(aka 'Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru' or 'The Bad Sleep Well' or 'The Rose in the Mud' or 'The Worse You Are, the Better You Sleep')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kurosawa.htm
Japan 1960

 

  Koichi Nishi (Toshiro Mifune) is a grieving son seeking revenge for the 'suicide' of his father. By assuming a new identity he rises through the ranks of the Public Corporation and cynically marries the President's daughter to better infiltrate the company and expose the corrupt practice that was responsible for his father's death. However, as Koichi falls in love with his wife, disaster looms.

A tense re-working of Hamlet (adapted from a novel by Ed McBain) is a biting exposť of the corruption and politics of greed at the heart of Japanese business. Beautifully photographed in ravishing black and white Tohoscope.

Leisurely paced, bitterly ironic, the film employs an arid visual style, with hard-edged black and white images of Tokyo that perfectly complement its portrayal of corruption in high places.

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 19th, 1960 (Roadshow version) - Tokyo

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DVD Comparison:

BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

(BFI - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

  

Distribution BFI Home Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 319 - Region 1- NTSC
Runtime 2:24:35 (4% PAL speedup) 2:30:45 
Video 2.53:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.61 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 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:

BFI

Bitrate:

Criterion

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Japanese (Mono) 
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.53:1

Edition Details:

• Biographies
• Also Available
• Acknowledgements
• 8-pageillustrated liner notes booklet with notes by Philip Kemp

DVD Release Date: July 25th, 2005

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.32:1

Edition Details:

• A 36-minute documentary on the making of The Bad Sleep Well, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series
• Original theatrical trailer
• 16-page Liner notes essays by film scholar Richard Combs and screenwriter-director Michael Almereyda

DVD Release Date: January 10th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 32

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 1- NTSC Jan 06': Most obviously the BFi is cropped on top, bottom and the left edge which we may never have been aware had Criterion not released this title. Framing is most important in certain directors work - and Kurosawa is one of them. It appears that BFI have done some brightness boosting, again only really noticeable next to the Criterion (which may be minutely less sharp). Another flaw in the BFI that I did not note in our initial review is that in scene shifts - in usually the last frame - either prevalent damage is noted or a heavy brightness boost.

The 36 minute documentary on the 'Making of..." is very good and the liner notes booklet included on the Criterion is likewise excellent.

Both issues look quite good. Progressively transferred in widescreen scope (although with BFI's cropping it offers a substantially different ratio), both are anamorphic and tight to the frame.  But the Criterion is superior. It has richer black levels, less damage, the above noted cropping on the BFI, better extras and an alternate subtitle translation that I assume is also advanced above the PAL release. Criterion continue to show there domination of the DVD production market. We strongly recommend the Criterion!

*****

I had seen this Kurosawa film as I own the Mei Ah (see below) DVD many years ago. I believe it was the shorter international version of the film. I won't even bother fully comparing as it was a ridiculously poor transfer (brightened, cropped on all 4 sides etc. etc.). The film is another of Kurosawa's best and BFI have done true justice with this stupendous image and providing us with the original uncut version. Contrast, sharpness, grey-scales are all excellent! Very minor speckles are occasionally noticed.

Subtitles are up to BFI's high standard and I have always loved their menus - these are super widescreen. Although digital extras are pretty much standard filler the 8-page liner notes booklet is gorgeous with some good reading (excerpt of  ‘Kurosawa on Kurosawa’ from Sight and Sound, Autumn 1964) and beautiful photos. I am very happy with this package and we strongly recommend.  out of         

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus
(BFI - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)


 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

NOTE: Not exact frame

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Mei-Ah Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

 


(BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


Recommended Reading for Kurosawa Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: BFI

 

DVD Box Cover

 

  

Distribution BFI Home Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 319 - Region 1- NTSC




 

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Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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