(aka "Don Quichotte" or "Don Quixote")

 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/welles.htm

/ Jess Franco
Spain / Italy / USA 1992

Perhaps the most fascinating component of the films directed by Orson Welles was the masterpiece he never lived to complete. Beginning in 1957 and continuing on-and-off for the next 15 years, Welles self-financed and directed an audacious film version of Cervantes' "Don Quixote" which brought the legendary knight and his rotund aide Sancho Panza out of 16th century Andalusia and into the world of (then-) modern Spain. But despite his genius behind the camera, Welles was remarkably neglectful in maintaining and preserving the footage he created and much of his work was considered lost...and the footage that remained was not properly stored! However, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s the Spanish filmmakers Jess Franco (who served as Welles' second unit director on "Chimes at Midnight") and Patxi Irigoyen tracked down nearly all of the surviving footage, finished the incomplete soundtrack based on Welles' notes, restored the footage where they could and offered a reconstructed "Don Quixote de Orson Welles" in 1992.

Excerpt of Phil Hall's review located HERE

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DVD Comparison: 

GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL vs. Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC vs. VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Pieter Boven and Pavel Borodin for the Screen Captures!

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

GCTHV

Region 0 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 1,4 - NTSC

VellaVision (Spain)

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:55:46 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:16 1:55:20 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.83 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.51 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.28 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.

Bitrate:

 GCTHV

Bitrate:

Image

Bitrate:

VellaVision

Audio English, Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English, Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles French (forced) None English, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: GCTHV

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Aline Schulman (23'31), in French without subtitles
• Interview with Jean-Pierre Berthomé (37'50), in French without subtitles
• Photo gallery (1'52)
• Orson Welles biography & filmography, in French

DVD Release Date: May 6, 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 16

Release Information:

Studio: image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1


Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: August 19th, 2008
Keepcase

Chapters 17

Release Information:

Studio: VellaVision (Spain)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1


Edition Details:
• Photo gallery
• Orson Welles' biography
• Actors' filmographies
• Info on other Vellavision releases

 

DVD Release Date: December 18th, 2001
Keepcase

Chapters 14

 

Comments ADDITION: Image Entertainment - Region 1,4 - NTSC - August 08': Image Entertainment dare charge over $20 for this ridiculously poor single-layered transfer. Let's see - it's interlaced (see 'combing example') - from an unconverted PAL source (hence also has 'ghosting'), it's severely pictureboxed ,offers no subtitles and no extras. I hope they sell 'zero' copies. Way to keep up the customer relations Image Entertainment... I doubt I'll be buying anything from them ever again.

As a positive - it doesn't seem vertically stretched as the PAL editions are.

Gary W. Tooze

***

 

ON THE PAL EDITIONS: This DVDs contains Jess Franco's reconstructed version of Orson Welles' incomplete film about Don Quixote. Both DVDs warns us about the bad and varying quality of the multiples sources used to assemble the film, shot over a period of 14 years.

Overall the images are similar and lack detail and contrast, damage and dirt are visible, and there are also several instances of more serious frame damage. Still, I've seen worse.

The sound is better off. Both English and Spanish tracks are clear and easy to understand. There may a bit of noise in a few scenes but nothing serious. The French subtitles on the Gaumont, although are not burned-in, can't be disabled.

Unfortunately the interesting extras are on the Gaumont and are only in French without any subtitles. The first interview is with Aline Schulman, who has translated the novel in French. She talks about Cervantes and Don Quixote. The second one is with author and scholar Jean-Pierre Berthomé about Orson Welles and the history of the film. Next is a modest photo gallery with some behind-the-scenes shots, which are of much better quality than the actual film. Finally there's a filmography and short text biography of Orson Welles, again only in French.

Image is a virtual tie although the VellaVision appears to have some contrast boosting. Both are poor and both have the same audio features. The Spanish edition offers ugly yellow English subtitles.

 - Pieter Boven

 



DVD Menus

Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC

 

 

(GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT)
 

 

 

Bad Combing on the Image Disc

 


Subtitle Samples (no subs on image Entertainment disc)

 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 Screen Captures

 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

1) GCTHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 1, 4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3)VellaVision - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Gaumont / VellaVision

Sound:

Gaumont / VellaVision

Extras: Gaumont
Menu: -

 


Associated Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

This is Orson Welles
by Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Rosenbaum
Orson Welles on Shakespeare: The W.P.A. and Mercury Theatre Playscripts
by Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Richard France
Orson Welles: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperbacks))
by Orson Welles, Mark W. Estrin
The Trial
by Franz Kafka
Orson Welles : The Stories of His Life
by Peter Conrad
Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles
by David Thomson
Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great Filmmakers)
by Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine, John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, Thomas L. Erskine
Chimes at Midnight: Orson Welles, Director (Rutgers Films in Print)
by Bridget Gellert Lyons

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

GCTHV

Region 0 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 1,4 - NTSC

VellaVision (Spain)

Region 0 - PAL

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Gary Tooze

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