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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'La Jeune fille et la mort')
UK / USA / France 1994

Probably my favorite Polanski film along with "Le Locataire", Death and the Maiden is a riveting psychological exploration that increasingly picks up pace and suspense along the way for an unforgettable dramaturgical ride. Quite possibly the excellent performances from Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley as well as the layered story are at the heart of my appreciation of the film.


The plot, performable on a stage (actually based on Ariel Dorfman's play), has once imprisoned Paulina (Weaver), devout in her assumption that an unexpected visitor was her unseen captor and sadistic torturer in South America some fifteen years hence. On debatable evidence (only his voice) she demands just vengeance for being raped 14 times. Simultaneously she is brushing aside her politically motivated husband's plea's for rational behavior.


Almost exclusively character driven, one couldn't imagine better players in this drama. Three strong actors, an isolated home on a stormy night, secrets of the past slowly revealed... and a gun.  out of  


Theatrical Release: December 24th, 1994 (limited)

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DVD Review: New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover


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Distribution New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:43:16 
Video 1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.29 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.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: New Line Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.83:1

Edition Details:

• 5 Trailers (Death and the Maiden, Bitter Moon, Invincible, Storytelling and Human Nature. )
• DVD-Rom links

DVD Release Date: June 3rd, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 22





The film itself has dim lighting and the New Line DVD seems to have kept that in mind with no artificial boosting of the anamorphic image. I found it a shade soft at times, but skin tones and colors were good. Audio is a pitiful one track that could have benefited greatly with a 5.1 bump option - the raging storm and wonderful classical music could have really impacted the dialogue and surroundings.

Non-existent extras will hurt this DVDs score as I felt this film deserved some discussion in the form of shorts or interviews etc. Still a deeply probing and suspense driven film from a master.  out of  

Gary W. Tooze

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DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC



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Gary Tooze

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