(aka "Spione" or "The Spy")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
USA 1928

Newly restored to its original length, Fritz Lang's penultimate silent film, Spione [Spies], is a flawlessly constructed labyrinthine spy thriller. Hugely influential, Lang's famous passion for meticulous detail combines with masterful storytelling and editing skills to form a relentless story of intrigue, espionage, and blackmail.

An international spy ring, headed by Haghi (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), uses technology, threats, and murder to obtain government secrets. As master spy, president of a bank, and music hall clown, Haghi leads several lives using instruments of modern technology to spearhead a mad rush for secrets — secrets that assert his power over others.

Setting in stone for the first time many elements of the modern spy thriller, Spione remains remarkably fresh and captivating over 75 years since its first release. Lang carefully reveals the elaborate methods of the spies as they move through his unknown city, no doubt creating a mirror of troubled Weimar Germany. Made by Lang's own production company and, like M and Metropolis, written by Lang with his wife Thea von Harbou, Spione is "the Grandaddy of decades of intrigue epics. In its rigorous austerity it remains the most modern of the bunch." (Elliott Stein, Village Voice).

Poster

Theatrical Release: March 22nd , 1928

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DVD Comparison:

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Eureka (Master of Cinema # 9) - Region 2 - PAL

(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Eureka
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:23:25 2:24:35 (25fps film (not 24fps) transferred directly to 25fps PAL)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.51 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Audio New score by Donald Sosin (2.0 Dolby Digital)

New score by Donald Sosin (2.0 Dolby Digital)

Inter/Subtitles English (non-removable) Original German intertitles (and optional English subtitles)
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino Video

Aspect Ratio:- 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Gallery of images
• About the Restoration
• Metropolis Trailer

DVD Release Date: November 16th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 18
 

Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

Aspect Ratio: - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Gallery containing rare promotional material
• 20-page booklet with a new essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum

 

DVD Release Date: April 19th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

 

 

 

Comments The big issue - Kino have pre-translated the title cards from their original German into English. This is totally out-of-place or anyone respecting this films origins. The Eureka intertitles can be optionally subtitled. The Kino may me marginally sharper and the Eureka a little over-contrasted. Like the Metropolis comparison HERE it appears as though we have an example of PAL-NTSC ghosting derived from improper conversion. The Kino - Region 0 - NTSC edition uses the same PAL master from the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung, BUT they did not pre-convert to NTSC for their standards' (Region 1) audience. Viewing the Kino edition DVD will see all the prevalent flaws that this common transference practice produces - 'ghosting' in motion sequences (see below), blurriness, artifacts and in this case some dis-colorization. The Eureka black levels are much richer and deeper than the Kino's, yet the Eureka image is also brighter. We prefer the Rosenbaum essay in the Eureka package to the text screens (and trailer) of the Kino.

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



DVD Menus
(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

As Eureka did with the Asphalt intertitles/subtitles. The English subs are removable, and they include a semi-transparent layer which dulls the German intertitles underneath. When you remove the English intertitles, it removes the semi-transparent layer also. It's a great system, I have never seen it before! -- The reason (I surmise) is that sometimes the German intertitles cover the whole screen, and they'd clash with the English subtitles at the bottom. Kino have replaced with mandatory English only.

 

(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
 

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Kino- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Eureka

Sound:

Tie

Extras: Eureka
Menu: Eureka
 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Eureka
Region 2 - PAL




 

 

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