Review By: Boo Allen
Leon Morin, Priest (***)
In another film looking at life during wartime, the Criterion Collection debuts to DVD, and Blu-ray, a high definition digital restoration of an unusually philosophical film from French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the title character, a dedicated priest in the small occupied village of St. Bernard during World War Two. Most local men are off to war or in the resistance, making Morin uncomfortable with his even more exalted status among the village’s lonely women. But he remains pious, ignoring flirtatious advances and using his attentions to talk, and talk, with various women about their spiritual crises and his dedication to his faith.
Not rated, 117 minutes. The DVD includes a 1961 French television interview with Belmondo and Melville, commentary on a selected scene, and a brief deleted scene. Plus, a booklet with an article by film scholar Gary Indiana and an interview with Melville on the film.