film, La Legge The Law doesn't ultimately succeed, but it has some undeniably fascinating parts; while it can drag in places, it has elements that are quite memorable. Chief among these elements, it must be said right away, is Gina Lollobrigida. Lollobrigida is one of the most difficult movie stars to analyze; although she could turn in some good performances, what is more important about her is her presence. Yes, that presence largely means her looks, but it's more than that -- Lollobrigida also exuded a carnality that is tangible and that counts for more than the fact that she is indeed beautiful. No icy goddess, Lollobrigida is heat incarnate, and that quality is absolutely essential to Legge. Her character is sensuality personified, and with Lollobrigida in the role, it works. Director Jules Dassin's work is also frequently fascinating; the opening reveals a mastery of the medium that is a joy to watch, and there are dozens of moments including an incredible whipping sequence throughout that make one appreciate his skill. Yet Dassin isn't able to make all of these moments coalesce in Legge; the film has glorious moments but on the whole is disjointed and jerky, with a strong tendency toward florid soap operatics that becomes annoying. And while Yves Montand, Melina Mercouri, and Pierre Brasseur are quite good, Marcello Mastroianni, in a very important role, is a disappointment. Some sources indicate that the actor is dubbed, which may account for the lack of impact. The screenplay keeps La Legge from soaring and being a good film, but it's worth catching for its female star and its individual moments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2010
  • UPC: 896602002111
  • Original Release: 1959
  • Source: Oscilloscope
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Anniversary Edition / B&W / Full Frame
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 40,321

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gina Lollobrigida Marietta
Pierre Brasseur Don Cesare
Marcello Mastroianni Engineer
Melina Mercouri Donna Lucrezia
Yves Montand Matteo Brigante
Raf Mattioli Francesco Brigante
Paolo Stoppa Tonio
Vittorio Caprioli Attilio
Nino Vingelli Pizzaccio
Lydia Alfonsi Giuseppina
Edda Soligo Giulia
Luisa Rivelli Elvira
Bruno Carotenuto Balbo
Marcello Giorda Priest
Gianrico Tedeschi
Franco Pesce
Technical Credits
Jules Dassin Director, Screenwriter
Baccio Bandini Production Manager
Jacques Bar Producer
Jacques Deray Asst. Director
Roger Dwyre Editor
Robert Giordani Set Decoration/Design
Francoise Giroud Screenwriter
Buddy Kaye Songwriter
Otello Martelli Cinematographer
Jimmy McHugh Songwriter
The Mills Brothers Songwriter
Luciano Perugia Production Manager
Walter Rupp Production Manager
Roman Vlad Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Law
1. Southern Italian Town [6:29]
2. Mariette and the Don [8:05]
3. "A Ring" [6:20]
4. Mr. Brigante [8:30]
5. The Festival [7:07]
6. "The Law" [6:35]
7. Devious Scheme [2:48]
8. Family Feud [:08]
9. "New Breed of Women" [6:17]
10. Seaside Tryst [5:05]
11. A Dowry [4:26]
12. Bearing His Cross [6:33]
13. "I Eat Like a Prince" [5:22]
14. Lovers' Getaway [9:09]
15. The Money [4:16]
16. "May I Drink?" [4:32]
17. Sad Demise [9:01]
18. "Nice Double Bill" [8:05]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Law
   Play Film
   Chapters
   Audio Commentary
      On
      Off
   Subtitles
      English - On
      English - Off
   Oscilloscope Releases
      The Law
      Kisses
      Terribly Happy
      The Messenger
      The Maid
Disc #2 -- Law
   Alternate Ending - "Mariette's Revenge"
   Cinépanorama (1958)
   Lectures Pour Tous (1957)
   L'Ultima Osteria (2010)
   Original Theatrical Trailer
   Subtitles
      English - On
      English - Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
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    Posted October 23, 2010

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    Posted November 22, 2010

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