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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Blood Sisters')

directed by Brian De Palma
USA 1973

 

Throw some shots of a vaguely menacing fetus over the opening credits, toss in a brash score by Bernard Hermann, and you're off and running. Is the baby gonna eat it's way out of the mother? Is there going to be some sort of killer baby run amok, a la some Larry Cohen flick, in Brian De Palma's Sisters. Nope. False alarm. This sequence is pretty cool, but we don't have a mutant killer baby slashing up victims -- that honor goes to Margot Kidder (Superman).

We start off with De Palma's favorite theme: voyeurism. On a corny television program called 'Peeping Toms', the candid camera guest, Philip (likeable Lisle Wilson) has to choose whether or not to let a blind woman know he's in her dressing room when she's changing clothes. He opts to be a gentleman and leave the room before she takes off her brassiere.

The audience rewards him with a free dinner at an African restaurant, since he's a black guy. It's a bold, politically incorrect move which wouldn't be done nowadays. Brian De Palma had previously satirized race in Hi, Mom!, but he eschews that here in favor of Hitchcockian trickery. Philip goes out on a date with the blind woman, who was really a French-Canadian model living on Staten Island, Danielle (Kidder, natch).

After a nice trip back to her apartment for some pre-AIDS casual sex, our would-be hero Philip learns that Danielle has a twin and it's their collective birthday. He buys them a cake and brings it back to Danielle's place. Unfortunately for him, the deranged sister (also Kidder) is waiting for him and she ain't interested in cutting the cake.

Excerpt from the review at Absolutley.net located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 27th, 1973 - USA

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Arrow Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 89 - Region 0 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:27 1:32:21.410
Video 1.75:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,536,194,086 bytes

Feature: 26,980,224,576 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)  LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio: 
1.75:1

Edition Details:

• Director Brain De Palma's 1973 VILLAGE VOICE essay, "Murder by Moog: Scoring the Chill," on working with composer Bernard Herrmann
• A 1973 interview with De Palma on the making of SISTERS
• Rare Study of Siamese Twins in the Soviet, the 1966 LIFE magazine article that inspired De Palma
• Excerpts from the original press book, including ads and posters
• Hundreds of production, publicity, and behind-the-scenes stills 

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2000

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,536,194,086 bytes

Feature: 26,980,224,576 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• What the Devil Hath Joined Together: Brian De Palma’s Sisters – A visual essay by author Justin Humphreys (47:03)
• All new interviews with co-writer Louisa Rose (10:27), actress Jennifer Salt (10:19), editor Paul Hirsch (17:14) and unit manager Jeffrey Hayes (5:06)
• The De Palma Digest – a film-by-film guide to the director’s career by critic Mike Sutton (31:03)
• Archive audio interview with star William Finley (excerpt - 6:16)
• Theatrical Trailer (:57)
• Gallery of Sisters promotional material from around the world
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) as well as Brian De Palma’s original 1973 Village Voice essay on working with composer Bernard Herrmann and a contemporary interview with De Palma on making Sisters, and the 1966 Life magazine article that inspired the film.)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 28th, 2014
Custom
Blu-ray Case  
Chapters: 12

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE Blu-ray - April 2014 - Such a pleasure seeing this again. Arrow's 1080P transfer of De Palma's Sisters looks great. It is soaked in rich grain and the Blu-ray picks that up superbly via a dual-layered rendering with a max'ed out bitrate. Every visual attribute advances over the Criterion SD from contrast to colors, and there is slightly more information in the frame on the right edge. Even the black bars of the split-screens are more pure. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is clean and textured. Wonderful.

Audio is linear PCM mono - authentic with some appreciated depth in Herrmann's intense score. This definitely adds suspense to the presentation. There are optional English subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Arrow stack the disc with plenty of new extras. What the Devil Hath Joined Together: Brian De Palma’s Sisters is a magnificent 47-minute visual essay by author Justin Humphreys (Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget.) It covers a lot and is almost as complete as a full commentary. There are 5 new interviews including co-writer Louisa Rose (10:27), actress Jennifer Salt (10:19), editor Paul Hirsch (17:14) and unit manager Jeffrey Hayes (5:06) plus a 6-minute archive audio (only) interview with star William Finley. The De Palma Digest – is a delightful film-by-film guide to the director’s career by critic Mike Sutton running 1/2 an hour. Lastly, on the digital front, are a short theatrical trailer and gallery of Sisters promotional material from around the world (see some of our posters above.) The package itself has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and included is an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) as well as Brian De Palma’s original 1973 Village Voice essay (as on the Criterion) on working with composer Bernard Herrmann and a contemporary interview with De Palma on making Sisters, and the 1966 Life magazine article that inspired the film. This is a dual-format package with a DVD of the feature 9and supplements) included.

Arrow continue their thoroughly impressive Blu-ray releases. This was so enjoyable - a perfect a/v presentation and extensive new extras. Strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: This is a pretty soft and weak image by Criterion standards. It is anamorphic and I suspect the stock may not have been as ideal as they would have liked. There are extras to this DVD, but mostly of the text screen variety. I would say this is one of their lesser titles in the Criterion catalogue. Still, De Palma fans are treated with an enigmatic film and some choice words by the director in the form of his Village Voice essay.  

Gary W. Tooze

 


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1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

More Blu-ray Screen Captures


 

Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 89 - Region 0 - NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze