Le Cercle Rouge

In DVD/Blu-ray by Samuel Love

One of the most famous heist movies of all time, acclaimed filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. StudioCanal are marking the milestone with a beautiful new restoration, available on DVD, Blu-ray and even 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Le Cercle Rouge is, similar to Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, effortlessly cool. This is a suave and sophisticated film with a deliberate and precise pace, with the result being one of the most artistic crime thrillers in cinema history. A seminal and influential piece of work that was a key title in the development of the crime film genre, Le Cercle Rouge follows three lonely, tortured men whose paths cross and the unlikely trio plot a heist, against seemingly impossible odds. The film is dark and solemn, and surprisingly minimalistic for a film of its genre. The big heist sequence, for example, is about half an hour in length with almost no dialogue. This slow and quiet approach to the climax is felt throughout the film, creating an understated and cerebral piece of work that feels like the apex of Melville’s leisurely yet precise style.

This new release from StudioCanal is utterly gorgeous, boasting a breathtakingly gorgeous restoration which is available to own on 4K UHD Blu-ray for the first time, as well as Blu-ray, DVD and digital. Fans of the film will be beyond thrilled with the quality, bringing the film’s slick visuals to life like never before. A wealth of special features completes the physical releases which will delight film historians and fans. This is simply a must-own release for anyone with an interest in cinema; the pioneering film is simply essential in the development of the crime and thriller genres respectively.

Le Cercle Rouge is an influential masterpiece that has only grown cooler with age, and this new restoration is an absolute belter.