Louis Malle shocked audiences in 1963 with this stark, bleak portrait of a disaffected writer living in a treatment facility for alcoholism who resolves to kill himself the following day. For the next 24 hours, he wanders around Paris, visiting old friends – perhaps to say goodbye, perhaps to see if any of them can offer any reason to change his mind.

Maurice Ronet (Elevator to the Gallows) carries the film with a haunting performance. It’s a naturalistic look at one man’s disappointment in humanity that some may find a bit too minimalist.

Extras: new video interviews, archival interviews with Malle and Ronet, a 2005 documentary short about the film and its source novel

Grade: B+

The Fire Within is currently available.