36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004)

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Released 11-Oct-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Making Of
Trailer-Promo Reel
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 106:48 (Case: 110)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:11) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Olivier Marchal

Madman Entertainment
Starring Daniel Auteuil
Gérard Depardieu
André Dussollier
Roschdy Zem
Valeria Golino
Daniel Duval
Francis Renaud
Catherine Marchal
Guy Lecluyse
Alain Figlarz
Vincent Moscato
Anne Consigny
Stéphane Metzger
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Erwann Kermorvant
Axelle Renoir

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French dts 5.0 (768Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis


    Two of France's best actors, Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu are probably best known in this country for their comedies and lighter roles such as in The Closet, The Dinner Guest or Green Card amongst many others. What many Australians may not be aware, however, is that both are equally adept at drama and in this case thrillers. In this 2004 film, 36 Quai De Orfevres, both of them play tough cops who work on both sides of the line between right and wrong to achieve the outcomes they are looking for. They are both Captains in Paris's equivalent of the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) and have a long history of both friendship and enmity. They are both attempting to secure the same promotion, to head of the CID. Whoever catches a gang of vicious armoured car hijackers will get the top job. How far will each one go to secure the role they both covet?

    This basic premise sets the stage for a stylish, atmospheric and gritty thriller which is one of the best thrillers I have seen for some time. This film was nominated for 8 Cesar awards (France's equivalent of the Oscars) including for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and many more. Unfortunately, it did not secure any of the awards. I was surprised to notice that this film is currently being remade in the US, helmed by Martin Campbell. It is set for 2009 release and will be entitled simply 36 (at least that is the current information available). Let's hope it doesn't disgrace the original as other US remakes have done.

    Another element which adds to the class of this film is the score by Erwann Kermavant and Axelle Renoir. It is tense, evocative and lends great atmosphere to the action. The acting is of a very high class with both the lead actors turning in excellent performances - Auteuil was nominated for the Best Actor Cesar in 2005. The support cast are also universally excellent with two of them getting supporting Cesar nominations. The direction is also very good by Oliver Marchal who has surprisingly only directed 4 features. He mostly works as a writer and did a lot of the writing for this movie. He also appears in the film in a minor role.

    My only real criticism of this film would be that occasionally it was hard to work out why a character was reacting in a certain way but this is a minor quibble for such a quality film.

    Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout with excellent detail especially in close-ups.

    The colour was excellent and dark scenes showed loads of detail. The blacks were very deep and solid.

    There was some mild blocking in some backgrounds such as at 13:15 and 31:13. There was also some minor moire and some edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English which were in 'SBS' yellow. They were clear and easy to read but included US spellings. Interestingly some of the trailers included had very different translations of the spoken word.

    The layer change occurs at 63:11 causing a minor pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is excellent.

    This DVD contains a French DTS 5.1 soundtrack, A French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track encoded at 224 Kb/s.All tracks were very good but the DTS track was easily the pick of the bunch displaying much more atmosphere and immersion.

    Dialogue seemed clear and easy to understand although my French is nothing special.

    The score by Erwann Kermavant and Axelle Renoir is tense and evocative. It sounds wonderful on this transfer filling the room with atmosphere.

    The surround speakers were very well used for atmosphere and music in quieter scenes but then exploding into life during gun battles.

    The subwoofer was also used a lot for gunfire, cars and the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras are a little disappointing.


    The menu included music and a very nice design which gets you in the mood for the film.

The Making of 36 Quai De Orfevres (27:55)

    This is essentially half an hour of behind the scenes footage which is mostly fairly boring rather than a proper making of. Not 16x9.

Promotional Reel (6:03)

    An extended trailer.

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:56)

    Not 16x9.

36 Quai De Orfevres Teaser (0:52)

    16x9 enhanced.

Madman Propaganda

    Trailers for other European films from Madman plus the obligatory piracy warning.




R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There are a few different releases of this film around but the best seems to be the R2 UK Tartan release. This includes the same audio options with the addition of an English dub (although I am not sure why you would want that) plus additional extras in the form of an interview with the director and featurettes on costumes and weapons. The R1 Canadian version does not include the phenomenal DTS track, or English subtitles on the extras. There does not seem to be a currently available R1 US release. The R2 UK Tartan release is probably the best available, however the local release is fine if you don't need additional extras.


    A stylish, atmospheric & gritty French thriller featuring two great performances from two great actors.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, January 05, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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