(aka "La mia droga si chiama Julie" or "Mississippi Mermaid")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/truffaut.htm
Italy / France 1969

Initially poorly received in the U.S. (largely due to a missing 13 minute butcher cut) and lightly regarded, François Truffaut's Mississippi Mermaid (La Sirène du Mississippi) deserves reappraisal. An economical director without peer for storytelling, Truffaut demonstrates his ability to venture into Hitchcock's suspense/thriller territory while simultaneously delving into Buñuel's patented themes of sexual obsession. And it all starts with Catherine Deneuve—literally. Following the financial success of Stolen Kisses, producers Robert and Raymond Hakim offered to finance Truffaut's next film as long as he cast Deneuve, who was then working in Buñuel's Belle de Jour. After a lunch meeting, Truffaut was “sold” on the beautiful actress and vice-versa (the beginnings of another of the director's discreet extramarital affairs), and the project began to take shape.

Working single-handedly to adapt William Irish's novel, Truffaut transposes the setting from 1830 New Orleans to the tiny island of Reunion (off the coast of Madagascar) in the 1960's. Pre-dating the days of Internet personals, wealthy tobacco magnate Louis Mahè (Jean-Paul Belmondo) marries a woman (Deneuve) that he met through personal ads and has corresponded with. Although her appearance doesn't match the picture she had sent, Mahè accepts her explanation that she lied from lack of confidence. After all, he had told similar “white lies” by claiming to be the company foreman instead of the owner to avoid suspicion that his unseen correspondent was out for his money.

 Excerpt of John Nesbitt's review on CultureDose.net located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 18, 1969

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL

Big thanks to Kevin T and Pavel Borodin for the Screen Caps!

(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

MGM (US)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Europe)
Region 2,4 - PAL
Runtime 2:03:08 1:57:28 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2:35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.30:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.45 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:

 

MGM (US)

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM (Europe)

 

Audio French Mono (Dolby Digital 2.0)

French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles English, French, Spanish English, French, Dutch, Danish, Greek, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM (US)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2:35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: MGM (Europe)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.30:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: August 4, 2003
Keep case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

The anamorphic PAL edition appears to have better image quality. It is marginally sharper with superior contrast levels. Skin tones in the non-16X9 NTSC look a little unnatural and orange to me... and that edition is slightly cropped. It seems the Region 1 may have some contrast boosting. It is very difficult to know for sure, but I lean toward the PAL edition and its anamorphicity. All else is the same (extras, audio, menu).

 - Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus

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MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


Hit Counter


Recommended Reading on Truffaut /  French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

François Truffaut
by Annette Insdorf
HITCHCOCK (REVISED EDITION)
by Helen G. Scott, Francois Truffaut
The French New Wave: An Artistic School
by Michel Marie, Richard John Neupert, Richard Neupert
A History of the French New Wave Cinema
by Richard Neupert
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

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

PAL

Sound:

tie

Extras: tie
Menu: tie
DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

MGM (US)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Europe)
Region 2,4 - PAL



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...

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