directed by Roland Verhavert
Belgium 1972


After World War I, widower Renier has returned to his estate Horlebecq. His sole diversion is his correspondence with the Parisian Rolande, who he met during the war. Even though his family is pressuring him into marrying his sister-in-law Emily, Renier stays obsessed with Rolande and even visits her in Paris. She manages to persuade him to invest large sums of money into the "Academie de BeautÚ" in Paris. His reckless investments and breaking off his engagement with Emily leads to unbearable tensions at Horlebecq...

Pieter Boven

Reviews     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Vintage Films / Bridge Pictures - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Pieter Boven for the Review!

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Vintage Films / Bridge Pictures

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:38:07 (4% PAL speedup)

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.72 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 Dutch & French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles Dutch, English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Vintage Films / Bridge Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Roland Verhavert (3'02), in Dutch
• Theatrical trailer (4'16), in Dutch with hardcoded French subtitles
• 2 Deleted scenes (6'49 & 3'15), in Dutch & French with hardcoded Dutch subtitles
• Demo digital film restoration (3'27), in Dutch
• Trailers for other releases in the series

DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004

Chapters 8



Comments This DVD is part of the series "VRT Klassiekers" which celebrates the 50 year existence of Belgian National Television (VRT).

The film has been beautifully restored, with virtually no frame damage or marks visible. At several scene changes there is a small frameshift but this is nitpicking. The image is sharp and the colours are very vivid. Unfortunately there is a serious error on the DVD. One scene, about 6 seconds in length, has been transferred at an incorrect aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (see screenshot 7) and as a result everything appears horizontally squashed.

The mono sound is free of noise but sounds a bit metallic but probably as good as we can expect. The original dialogue is partially Flemish and partially French but there is also a French dub available of similar quality. The English subtitles are well translated and placed correctly. Dutch subtitles can be selected for the entire movie or only for the French parts.

A few extras are available but unfortunately they are not subtitled in English and only accessible through the Dutch menus. The introduction by the director tells us the movie was originally 140 minutes in length but was shortened for commercial reasons at the beginning of the 80s. The DVD contains this shortened version of 98 minutes as the original negative unfortunately no longer exists. Two deleted scenes are on the DVD but they are unrestored and obviously from a different source. The lengthy trailer also contains scenes not in the movie. Admirers of the female form are advised to watch :).

I would like to thank Vintage Films for responding to my question and confirming the aspect ratio problem.

 - Pieter Boven


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 Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson 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
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana



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Notice the squashed faces in this scene which is incorrectly transferred at 1.78:1




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