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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r
France 1991


The Arrow Blu-ray Boxset 'Lies and Deceit - Five Films by Claude Chabrol' with Poulet au vinaigre (1985), Inspecteur Lavardin (1986), Madame Bovary (1991), Betty (1992) and L'Enfer (1994) is compared HERE


Gustave Flaubert's classic novel about Emma Bovary, a passionate woman who rebels against the conventions that stifle her as the wife of a dull country doctor, caused a furor in 1857. But for those who weren't morally outraged, the book struck a responsive chord. "Madame Bovary, c'est moi," said Flaubert, indicating that Emma's discontent crossed gender lines. Today, Emma's plight still draws us in. This new film version, from writer-director Claude Chabrol, is the ninth so far. Emma's influence even extends to Disney's Beauty and the Beast, in which the heroine, Belle, warbles, "I want much more than this provincial life."

Obviously, Chabrol also thinks of Emma as a modern woman. But the triumphant film he has fashioned isn't a tricked-up, revisionist adaptation. Starring the incomparable Isabelle Huppert, Chabrol's film stays rigorously faithful to Flaubert, unlike Vincente Minnelli's overproduced 1949 film with Jennifer Jones. Shooting near Rouen, where Flaubert lived (the location is vibrantly captured by Jean Rabier's camera), and taking the dialogue directly from the book, Chabrol respects Flaubert and the audience by allowing Madame Bovary to speak without interference to a new generation.

Excerpt of Peter Travers review located HERE


Theatrical Release: France 3 April 1991

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DVD Review: Arrow Film - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Review!

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Arrow Film

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 136:48 (4% PAL speedup)

1:1.78 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4,85 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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


Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English and None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.78

Edition Details:
• Extract of Madame Bovary by Jean Renoir (3:13)
• Presentation of the Movie by Joel Magny (2:24)
• Chabrol Explains Five scenes (Approx. 35:00)
• The Claude Chabrol collection (10 trailers)
• Extract from
• Trailer (1:24) in 1:1.66 Letterbox
• The Faces (2:04)
• Cast and Crew
• Extras don't have English subtitles

DVD Release Date: April 22, 2002
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Chapters 30


The Arrow Blu-ray Boxset 'Lies and Deceit - Five Films by Claude Chabrol' with Poulet au vinaigre (1985), Inspecteur Lavardin (1986), Madame Bovary (1991), Betty (1992) and L'Enfer (1994) is compared HERE


Comments The tape-master used in this DVD is licensed from MK2, but as with many other Arrow films DVDs, they sometimes have a slightly lower bit-rate than the French edition.

The picture quality varieties a lot. The outdoor scenes seems to be quite good, but in the low light indoors scenes there's trouble. There's visible digital artifacts, and the color seems unnecessarily flat.

Even though the picture is reasonably sharp, the transfer has some problems with drawing the details correctly (see the faces in large screen capture number 3). The DVD seems to be cropped for widescreen equipment, from 1:1.66 to 1:1.78. This is often fatal, as Chabrol uses a very tight picture compositions.

A quite reasonable DVD, even though it's far from what it could be.

Note also, that even though this is a UK company the extras don't have English subtitles.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg


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Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Claude Chabrol (French Film Directors)
by Guy Austin
Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Box Cover

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Arrow Film

Region 0 - PAL



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