Sunday, October 07, 2012

Let's see Lelouch's Les Miserables on DVD and Blu-Ray, OK?




Every great once in a while, I am reminded that, contrary to what we might sometimes think, not every great movie is available in the U.S. on DVD. Case in point: Claude Lelouch's Les Miserables (1995), one of my favorite films of all time. As I wrote years ago:

"Claude Lelouch's audacious and exciting epic is neither a film version of the long-running musical nor a traditional adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel. Rather, it is a sweeping and sensationally passionate drama that succeeds brilliantly on its own merits as a celebration of storytelling (and, of course, moviemaking) as inspiration and illumination. A magnificently ravaged Jean-Paul Belmondo plays Henri Fortin, an ordinary man whose life spans an extraordinary period in French history: Born at the turn of the century, he lives long enough to endure the cruelties of the Nazi occupation. Rootless and illiterate, he is introduced to Les Miserables at an early age -- in a silent movie! -- and embraces Jean Valjean as his hero, mentor and alter ego. So much so, in fact, that Henri agrees to help a Jewish family escape from Paris, setting into motion a fateful series of betrayals, reconciliations, reversals of fortune and triumphs of the spirit. There are images in Les Miserables that are as hauntingly beautiful as any in the history of cinema. And there are entire sequences that are nothing short of astonishing. Lelouch is one of the few contemporary filmmakers who remains capable of the grand romantic gestures that made many of us fall in love with movies in the first place."

If anyone at Warner Home Video reads this, take it as a plea: The upcoming film version of the stage musical is bound to be a great big hit, so why not give us a DVD/Blu-Ray of Lelouch's masterwork? Think of it this way: You'll be able to hitch a ride on the gravy train, and sell a whole bunch of units. 

10 comments:

film student said...

Wow, I need to see this movie!

Al Tran said...

Great film, but somehow I think the best one can hope for is an MOD release under their Warner Archive label. Until then, I still own the laserdisc.

Joe Leydon said...

Trust me: I would settle for the MOD at this point. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to make my old laserdisc player work with my Vizio HD TV.

Al Tran said...

Surely you must have a young'un hanging around the house to provide tech support?

Scott said...

NETFLIX reports that Lelouch's "Les MIserables" will be out on DVD at the end of February.

Scott said...

NETFLIX is advertising LeLouch's "Les Miserables" as coming out on DVD at the end of February.

Bob Minder said...

i am writing in may of 2016. did lelouch's les miserable ever come out in a dvd form that is friendly to dvd playing machines in america? i haven't seen it. this too is one of my very very favorite films that i watched on my ancient and long-gone vhs many times, but would like to see many times more. is it out there? bob minder

Joe Leydon said...

To the best of my knowledge, there still isn't a Region 1 DVD available -- even though there was a Laserdisc release ages ago.

Jan Janzen said...

I watched it in Canada years ago on VHS. I'd love to have any format playable in Canada DVD preferably.

John Jacobs said...

this is one of my all time favorite films. Saw it in New York when it came out, and have been searching for a DVD since. I didn't care for Belmondo as a young man, but , boy , is he charismatic in Les Miserables. I also would like to find a DVD of The Grey Fox w Richard Farnsworth.. How is it that some films do not get into DVD?