New Release: Léon Morin, Priest Blu-ray and DVD

Leon Morin, Priest movie scene

Emmanuelle Riva has feels for Jean-Paul Belmondo in Leon Murin, Priest.

The Criterion Collection issued the 1961 French drama film Léon Morin, Priest, directed by the great Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samourai), on Blu-ray and DVD on July 26, 2011.

Jean-Paul Belmondo (Breathless) dons clerical robes and delivers an uncharacteristically subtle but sensual performance in the movie’s titular role

The French superstar plays a devoted man of the cloth who is the crush object of all the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. He finds himself most drawn to a sexually frustrated widow (Emmanuelle Riva, Hiroshima Mon Amour), a borderline heretic whose relationship with her confessor is a confrontation with both God and her own repressed desire. A triumph of mood, setting and innuendo, Léon Morin, Priest is an irreverent pleasure from one of France’s great filmmakers.

The Blu-ray and DVD, carry the list prices of $39.95 and $29.95, respectively, feature a new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.

Presented in French with English subtitles, the Blu-ray and DVD editions contain the following special features:

  • archival interview with director Jean-Pierre Melville and actor Jean-Paul Belmondo
  • visual essay by French film scholar Ginette Vincendeau
  • original theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by critic and novelist Gary Indiana


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.