Le Sheriff (1977) Poster

(1977)

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8/10
Why is this not issued to DVD ?
nicholas.rhodes7 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
With almost every bit of cinematic junk being issued to DVD these days, and a lot of junk there is too, the mind boggles as to why this film, quite a respectable political thriller from 1970's France, has not undergone such a fate. Indeed the DVD situation in France is now pretty hopeless and whilst a lot of modern transatlantic tripe has here been issued to DVD ( for what reason I daren't imagine ) many of the classics of French cinema are still, in the year 2008, still sadly missing from the DVD repertoire in their home country. I possess a VHS copy of the film and would dearly like to see this restored and remastered as the colours appear washed out or "délavées". The film has an amazing number of strong points, not least its opening sequence with aerial shots of Saint Etienne in the Loire Department all accompanied by a MAGNIFICENT score by.....Philippe Sarde. True the score sounds more reminiscent of desert scenes or some more dramatic décors than a French town. Patrick Deware, who sadly committed suicide at a young age, is brilliant as the pure judge who wants to see justice done in spite of those all around him having cold feet when top ranking officials or politicians are compromised by a scandal. There are unfortunately too few people in the world with qualities of this nature, even today and in whatever country, though I do think that Western Europe has made some progress on the issue. The film is NOT left-wing propaganda ( thank God ) and merely seeks to denounce political "magouilles" or under dealings and has a bleak end. Jean Bouise, another all-time favourite of mine, is magnificent as is also Jean-Marc Thibault. The dialogues today seem a little dated but are far preferable to the politically correct homogenous tripe that today's cinema serves out with deeper-by-the-day ladles.
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Ah!politics!
dbdumonteil11 November 2004
Yves Boisset was then championing any causes going .After the Algerian war (RAS ,1973) and "Dupont-Lajoie" (racism,1974,and probably his best work with the made-for TV "le pantalon rouge") and an unconvincing thriller ("folle à tuer"1975 ) where he seemed to ditch politics,"le juge Fayard...." set the record straight:all things politics.Inspired by a true story,Boisset became here André Cayatte's continuator but he lacked the simplicity of his predecessor (and of his 1973 and 1974 opus):the screenplay is extremely complicated ,sacrificing the plausibility of the script for the sake of the show :the witness's death in the hospital and the spectacular escape are two good examples.Besides,the characters are cardboard:the factory boss,a villain who would not be out of place in a cartoon,Aurore Clement's teacher character who seems to come from the worst May 1968 clichés ,the judge himself (Patrick Dewaere is not as well cast here as he was in "la meilleure façon de marcher" or "serie noire":too youthful,he was hardly 30).

NB :at the time,in the movie theaters ,the SAC -which really existed- won the case:its name was erased from the soundtrack and replaced by some kind of beep:what happened? the audience used to chuckle at every beep.When I saw the movie on TV ,a week ago,the "original " soundtrack was restored and the word "SAC" can be heard again.But who remembers these events?
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