Mesrine Public Enemy #1

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Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

THE SECOND CHAPTER IN THE ACCLAIMED EPIC ABOUT THE LIFE AND CAREER OF JACQUES MESRINE, THE MOST FAMOUS CRIMINAL IN THE HISTORY OF FRANCE, STARRING AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTAR VINCENT CASSEL

Available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc

March 29, 2011Mis_PublicEnemy-4

“A remarkable cinematic experience!”

– Ain’t It Cool News

“A French Goodfellas. Mesmerizing, funny, sexy, horrific and the stuff of great global cinema. See it.” – James Verniere, Boston Herald

“3 ½ out of 4 stars!”-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Jacques Mesrine was the last of the great French gangsters, his criminal career spanning more than 20 years of kidnappings, robberies, murders and prison escapes in some half-dozen countries on three continents. Mesrine’s criminal reign came to an end in a hail of bullets shot by police in the middle of Paris in 1979, a spectacular demise that put the crowing touch on his legend. Nearly 30 years after his death, the true story of Jacques Mesrine is told in Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, the second film in the acclaimed two-part crime saga that began with the film Mesrine: Killer Instinct.

Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 on Blu-ray disc and DVD for the first time on March 29, 2011 (prebook: February 23) for the suggested retail prices of $34.95 and $29.95.

The second film in the two-part production, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 stars international superstar Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s 13 and, most recently, the Academy Award-nominated Black Swan) as the brutal, brooding and arguably brilliant criminal Jacques Mesrine. While the first film in the saga, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, details Mesrine’s early initiation into a life of crime, and his intensifying underworld activities across Europe, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 deals with later years in the life and career of the master criminal: namely, Mesrine’s return to his native France following a crime spree across Europe and North America and the self-fueling of the legend he created in its wake.

Taken into police custody in France following a string of robberies and facing justice for his crimes, Mesrine escapes a courtroom during sentencing, kidnapping a judge at gunpoint. Declared “Public Enemy Number 1” and eventually condemned to a maximum-security prison, he writes his memoirs and establishes himself as a household name and an anti-hero across the country. Mesrine stages another daring escape and disappears into the underworld, taunting the police and government as he continues his savvy manipulation of the media to earn the support of the people for his “cause.” But though he may be considered a celebrity, Mesrine is still a criminal, one who is growing increasingly paranoid and who knows instinctively how a life such as his is going to end.

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 is directed by Jean-Francois Richet (Assault on Precinct 13), who also helmed the first film in the saga, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, which will be available by Music Box Films Home Entertainment on Blu-ray disc and DVD on February 22nd.

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 and its companion feature are based on Jacques Mesrine’s 1977 autobiography L’Instinct de Mort (which he penned while incarcerated in a French jail before orchestrating his final, remarkable prison escape). The two movies were filmed concurrently with an enormous cast and crew on locations in France, Canada, Spain, Algeria, the United States and Great Britain, as well as in the studio.

Co-starring alongside Cassel in Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 is an ensemble of Europe’s greatest screen talents, including Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace, Marie Antoinette), Gérard Lanvin (The Taste of Others), Samuel Le Bihan (The Bridge of San Luis Reyes), Olivier Gourmet (Lorna’s Silence) and, as the woman at Mesrine’s side when he meets his bloody end, the beautiful Ludivine Sagnier (Swimming Pool).

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 was released theatrically in 2010 to critical acclaim in the Top 50 markets in the U.S. In 2009, it was nominated for a remarkable 10 Cesar Awards (the Academy Awards of France) including Best Film, and won three, including Best Actor (Vincent Cassel) and Best Director (Jean-Francois Richet). Cassel was further honored with both the prestigious Étoiles d’Or (the French film critics’ award) and Lumiere Award for Best Actor.

The critics are unanimous in their love of Mesrine: Public Enemy #1: The film received a 96% rating from the critics’ community on Rotten Tomatoes, which has also ranked it at #14 on the list of “Top Rated Films of 2010.” It’s those critic’s who’ve described Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 as “An instant gangster classic…in a league with Coppola and Scorsese.” (Kim Newman, Empire) and “The best gangster film of the year.” (Stephen Whitty, Newhouse Newspapers). They’ve also raved about its star turn by Vincent Cassel, proclaiming that it “sets a new standard for Gallic cool as the title character.” (J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader) and that Cassel’s monumental performance “fuses the cobra-like menace of the young Robert Mitchum with the whipsaw, shape-shifting (from wiry to bulbous) volatility of classic Robert De Niro.” (Stephen Holden, The New York Times).

Continuing the stunning and shocking tale of crime and punishment that began with Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 is a staggering work of biographical richness, sensational thrills and psychological intensity. Depicting a world that vacillates between romanticism and cruelty, and flamboyance and tragedy, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 rises to the heights of such classic underworld epics as The Godfather and Scarface.

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 — Synopsis:
In the early 1970s, following his crime spree and incarceration in Canada-and subsequent escape from prison-Jacques Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) returns to his native France to continue his life of crime, while manipulating the media, government and law enforcers. Taken into police custody in France and facing justice for his crimes, Mesrine escapes a courtroom during sentencing, kidnapping the judge at gunpoint. Declared “Public Enemy Number 1” and eventually condemned to a maximum-security prison, he writes his memoirs and establishes himself as a household name and the anti-hero across France. Mesrine stages another daring escape and disappears into the lawless underworld, taunting the police and reinventing himself as a celebrity criminal through his savvy handling of the press. After such a monumental rise, comes the inevitable fall as the police close in, bringing the life of Jacques Mesrine to full bloody circle.

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