(aka "Hold Autumn in Your Heart" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/renoir.htm
USA 1945

 

The Southerner opens, after a brief introduction of the main characters with family photos, on fields of cotton that look the sea or the sky. People work in the hot sun, and you feel the heat, just as you do in Renoir's Toni (1934), you hear the bird sounds and the smell the earth. You are there.

A man collapses—he is the uncle of Zachary Scott's Sam Tucker. Sam and his wife Nona (Betty Field) tend to this man, who is dying. “Grow your own crop,” he counsels before he passes on. This sequence has the powerful sense of life and death that Dovzhenko's Earth (1930) has. Indeed, The Southerner often evokes the Soviet cinema of the twenties, particularly Dovzhenko's. It's clear from the way Renoir shoots the landscape that he knows the earth is eternal and that people are just visitors.

***
Both The Southerner and the much darker Diary of a Chambermaid have a Hitler figure of sorts: here he is an embittered neighboring farmer named Devers (J. Carrol Naish) who thwarts the Tuckers out of spite—he's entirely believable in his wavering pettiness, not so much a villain as a bad apple that has to be dealt with slyly. “When ya got no money, ya work for them that's got it, that's the rule,” says Devers—fascism comes dangerously close to capitalism here, and it must be said that Renoir somewhat overstresses the left-wing agit-prop talk.

Scott and Field aren't the best actors in the world, but Renoir embraces their characters so warmly that it doesn't matter. In the ending of The Southerner, Renoir catches the spirit of perseverance so beautifully that it takes your breath away. To watch The Southerner you need concentration and openness and it repays you in bounteous aesthetic pleasure. Flashy, glib movies spoil us for a film this good, but its quality is readily apparent to anyone who is lucky enough to see it.

 Excerpt from Dan Callahan's review at Culture Does.net located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 April 1945

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:31:51
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.23 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.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Short 'Baby Daze' (15:26)
• Bios and Filmographies (Text Screens)

DVD Release Date: July 3, 2001
Keepcase

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments The picture quality is surprisingly good for a public domain release. There is heavy interlacing throughout the film, which means the film wasn't transfered progressively and there's some wear and tear - lines, specks, and marks - but overall the image is clear. In fact, in some instances it's better than the captures. The sound is passable, with lots of pops and crackle. A decent DVD for the right price (under $10). You even get an extra comedy short. Let's hope Criterion can do this film some justice (Home Vision released it on VHS at one time).

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 






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Screen Captures


Notice interlacing

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


'Cue Blip' indicating reel changes have been left in....

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 



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CLICK to order from:

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VCI

Region 0 - NTSC


 




 

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