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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Letter to Four Wives" or "A Letter to Five Wives")

 

directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
USA 1949

Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed and wrote the screenplay (based on John Klempner’s novel) for the 1949 feature A Letter To Three Wives and would receive Academy Awards® for both efforts. The film was also nominated for Best Picture. As three women head off on a boating trip with a group of children, they receive a letter written by a woman claiming to have stolen one of their husbands. Which one? The letter doesn’t say. Faced with the prospect of a shattered life, each woman soul searches throughout the day: Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) feels inadequate amidst her husband’s (Jeffrey Lynn) country club set. Everyone sees Lora Mae Hollingsway (Linda Darnell) as a gold digger, including her husband (Paul Douglas). And Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern) has a career that makes her husband (Kirk Douglas) feel neglected to the point of infidelity. All three endure the anguish of uncertainty until the boat trip ends—and the truth is revealed.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 20th, 1949 - USA

Reviews                                                     More Reviews                                               DVD Reviews

 Comparison:

Carlotta (France) - Region 2- PAL vs. 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Vincent Lacomme and Henrik Sylow for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - LEFT

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 Box Covers

 

Distribution Carlotta
Region 2 - PAL

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

Optimum Classics
Region 2 - PAL
Twentieth Century Fox
Region 'A' -Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:53 (4% PAL speedup) 1:43:00 1:38:53 (4% PAL speedup) 1:43:09.057
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.49 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.35 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.43 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,866,567,384 bytes

Feature: 32,292,575,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Carlotta

Bitrate:

20th Century Fox (Studio Classics)

 

Bitrate:

 

Optimum Classics

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio English 1.0 Mono 2.0 Dolby Digital English Mono, 2.0 Dolby Digital English Stereo

2.0 Dolby Digital English Mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1052 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1052 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles French, none English, Spanish, None None English (SDH), French, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
Interview with Patrick Brion (14:01)
Interview with Pascale Breton, Dominique Cabrera, Jean Douchet and Yann Dedet (28:14)
Part 2 of the Interview with J. L. Mankiewicz (50:43)
Newsreel (1:12)
Theatrical Trailer (2:36)

DVD only available in the Mankiewciz Boxset.

DVD Release Date: November 16th, 2004
Digipack
Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Mankiewicz biographer Kenneth Geist
• Biography: Linda Darnell - Hollywood's Fallen Angel
• Fox Movietone News
• Oscars presented for Achievements in Motion Pictures
• Restoration Comparison
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Classics

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Fox Movietone News (1:09)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:33)

 

DVD Release Date: April 4th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,866,567,384 bytes

Feature: 32,292,575,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Mankiewicz biographer Kenneth Geist, Cheryl Lower and Christopher Mankiewicz

• Biography: Linda Darnell - Hollywood's Fallen Angel (44:03)

• Fox Movietone News 'Oscars Presented for Achievements in Motion Pictures' (1:15)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:43)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (September 2013): Firstly, great to have this film in 1080P. The previous FOX DVD was quite strong but I'd say the most notable differences are the absence of the artefacts (present on the SD) on the HD visuals. Contrast has more layers and the overall image seems brighter and detail advances. The larger the screen you have the more prominent the differences between this and the DVDs will indicate. The Blu-ray does have more texture but how notable this is depends on the systems and discerning eye of the viewer. The bitrate is about 5X stronger and the higher resolution exhibits other benefits for home theater presentation namely the depth and smoothness in-motion.

 

Sound is lossless in original mono and the lack of compression might be most notable in the iconic Alfred Newman's score. There are optional subtitles and, so far - we can only corroborate the back cover indicating this is Blu-ray is region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras only lose the Restoration example from Fox's 2005 DVD but keep the commentary by Mankiewicz biographer Kenneth Geist, Cheryl Lower and Christopher Mankiewicz and the informative, 45-minute, Biography episode on Linda Darnell entitled Hollywood's Fallen Angel. Remaining are the Fox Movietone News 'Oscars Presented for Achievements in Motion Pictures' and a theatrical trailer in HD.

 

A Letter to Three Wives remains a rich Hollywood drama with heavy romantic overtones. A classic in story, performances and direction. I am very pleased to own this on Blu-ray. Recommended!  

 

***

ADDITION Carlotta Films - Region 2- PAL: The Mankiewicz boxset looks good - it does include 2 other films from the director "Dragonwyk"  (I think) and "5 Fingers"? It looks almost identical to the Fox, but I still lean towards the Optimum, regardless if it may have been slightly brightened. I believe the Optimum to still be sharper. For normal tube viewing all editions have an excellent image. The Fox has the commentary and English subtitles where the other two do not.

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE OPTIMUM: Another amazing transfer by Optimum. The image is sharper in detail than R1, but displays a more uneven distribution of pixels, which is visible around the letters in image #2 and the shades of grey. However these minor flaws are only visible in still frames. Nothing is detectable during the run of the film.

The 26% lower bitrate is due to Optimum being a DVD-5 and Fox a DVD-9.

Henrik Sylow

 

 


Menus
(Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

   
   

 

20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920 X 1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Carlotta - (France) - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox (Studio Classics) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - 65th Anniversary - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Fox DVD + Blu-ray

 

 Box Covers

 

Distribution Carlotta
Region 2 - PAL

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

Optimum Classics
Region 2 - PAL
Twentieth Century Fox
Region 'A' -Blu-ray

 




 

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Gary Tooze

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