Blu-ray, DVD Release: Pierre Etaix

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
Price: 3-Disc DVD $49.95, 2-Disc Blu-ray $59.95
Studio: Criterion

Le Grand Amour

Nicole Calfan and Pierre Étaix snuggle in Le Grand Amour.

A French master whose comedy films went unseen for decades as a result of legal tangles, director-actor Pierre Etaix and his movies have been rediscovered in recent years.

Pierre Etaix’s work can be placed in the spectrum of physical comedy with that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis, but it’s also undeniably his own. The films, influenced by Etaix’s experiences as a circus acrobat and clown and by the silent film comedies he adored, are delightfully deadpan, but as an on-screen presence, Etaix radiates remarkable warmth. This collection includes all of his films, led by the following five feature-length efforts:

The Suitor (1962) • A shy young man who must get married within a few days in order to inherit a fortune.

Yoyo (1965) • In the 1920s, a billionaire who appears to have everything he’s ever wanted sets out to win the love of a beautiful circus performer.

As Long as You’ve Got Your Health (1966) • Four tales look at the everyday foibles encountered by a group of men and women.

Le grand amour (1969) • A married middle-class industrialist starts to dream when a striking young secretary begins working for him.

Land of Milk and Honey (1971) • A documentary featuring interviews with French citizens on their vacations following the protests in France in May, 1968.

Also part of the package are Etaix’s three shorts: Rupture (1961), the Oscar-winning Happy Anniversary (1962), and Feeling Good (1966).

The films are presented in French with English subtitles and the package includes the following features:

• New digital restorations of all five features and three short films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
• New interview with director Pierre Etaix
• New video introductions by Etaix to seven of the films
Pierre Etaix, un destin animé (2010), a portrait of the life and work of the director by his wife, Odile Etaix
• New English subtitle translation
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Cairns


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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.