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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Blue Angel" )

directed by Josef von Sternberg
Germany 1930

 

The Blue Angel [Der blaue Engel] is one of the first German language sound films (filmed simultaneously in an English-language version), and the picture that represents the initial collaboration between Josef von Sternberg and his immortal muse, Marlene Dietrich.

Following up his role in von Sternberg’s great silent The Last Command, Emil Jannings portrays a schoolteacher named Immanuel Rath, whose fateful expedition to catch his students frequenting the cabaret known as “The Blue Angel” leads to his own rapture with the establishment’s main attraction Lola (Dietrich) — and, as a result, triggers the downward spiral of his life and fortune.

Directed by von Sternberg while on loan from America to the pioneering German producer Erich Pommer, The Blue Angel is at once captivating, devastating, and powerfully erotic, laced-through with Sternberg’s masterful cinematography. From here, the director and Dietrich would go on to make six more films together in the span of five years, and leave a legacy of some of the most indelible iconography in the cinema of glamour and obsession.

***

One of the earliest "talkie" films, Director Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel introduced American audiences to German femme fatale Marlene Dietrich. Actually, the film was released right after Dietrich’s Hollywood debut in Morocco, also directed by Josef von Sternberg and featuring a young Gary Cooper.

Ironically, veteran German actor and Academy Award winner Emil Jannings’ was the "star" of The Blue Angel, however the German bombshell stole the picture right out from under him. Clearly, Jannings had nothing to offer compared to the sight of Dietrich adjusting her panties on camera.

On the surface the story is a simple one — about the ruin and degradation of a respected high school professor by an erotic but disreputable cabaret singer, Lola Lola, but there is more: Subsequent history has shown The Blue Angel to be a fascinating documentary of the decadence of the fast-evaporating post-WWI Weimar Republic that would come crashing down with the advent of Adolph Hitler in 1933. Professor Rath (Emil Jannings) represents the staid German tradition while decadent Lola Lola represents the perilous forces that will bring Germany to her knees in the not-too-distant future. For another look at this interesting time period, the viewer is directed to the excellent Cabaret starring Liza Minelli.

Excerpt from George Chabot's review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1 April 1930

Reviews                      More Reviews                         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Kino (USA) (German + English versions) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber (German version only) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Masters of Cinema (both versions) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs.  BMG Video (Germany) (German + English versions) - Region 2 - PAL

 Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Pavel Borodin for the Screen Caps!

Kino (USA) (German + English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Kino Lorber (German version only) - Region 'A'   - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD vs. BMG Video (Germany) (German + English Version) - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

  GERMAN VERSION ENGLISH VERSION
Distribution

Kino (USA)

Region 0 - NTSC

BMG Video (Germany)
Region 2 - PAL

Kino / Lorber

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Masters of Cinema

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Kino (USA)
Region 0 - NTSC
BMG Video (Germany)
Region 2 - PAL

Masters of Cinema

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:42:09 1:42:20 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:47:29.568 1:47:13.000 1:40:03 1:40:12 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:44:27.041
Video

1.19:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.19:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.76 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,563,606,768 bytes

Feature: 23,443,273,344 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.95 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,677,993,765 bytes

Feature: 23,747,629,056 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

1.19:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.19:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,677,993,765 bytes

Feature: 21,118,949,376 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Kino  (German Version)

Bitrate:

 

BMG Video  (German Version)

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino Blu-ray

Bitrate:

 

MoC Blu-ray

Bitrate:

 

Kino  (English Version)

 

Bitrate:

 

BMG  (English Version)

 

Bitrate:

 

MoC English version Blu-ray

(Kino (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BMG Video (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT )

Audio German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) on German version

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) on English version

LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

English Language version: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) on German version

 

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) on English version

Subtitles English, none (on German version)

None on English version

English, none English, none

English language version: English (SDH), none

German, none (on German version)

None on English version

Features Release Information:
Studio: Kino (USA)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.19:1

Edition Details:
• Two-disc set
• Original and restored German version of the feature with English subtitles
• Commentary by Werner Sudendorf of the Berlin Film Museum
• Original and reissue trailers
• Marlene Dietrich's 1930 screen test for The Blue Angel
• Concert footage from two different Dietrich performances, including three songs
• Filmed interview (2 min.)
• 41 biographies of all key cast and production staff
• Chronicles about the history of the production by Werner Sudendorf
• Photo gallery, including behind-the-scenes stills, costume illustrations, and posters

DVD Release Date: November 27, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.19:1

Edition Details:
• Original and restored German version of the feature with English subtitles

Blu-ray Release Date: December 4th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.19:1

Edition Details:
• New 1080p HD presentation of both the German-language and English-language versions of the film, with progressive encodes on the DVD
• Newly translated optional subtitles on the German-language version, and SDH on the English-language version
• New and exclusive video essay on the films by critic and scholar Tag Gallagher (30:01)
• New and exclusive feature-length audio commentary by critic and scholar Tony Rayns on the German-language version
• Original screen test with Marlene Dietrich (3:47)
• 1970 interview clips with Dietrich (1:26)

• Dietrich in Concert (3 songs - Falling in Love Again - 3;27, Lola - 2:14, You're the Cream in My Coffee - 3:31)

• Theatrical trailer (3:52)

• Re-Release Trailer (3:09)

• DVD included

Blu-ray Release Date:
J
anuary 28th, 2013
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13 (both)

Release Information:
Studio: BMG Video (Germany)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.19:1

Edition Details:
• Two-disc set
• Original and restored German version of the feature with English subtitles
• Commentary by Werner Sudendorf of the Berlin Film Museum
• Original and reissue trailers
• Marlene Dietrich's 1930 screen test for The Blue Angel
• Concert footage from two different Dietrich performances, including three songs
• Filmed interview (2 min.)
• 41 biographies of all key cast and production staff
• Chronicles about the history of the production by Werner Sudendorf
• Photo gallery, including behind-the-scenes stills, costume illustrations, and posters

 

DVD Release Date: 26. November 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 21

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' Blu-ray - January 2013': Phew - exhausting. Despite being a small notch lower in bitrate (for the Feature), I prefer everything on the Masters of Cinema release. Contrast and consistency seem superior to me on the UK 1080P. The image is darker. Their package easily bests the Kino in extras with the inclusion of the English language version - also in 1080P. Lossless sound, subtitles - Tag Gallagher's 1/2 hour video essay is fantastic, so is the new and exclusive feature-length audio commentary by critic and scholar Tony Rayns on the German-language version. The 4-minute original screen test with Marlene Dietrich is very interesting as is the interview and the 3-song 'Dietrich in Concert". There are trailers and some extensive liner notes, filled with beautiful images. It is 'Dual Format and includes a DVD. A VERY easy choice - the MoC all the way. One of the most complete and best Blu-ray releases of this early year!

***

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray - November 2012': Okay, this Kino/Lorber has only the German language version of the film - running, finally, in theatrical running time (no PAL speedup.) The transfer single-layered, but much brighter and showing quite a bit more detail. Grain is there, but still come noise, and a far lap beyond the artefacts and contrast flaring of the SD. I'll look forward to comparing with the Masters of Cinema available HERE.

The audio is lossless via a linear PCM track. It is modest and the film's sound has always been an issue but the singing numbers (performed by Dietrich) did resonate notably stronger. There are optional English subtitles.

No extras at all - unfortunately, even the old commentary is gone. I presume that the MoC will be adding much more in terms of supplements.

Described as "The crowning achievement of the Weimar cinema, The Blue Angel is an exquisite parable of one man's fall from respectability..." - this is a masterpiece - shockingly sad, perverse and twisted - always unforgettable.

***

ON THE DVD: These two editions are almost identical. Both include same special features (except for the commentary by Werner Sudendorf, which is in German on BMG disc and in English on Kino disc) and have same menus (except for their language). Also, the Kino edition is subtitled in English, while BMG has German subtitles.

Both editions include two discs with the German and English versions of the movie, which are very similar, but not identical, since many scenes were shot separately in German and English languages.

Both German discs seem to be very slightly sharper and contrast. The runtimes on PAL discs are almost the same as the ones on the corresponding NTSC discs, which could be an evidence of PAL to NTSC transfer.

In Britain Eureka has published the 2xDVD set with exactly the same features.

 - Pavel Borodin


Associated Reading  (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

German Version Menus

(Kino (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BMG Video (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT )
 

 

Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 
English Version DVD Menus

(Kino (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BMG Video (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT )

 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino (USA) (German Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) BMG Video (Germany) (German Version) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema (German Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Kino (USA) (English Version) - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

6) BMG Video (Germany) (English Version) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (English Version) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Box Covers

 


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Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray





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