directed by Douglas Sirk
USA 1956

Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring. Features an all-star quartet that includes Robert Stack as a pistol-packin’ alcoholic playboy; Lauren Bacall as his long-suffering wife; Rock Hudson as his earthy best friend; and Dorothy Malone (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar© for her performance) as his nymphomaniac sister.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December - 1956 - USA

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to our good friend Christian at for the Universal Screen captures!

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

  

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 96 - Region 0 - NTSC Universal Video Publishing
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:39:36 1:35:21 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.75:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.86:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.66 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) , DUBs:  French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)

Subtitles English, None English (hoh), French, German, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.75:1

Edition Details:

• The Melodrama Archive: An annotated filmography of director Douglas Sirk with hundreds of behind-the-scenes and production photos, plus vintage lobby cards
• Original theatrical trailers for Written on the Wind and All That Heaven Allows
• Liner notes by noted film theorist Laura Mulvey  

DVD Release Date: June 19th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 23

Release Information:
Studio: Universal (Europe)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.86:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 21st, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:
Firstly, the Universal PAL edition is sold in the UK and in Germany under the same ASIN#. The only difference is in the language of the menus and the cover.

Both editions look fantastic... but they are different. I think a decision on superiority may simply come down to personal preference (as it always does). I think both versions are equally as sharp, and although I would initially tend to lean to the Criterion, I suspect it is only that the image is brighter, not necessarily sharper. Both editions show good film grain and both are framed slightly differently for DVD. Because the Criterion is brighter the colors are very slightly different. It is impossible to know which is most accurate.  Honestly, I think the Universal may be the truer film-like appearance, but its is hard to say with any measure of assurance. The Criterion may be more appealing to some as it is brighter and the colors are, hence, more vibrant. Contrast and black levels looks very good on both. The Criterion has the better extras, but if you are not interested in them, then it makes sense to buy the less expensive Universal edition if you are not bothered by it being slightly darker.

 - Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus

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Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 


Framing - Criterion in Green, Universal in Orange

 

 

 

Screen Captures

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)


 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Universal - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

personal preference

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

  

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 96 - Region 0 - NTSC Universal Video Publishing
Region 2 - PAL


 




 


 

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