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Through Thursday, October 11

Directed by Alain Resnais. Screenplay by Jorge Semprún
Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo & Charles Boyer
Featuring original music by Stephen Sondheim.

(1974) Real-life saga of French con man Serge Stavisky (Bernie Madoff and Jack Abramoff rolled into one), whose rise to moguldom and scandalous 1934 fall brought down a government and nearly brought France to civil war. Resnais’ most straightforward work features three generations of Gallic superstars: Jean-Paul Belmondo’s resplendently attired Stavisky (who wore a hat better?), Charles Boyer (Best Actor, Cannes) as an aristocratic true believer, and newcomer Gérard Depardieu. Screenplay by Jorge Semprún, with music by Stephen Sondheim, a favorite of Broadway buff Resnais. DCP restoration. Approx. 118 min.


Restored by StudioCanal. New subtitles © 2018, Rialto Pictures LLC

Presented with support from the George Fasel Memorial Fund for Classic French Cinema


“The ravishing treasure of [the 1974] Cannes Film Festival… A rich and thrilling film experience. A truly superior film [in which] Charles Boyer gives one of the finest performances of his long career.”
– The L.A. Times (1974)

“Jean-Paul Belmondo is at his best. Charles Boyer is effortlessly elegant. The difficulty of knowing what is true, of discovering what really happened, ripples throughout Alain Resnais’s Stavisky — a spell-casting mood piece [that] despite its mystifications, is one of the most rewarding films I’ve seen this year—and also one of the most intelligent.”
– Nora Sayre, The New York Times (1974)

“Always thoroughly chilling, never merely elegant. Resnais conveys the atmosphere of moral degeneracy with a tact which makes it all the more insidious, through a film that is superbly paced.”
– Verina Glaessner, Time Out (London)

Stavisky certainly succeeded as a commercial commodity. It has been Resnais’ most successful film to date at the box office. It’s entertaining, colourful, nostalgic, romantically evocative, and witty and drole. It even has a success soundtrack album, certainly a first for Resnais. Yet, surprisingly, despite all these obvious commercial elements, it is still quite clearly a film by Alain Resnais, the director of Marienbad, Muriel, Je t’aime, and all those cerebral ‘art’ films of the sixties. It is specious to think that a film can’t be intellectually complex just because it is popular. In this respect, Stavisky is Resnais’s greatest artistic success, since it reaches out towards a mass audience.”
– James Monaco

“To play Stavisky, Renais chose Jean-Paul Belmondo, and it's perfect casting. There's something in Belmondo's screen personality that fundamentally suggests the con man. It was there in the jauntiness of his first movie, Breathless, and in Cartouche, a movie totally unlike this one except for Belmondo's cocky bravado in the face of certain defeat Belmondo has grown and become more subtle in 15 years, and in Stavisky, he gives us his most complex and probably his best performance.”
– Roger Ebert

“One of Alain Resnais’ most graceful and elegant films, a gliding passage through the life and scandal of a conman who rocked pre-WWII France, inadvertently fueling the anti-Semitic rage of French fascists. Jean-Paul Belmondo is a solid-gold charmer (with a hint of brass) in the title role, and Stephen Sondheim’s musical score soars.”
– George Robinson, The New York Jewish Week

“Possibly Resnais’ most elegant and accessible movie.”
– George Robinson, Senses of Cinema

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