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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British TV > The Maigret Collection (Koch/Lance)

The Maigret Collection (TV)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C-†††† Episodes: B

 

 

Despite only a few feature film appearances, including in Jean Renoirís 1932 La Nuit du Carrefour with Pierre Renoir as the detective, Jean Tarrideís The Yellow Dog the same year, Julien Duvivierís A Manís Neck in 1933, the Burgess Meredith-directed Man On The Eiffel Tower (1950) with Charles Laughton as Maigret, Jean Gabin in his trio of films: 1951ís Inspector Maigret, 1959ís Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case, then again in 1963ís Maigret Sees Red, the Italian-made Maigret At The Pigalle from 1966/67 and even an Austrian-made Enter Inspector Maigret from 1967, Georges Simenonís famous detective Maigret was a hit in over 100 books.He also has had more TV appearances than you might think.The 1988 Richard Harris version was not that good, while Rupert Davies played the detective for three seasons on British TV, beginning in 1960.A Nederlands series ran one season longer than that beginning in 1964, while others in foreign countries have constantly revived him over the decades.The Maigret Collection offered by Koch/Lance features the remarkable 1992 version with Michael Gambon as the great detective.

 

Picpus (1943) even launched a B-movie series in France, but after all these decades and all these versions, Maigret (pronounced May-Gray) is still only known primarily in Europe and only among serious Mystery fans in the U.S. unfortunately.Gambon had been often cast as bad guys or stuffy, mean oafs, but he shines here in one of his best roles as the great detective.The 12 hour-long time-slotted shows featured in this terrific set are:

 

1)     The Patience Of Maigret (title short story from the 1964 book Five Time Maigret)

2)     Maigret & The Burglarís Wife (from the 1951 book)

3)     Maigret Goes To School (short story from the 1966 book)

4)     Maigret & The Mad Woman (from the 1970 book)

5)     Maigret On Home Ground (from the 1932 book)

6)     Maigret Sets A Trap (from the 1955 book)

7)     Maigret & The Nightclub Dancer

8)     Maigret On The Defensive (from the 1964 book)

9)     Maigret & The Minister (from the 1954 book)

10) Maigret & The Hotel Majestic (from the 1942 book)

11) Maigretís Boyhood Friend (from the 1968 book)

12) Maigret & The Maid

 

 

This should have been a phenomenal success akin to the recent Poirot and Sherlock Holmes TV shows that have been celebrated and overrated.Gambon should have experienced much bigger breakthroughs in his career and greater gains for how terrific he is in this role.The supporting casts are also great and this DVD set could help revive Maigret in general.Maybe weíll get those other versions on DVD.A few came and went so quickly, they did not have a chance.The Maigret Collection is your chance to see a classic detective brought to remarkable life.

 

The 1.33 X 1 full frame image is slightly dated, but looks good, with color consistency and above-average detail and depth.The Dolby Digital 2.0 is a simple stereo that is effective and just fine.Nigel Hessí score and theme song are just right for the show.The only extra aside from the essay you can read when you fold out the DigiPak 4 DVD case is a weblink on DVD 1 and cast and crew on all four discs.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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