Mississippi Mermaid

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Overview

François Truffaut's romantic drama Mississippi Mermaid comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The French soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer. MGM/UA deserves credit for releasing this little-known Truffaut title, and this disc should satisfy fans of the French New Wave auteur.
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Overview

François Truffaut's romantic drama Mississippi Mermaid comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The French soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer. MGM/UA deserves credit for releasing this little-known Truffaut title, and this disc should satisfy fans of the French New Wave auteur.
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Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; French: mono; English, French, Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
The wickedly pretty Mississippi Mermaid is one of François Truffaut's more overlooked films. The twisting plot involves Louis Mahé Jean-Paul Belmondo, a tobacco plantation owner on a far-off tropical isle who places an ad in Paris for a mail-order bride. She arrives in the Yves St. Laurent resplendence of Julie Roussel Catherine Deneuve. After exchanging vows, evidence piles up that suggests Julie is not really Julie. By the time the proof comes, she's already siphoned money from the couple's joint bank account. He puts a detective on the trail, and while faking a cure in an asylum, sees TV footage of her in a new, Playboyesque club and pursues her with a homicidal vengeance. But the sight of her, the revelation of her real name Marion, also a '60s Hitchcock staple, and her recounting of her shady, juvenile delinquent past makes him love her all the more. The two continue to bicker, fight, make up, and hide out from the cops, as they discover that this love, a "joy and misery," is the real thing. At first glance, Mississippi Mermaid seems very indebted to Marnie, Alfred Hitchcock's own tale of a misidentified blonde tormenting an obsessed guy until both experience -- in the words of Hitchcock -- a "degradation of love." The new Mississippi Mermaid DVD goes well beyond this by adding 13 minutes to a previous home video cut. This restoration can only be called a revelation. The two brand-new scenes soften the characters -- one is a monologue from Louis to "Julie" about her beauty that would seem ridiculous in less caring hands than Truffaut's. The other "new" scene involves a suave gag where Marion phonographically etches an earnest confession of desire to Louis only to have it run over by a passing truck. Both additions are invaluable as they humanize Deneuve's character -- an archetype whose malice fit Hitchcock's fashionable icy blonde persona all too well. Mississippi Mermaid supplies a lovely, rich example of how François Truffaut can meld both sides of a filmmaker's brain: in this case, a cool, studied suspense technique with his own classically romantic sincerity.
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Though it features the most attractive screen couple François Truffaut ever worked with and a love-conquers-all story, Mississippi Mermaid is also one of the darker films in the Truffaut canon. Louis (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a tough businessman with the soul of a romantic, while Marion (Catherine Deneuve) is a hard-bitten realist who's living from one scam to another. Louis' belief in love offers Marion a safe refuge, but the two also know that they can live together only by trying to outrun her sordid past. "Before I met you," Louis tells her, "I thought life was simple, but now I know it's not." This declaration occurs even before Louis is forced to kill a man to protect their freedom. Like Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou, which also featured Belmondo, Truffaut's film forces the viewer to root for a couple on the lam, a staple of the film noirs that Truffaut and Godard cut their filmgoing teeth on as teenagers. Truffaut's film, shot in glorious wide-screen color in beautiful locations, doesn't look like a noir, but when Louis admits to his business partner, "I can't say I'm happy with her, but I know that I'm unable to live without her," you know that he's got it bad and that ain't good.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/2001
  • UPC: 027616858016
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:03:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean-Paul Belmondo Louis
Catherine Deneuve Julie
Michel Bouquet Comolli
Nelly Borgeaud Berthe
Marcel Berbert Jardine
Martine Ferrière Landlady
Roland Thénot Richard
Technical Credits
François Truffaut Director, Screenwriter
Marcel Berbert Producer
Denys Clerval Cinematographer
Michel Deruelle Makeup
Antoine Duhamel Score Composer
Agnès Guillemot Editor
René Levert Sound/Sound Designer
Claude Miller Production Manager
Claude Pignot Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Jose Richer Asst. Director
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Scene Index

Scene Selection
0. Scene Selection
1. Title/Island History [3:24]
2. Where's the bride? [6:49]
3. Little white lies [8:20]
4. A few incongruities [3:17]
5. Complete access [7:38]
6. Find her! [5:59]
7. Marion's story [14:28]
8. A new beginning [3:24]
9. Life gets complicated [8:28]
10. Dead in his tracks [6:53]
11. The emerging parasite [8:59]
12. Canned love [11:03]
13. Money is fleeting [9:39]
14. Snow rat [5:20]
15. Love is pain/The end [5:24]
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Menu

Side #1
Play Movie
   Menu Group #1 with 16 chapter(s) covering 02:03:14
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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