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The Man Who Loved Women
cast: Charles Denner, Brigitte Fossey, Nelly Bourgeaud, Geneviève Fontanel, and Nathalie Baye

director: François Truffaut

114 minutes (15) 1977
widescreen ratio 1.55:1
MGM DVD Regions 2 + 4 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
It's the day of Bertrand Morane's funeral, and only women attend; lots of women. Bertrand (Charles Denner) was a man who loved women, all women, often going out of his way for the sake of a romantic encounter. He tells his story in an autobiography, which attracted the interest of publisher's editor Geneviève (Brigitte Fossey).
   The Man Who Loved Women was made in the middle of an erratic decade for Truffaut, ten years bracketed by the Oscar-winner Day For Night (1973) and the popular hit The Last Metro (1980). This film is a slight piece that depends heavily for its success on your accepting that the lugubrious Charles Denner is an irresistible babe magnet. From its title onwards, this film seems to endorse the common fantasy that serial womanisers love women, when often the exact opposite is the case. Only occasionally, such as the scene where Bertrand meets his end, is there much detectable irony. The screenplay (written by Truffaut, Michel Fermaud and Suzanne Schiffman) is interestingly constructed. The film begins with the funeral, and then moves into flashback, spending about an hour and a quarter on Bertrand's memoirs. A strong cast and top-drawer work from Truffaut's regular DP Nestor Almendros give this film a higher gloss than it really merits. Blake Edwards remade The Man Who Loved Women in the USA in 1985, with Burt Reynolds in the lead. That version sunk without trace. The original is not a lost cause but is certainly not prime Truffaut.
   The Man Who Loved Women is one of five Truffaut films released on DVD by MGM. (The others are Mississippi Mermaid, Pocket Money, The Story of Adèle H and The Wild Child.) Like all the other discs except Mississippi Mermaid, The Man Who Loved Women has a non-anamorphic transfer in the correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and there's nothing much wrong with it picture-wise. The soundtrack is Dolby digital 2.0 mono - either in the original French or German, Italian or Spanish dubs. Menus are available in all these languages plus English, with subtitles in all five languages plus Danish, Polish and Greek. As with the other Truffaut DVDs, the only extra is the trailer, an American effort which is so short (32 seconds) you have to wonder if it's really a TV spot.
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