(aka "Indiscretion" or "Station Terminus" or "Stazione Termini" or "Terminal Station Indiscretion" or "Terminus Station")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/desica.htm
Italy 1953

"The volatile collaboration between director Vittorio De Sica and producer David O. Selznick resulted in two cuts of the same film. De Sica’s magnificent neo-realistic version, Terminal Station, following the true timeline of the characters of the film. It was screened at a one-and-a-half hours. After disappointing previews, Selznick, married to the star Jennifer Jones (until his death in 1965), severely re-edited it to 69 minutes and changed the title to the more salacious Indiscretion of an American Wife without De Sica’s permission. What we are left with is a buried classic known as "Terminal Station" and its infinitely inferior bastardization with much financed marketing, known as "Indiscretion of an American Wife". A truer obvious example of the flaws and hurdles in the business world of cinema, especially the Hollywood system, could rarely be found. De Sica's "Terminal Station" is a magnificent work in his body of filmatic achievements. He was working at the heights of his powers, while Producer David O. Selznick was floundering at a time where he had lost total touch of what it meant to create art and beauty in film. "Indiscretion of an American Wife" would prove to be the last film he had input on. The Criterion DVD shows what a staggering blunder his ham-fisted manipulations were. Many have called it an attempt at "Americanization" of De Sica's film, but I feel it goes much further. If nothing else, projects like "Terminal Station" prove that they do not exist as brief sporadic cuts, but the entire breadth of intertwined segments that form the essential and complete puzzle of a film. Specific examples are the almost total removal of extraneous characters from the Selznick version. I can't for the life of me understand why this was done. The final clowning mark of the Sleznick version was to bring it up to certifiable theatrical screening length by including two Patti Page songs at eight minutes 15 seconds (not dissimilar to an MTV video) to start the film. It has virtually no relation to the story that would follow but an obvious attempt to capitalize on the singers popularity and fulfill the requirements to derive profit from viewing audiences. My final suggestion is never to see "Indiscretion of an American Wife" until you have first seen "Terminal Station" and only then if you are a film student wishing to derive the differences yourself. I noted how similar "Terminal Station" was to David Lean's classic "Brief Encounter'... both centering on a decision of leaving a spouse for a relative infatuation, and both with a train station prominent in the films locales. I also remarked  the similarity in the use of music - both choosing classical themes that dominate emotional scenes in place of dialogue. "Terminal Station" is a masterpiece -out of and "Indiscretion of an American Wife" gets no grade at all as it is barely 2/3's of a film."

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: Stazione Termini - April, 1953 - Italy *  Indiscretion of an American Wife - May 10th, 1954 -USA

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Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Roan Group - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT -. Roan (Indiscretion...) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine #202

Region 0  - NTSC

Roan Film Group

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #202

Region 0  - NTSC

Runtime 1:28:33 1:04:08 1:11:30 (film) MINUS  0:08:15 (Patti Page songs) = 1:03:15
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.1 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.94
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.1
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Criterion (Terminal Station)

 

Bitrate:

Roan

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles English and none None English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Public Media Inc

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Discographic Information:
Dual Layer

Edition Details:
• Black & White
Includes new digital transfers of both version of the film:
Terminal Station, Vittorio De Sica's original 89-minute version

DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003

Click Case

Chapters 19


 

Release Information:
Studio: Roan Group

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Discographic Information:
Single Layer

Edition Details:

Film Background (2 text pages)

Cast and Credits

 

DVD Release Date: September 6, 2001

Keep Case

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio: Public Media Inc

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Discographic Information:
Dual Layer

Edition Details:
• Black & White
• Theatrical trailer
Includes new digital transfers of both version of the film:
Indiscretion of an American Wife, David O. Selznick's 72-minute cut
• Exclusive audio commentary on Indescretion by film scholar Leonard Leff
• Promotional materials

DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003

Keep Case

Chapters 19

 

Comments: There were two different Criterion transfer teams working on these uniquely different films and this is why we are comparing them regardless that they are on the same DVD.

I am making the assumption that "Indiscretion..." is in the Public Domain hence why The Roan Group are also putting this film out. For that matter, perhaps both films are. The Criterion versions are extremely similar in quality with the same damage spots, but 'Terminal Station' has more wonderful film grain. It is brighter and slightly less sharp than its counterpart on the same DVD. The Roan is right out of the competition when it comes to image and sound - its hazy picture and lackluster audio are not match for the Criterions - as expected. You can see the Criterions are a little cropped on the left edge again. I still don't have an answer for this but it is a common element running through many Criterion DVDs.

There are two issues with the Criterion "Terminal Station". I rate both as minor, but there may be a recall/replacement in the future. In the beginning of Terminal Station there was some fairly drastic strobe-ing (in the opening credits). I assumed it was the television that I was watching, but it appeared again on my computer screen as I made the screen captures. There is a slight audio sync problem with "Terminal Station" as well. The voices are a micro-second behind the lip movements of the actors. Now there was dubbing in this film, but I notice the audio sync when Jennifer Jones is speaking (no dub). Again this occurs near the beginning OR I just became accustomed to it rather quickly.  In certain segments on both Criterion versions there is a rather violent echo-effect that appears out of place and difficult to hear properly. It is not as prominent on the Roan version, but still there. So, I am a tad disappointed at these circumstances because I LOVE this concept of two alternate versions of films on one DVD. Criterion is the way to go, but perhaps they will produce a new pressing with this corrected. Regardless it is a very worthy purchase for film student and fans in general. I was revelling in the ability to compare the two films (De Sica's and Selznicks') on one DVD. 

 - Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT -. Roan (Indiscretion...) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT


 

 


The Criterion version of Indiscretion of an American Wife" starts with an 8:15 minute segment called "Autumn in Rome" . Two unrelated Patti Page songs... in one brief moment she sings in front of a model of Roman ruins.

 

 

Opening Credits

Terminal Station LEFT - Indiscretion of an American Wife - RIGHT

 

 

 

Subtitle sample

 

Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT  vs. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT



 

Screen Captures

Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP -. Roan (Indiscretion...) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM



Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP -. Roan (Indiscretion...) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM


Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP -. Roan (Indiscretion...) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion...) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

Same damage spots



Criterion (Terminal Station) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP -. Roan (Indiscretion) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE -. Criterion (Indiscretion) Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

One of the few scenes that are actually extended in' Indiscretion...' - a long walk on an empty platform by Mary (Jennifer Jones)


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion - Terminal

Sound:

Criterion - Indiscretion

Extras: Criterion - Indiscretion
Menu: Roan

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine #202

Region 0  - NTSC

Roan Film Group

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #202

Region 0  - NTSC

 




 


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA