(aka 'Demoiselle en détresse')

Directed by George Stevens
USA 1937


  When Fred & Ginger went splitsville after Shall We Dance, Astaire decided that he didn’t really need a dame, an idea that tends to work better in theory than practice. Instead of searching for Ginger II, he chose to make his next film, Damsel in Distress, with a leading lady who couldn’t dance, twenty-year-old Joan Fontaine, as Lady Alyce Marshmorton. Damsel in Distress, which features a Gershwin score, a script by P. G. Wodehouse, and inspired support work from George Burns and Gracie Allen, is sumptuous moviemaking, and the film is always firing on at least eight of its sixteen cylinders, but it lacks the dance/romance combo that made the great Astaire/Rogers films the classics they are.

Excerpt from Bright Lights Film Journal located HERE


Theatrical Release: November 19th, 1937

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DVD Review: Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:40:27 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.30 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 English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles French, None

Release Information:
Studio: Editions Montparnasse

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Serge Bromberg Intro (2:33) in French only

DVD Release Date: March 1st, 2006

Transparent Slim Keep Case
Chapters: 8




Another tube-worthy interlaced transfer from Montparnasse. Once again the 'combing' is relatively fine but quite rampant. Contrast is fairly weak as well with a slight greenish haze over the image. There are frames of damage marks but they are relatively invisible in normal viewing. Audio, although unimpressive, was fairly consistent. No extras save Bromberg's usual intro-praise (in French only).

This DVD has appeal as being a rarity in that it is another delightful Astaire film - not represented in Region 1 (in past boxset #1 or upcoming 10-film Ultimate Collection) mainly because Ginger is absent, but I thought Fontaine did an admirable job and the pace has some pep. I think it's a worthy purchase if your expectations of this 1937 films DVD transfer aren't too high.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL


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