La Poison

La Poison

(Sacha Guitry, 1951)

Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by Dave Lancaster

: Fresh and modern, Sacha Guitry's small town black comedy 'La Poison' sparkles on Blu-ray defying its 60+ year age.

'La Poison' opens almost like a spoof as filmmaker Sacha Guitry approaches just about everyone involved in his film and thanks them for their participation from the lead actor (the wonderful Michel Simon) to the film editor for their talents. He even phones up some voice actors and tells them that, as good as they were, they won't be credit but thanks all the same.

After such a post-modern opening, 'La Poison' looks to go back in time for a small town tale of black comedy and deception but really this is a disguise that allows Guitry to get away with murder. This is a filmmaker who had the audacity to declare in the face of marriage, the church and the law that crime, temptation and deceit can pay.

Michel Simon (who was so great in 1932's similarly toned 'Boudu Saved from Drowning') plays an unhappily married man who plots to off his boozy wife, who also has her own eyes on murder as well. Set in the confines of a claustrophobic town where everyone knows everyone else, 'La Poison' sizzles under this prospect before Simon's character visits Paris and enlists the help of a crafty lawyer famed for getting guilty parties off the hook before the film culminates in a delicious courtroom farce.  

Adding to the speed of the narrative's revelations, Guitry also filmed rapidly, rarely shooting alternate takes. Instead, it was done almost like a stage play as the director covered the action with multiple cameras and just let them roll, affording the film a genuine spark which ensures that the pace never drops (the finished product runs at less than an hour and a half anyway).

'La Poison' is a seemingly lightweight comedy anchored by a filmmaker's vision that was ahead of its time. Eureka's Blu-ray shows off a lovely crisp print and throws in an hour-long doc into the mix.

Other film news

The top 10 greatest book to box set adaptations

To celebrate the release of The Leftovers: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD today we take a look at the top ten best journeys from book to box set of modern times.

From DiCaprio to Portman: The unlikely beginnings of the screen's brightest stars

To celebrate the home entertainment release of Entourage The Movie we take a trip down memory lane and look at where some of the biggest stars in Hollywood first got spotted.

From Kilmer to Seagal... Whatever happened to our favourite action film heroes?

What about some of those action heroes we haven't heard from in a while? We decided to track down a few of our favourites.

Writing's On The Wall: Sam Smith confirmed for new James Bond theme

It's official: Sam Smith is singing the new James Bond theme tune, following in the footsteps of Adele's Oscar winning Skyfall song.

Read the legendary Kray brothers RAP SHEET of criminal activity!

To get more of an idea of what the two siblings got up to, this feature takes a look at their RAP SHEET...

Tributes pour in for horror film legend Wes Craven

The film world has shown its appreciation of horror maestro Wes Craven, who passed away on Sunday aged 76.

Five of the film world's funniest families

The Griswolds are back in hilarious comedy Vacation - out in cinemas this Friday. The film follows on from the National Lampoon classics and in true Griswold-style, disaster strikes the next generation of the calamitous family as they embark on a cross-country road-trip.

Jurassic World director locked in for new Star Wars film

After scoring the third highest performing film at the box office of all time, Colin Trevorrow became an indie filmmaker who was suddenly the most in-demand director in Hollywood.

And the world's top 10 highest paid actors are...

The numbers don't lie... Robert Downey Jr is the world's highest paid actor. And if that wasn't impressive enough, it's the Iron Man star's third year in a row at the top spot.

00-Heaven: First look at the stunning new James Bond steelbooks and Blu-ray set

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (or MGM to you and me) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing special edition Blu-rays and Blu-ray & DVD collectible box-sets on September 14th, ahead of the November 6th global release of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond adventure. And the first promo images have jaws dropping.

First trailer lands for Robert Redford's long-awaited Bill Bryson memoir A Walk In The Woods

Directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You), the film arrives in cinemas this September. Check out the trailer below and the official synopsis.

'My whole life has lead to this moment': Simon Pegg joins Star Wars cast

Actor and Star Wars superfan Simon Pegg has been cast in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One, it has been confirmed.

Disney to grant Prince Charming his own standalone live action film

After Kenneth Branagh's live action take on Cinderella grossed over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office last year and Maleficent made even more, Disney have invested further into the idea of standalone live action films based on iconic usually animated characters.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announce divorce just a day after their 10 year wedding anniversary

Celebrity power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced after just over 10 years of marriage, it has been confirmed.

Rebooted: Check out the new all-girl Ghostbusters costumes here!

Writer and director Paul Feig has given fans a glimpse of the new Ghostbusters costumes via social media with the cheeky hashtag #whatyougonnawear

Ezra Miller may join Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts with Eddie Redmayne

First came the news that recent Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was cast in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and now it looks like We Need to Talk About Kevin star Ezra Miller was coming onboard as well.

Titanic and Avatar composer James Horner dies in plane crash

James Horner, the double Oscar winning composer and songwriter behind the likes of Titanic and Avatar, has died in a plane crash. He was 61.

Veteran actor John Hurt reveals pancreatic cancer battle

John Hurt, the English actor whose career has spanned six decades and resulted in multiple Oscar nominations, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Biggest opening of all time: Jurassic World takes bite out of global box office record

Everybody knew that Jurassic World was going to be a big hit, but the sheer impact of its opening weekend surprised even the most positive of pre-release box office analysts and even the film studio itself.

SEE HIS HEAVY METAL MUSIC VIDEO: Horror film icon and Lord of the Rings star Sir Christopher Lee dies at 93

Christopher Lee, the legendary horror and fantasy genre actor and occasional metal musician, has died aged 93, it has been confirmed.

Find Your Cinema

Cinemas Online supply showtimes for every cinema in the UK. To find out what's playing near you and to register for weekly showtimes updates from your local cinema, just enter your postcode:

Advertisement : content continues below
Advertisement : content continues below

| Privacy Policy | Contact Cinemas Online