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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Port of Shadows')

directed by Marcel Carné
France 19
38

Down a foggy, desolate road to the port city of Le Havre travels Jean (Jean Gabin), an army deserter looking for another chance to make good on life. Fate, however, has a different plan for him, when acts of both revenge and kindness turn him into front-page news. Also starring the blue-eyed phenomenon Michèle Morgan in her first major role, and the menacing Michel Simon, Port of Shadows (Le Quai des brumes) starkly portrays an underworld of lonely souls wrestling with their own destinies. Based on the novel by Pierre Mac Orlan, the inimitable team of director Marcel Carné and writer Jacques Prévert deliver a quintessential example of poetic realism, one of the classics of the golden age of French cinema.

Theatrical Release: May18th, 1938 - France

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Comparison:

Criterion -  Region 0 - NTSC vs. Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

Box Cover

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 245 - Region 0 - NTSC Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:00 1:32:18.750
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate:5.61 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,003,498,672 bytes

Feature: 19,977,025,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.77 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio French 1565 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1565 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1678 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1678 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, None English, French, German, None
Features

Release Information:

Production Company: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Gallery of production portraits, shots of Le Havre, and promotional posters
• New essay by acclaimed cultural historian Luc Sante, author of Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, and excerpts from Marcel Carné's autobiography Ma vie à belles dents
• French theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: July 20, 2004
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:

Production Company: Studio Canal

Aspect Ratio:- 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,003,498,672 bytes

Feature: 19,977,025,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.77 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• On The Port Of Shadows (44:10)
Introduction to Le Quai Des Brumes by Ginette Vincendeau, Professor and Film Critic (6:24 in English)
Restoring Le Quai Des Brumes (10:34)
Booklet on the movie written by Ginette Vincendeau professor and film critic.
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 10th, 2012
Book-style
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (October 2012): The restoration has removed some of the scratches that appeared on the Criterion DVD - but being darker it has a tendency to obscure some of the detail. Side-by-side the Criterion does look marginally boosted and I think the darker, thicker 1080P image is probably more accurate to the original. I was initially on the fence but watched scenes from both toggling back and forth and the Blu-ray transfer has none of the artifacts that the SD has. It looks like Criterion did the best with what they had. I did get the feeling some of the Studio Canal may have been over-digitized. The hi-def did look better in-motion but the brighter Criterion image does have some attributes.

 

Audio gets the lossless treatment on the Blu-ray and this is clearly an advancement but the extras are the most significant bonus in favor of the European disc. Supplements include an excellent 45-minute video piece entitled On The Port Of Shadows with optional subtitles. We also get an introduction to Le Quai Des Brumes by Ginette Vincendeau, Professor and Film Critic running 7-minutes in English a well as a 10-minute piece Restoring Le Quai Des Brumes about the extent and details of the improvement. The package is a Digibook with images and text on the movie written by Vincendeau.

 

the extras are a significant selling feature and the restoration has many positives even if you are sensitive to some of the digitization. I'd still recommend!

 

***

ON THE DVD: Although this is in the lower tier of Criterion pricing, the quality of this release is quite similar to Marcel Carne's "Children of Paradise" on DVD (also by Criterion). We are talking of a very old film, but it still shows moments of great sharpness and the impeccable Criterion contrast. Grain is visible, but not intrusive. There is some slight, mostly unnoticeable, damage. Subtitles are prefect. By Criterion standards - extras are weak, but as we said it is one of the less expense offerings. For Carne fans, or all cinema-philes, this is a great buy.  

Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



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Box Cover

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 245 - Region 0 - NTSC Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



 

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