directed by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
USA 1969

 

  From the Maysles brothers [The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter (1970), Grey Gardens (1975)], comes this landmark American documentary – a fascinating, non-narrated account of four Boston bible hawkers as they struggle to stay afloat in the cutthroat world of door-to-door sales. Capturing the remarkable detail of a bygone era, the film documents their carefully delivered spiel to bored housewives, widows, immigrants, and distracted blue-collar workers. The salesmen wheedle, connive, and cajole their way toward the Holy Grail, but as the pressure of the job bears down, one of the salesmen begins to crack, exposing the dark and lonely underside of the American Dream.

In a society saturated with reality TV, soundbite analysis, and slickly produced docu-tainment, Salesman stands tall as one of the first non-fiction films to show the lives of ordinary people indepth, without judgement or narration.

***

A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses—then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real-life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair.

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 17th, 1969

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 122 - Region 0 - NTSC Eureka - Masters of Cinema Spine # 42 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:31:12  1:31:00 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.30 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  Criterion

Bitrate:  MoC

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by filmmakers Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
• 1968 Jack Kroll television interview with David and Albert Maysles (31:16)
• “The Rabbit” on NPR’s Weekend Edition® (2000)
• Behind-the-scenes photographs
• Theatrical trailer
• Filmographies

• 6-page liner notes leaflet

DVD Release Date: September 4th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 22

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - MoC

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• ALBERT MAYSLES ON SALESMAN – An exclusive new interview filmed in 2006 [34 minutes]
• KENNIE TURNER & ALBERT MAYSLES Q&A – Filmed in Chicago in 2005 [19 minutes]
• Original theatrical trailer
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET containing rare vintage photography; a 1969 article by Howard Junker; and a rundown of the Maysles’ equipment

DVD Release Date: April 30th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 21

 

 

Comments:

I suppose I could stare all day but nothing will change - these transfers are as good as identical... and the bitrate graphs support that. Masters of Cinema state that 'New restored transfer licensed from Maysles Films' and I can only assume that this is where Criterion also obtained there print - damage marks are exactly the same. Both DVDs are region 0, progressive, dual-layered and both are in the NTSC standard.

NOTE: Moc have redone the subtitles for the UK, Anglicising words -- like "humor" > "humour", "tire" > "tyre", "recognize" > "recognise", and also altering the Criterion subtitles by removing a few typos, errors, etc. This was also done for their edition of Grey Gardens as well.

Where the packages differ are in the supplements - both are substantial. Criterion offer the interesting Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin commentary with a 1968 interview of the brothers by Jack Kroll. Also included are a 2000 10-minute audio feature "The Rabbit", a theatrical trailer, filmographies and a liner notes pamphlet. Masters of Cinema counter with a 34 minutes exclusive new interview filmed in 2006 "Albert Maysles on Salesman". plus a 19 minute Q+A with Kennie Turner and Albert Maysles from 2005. They also include a theatrical trailer and a beautiful 36-page booklet containing rare vintage photography; a 1969 article by Howard Junker; and a rundown of the Maysles’ equipment.

I enjoyed the extras of both and am hard pressed to point you in one direction over another. They are both about the same price too so perhaps we should suggest you own the DVD that is easiest for you to obtain. It's a film that may stay with you for the rest of your lives.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

 


Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: Not exact frame

 

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Screen Captures

 

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 122 - Region 0 - NTSC Eureka - Masters of Cinema Spine # 42 - Region 0 - NTSC




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