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Critic's Pick

'A Pure Formality'

September 14, 1997|Kevin Thomas

Giuseppe Tornatore's 1994 film quite literally opens with a bang--and never lets up. In the wake of a gunshot a large, heavy man (Gerard Depardieu) runs through a dark, rainy forest and winds up at a decrepit rural police station where the inspector (Roman Polanski, pictured) detains him when he can't produce identification. "A Pure Formality" becomes a crackling duel of wits between two formidable presences (Showtime Monday at 7:45 a.m.).

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