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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Rules of the Game")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/renoir.htm
France 1939

Virtually everyone agrees that this is Jean Renoir’s supreme masterpiece, made and released the same year as Only Angels Have Wings and even more of a virtuoso ensemble work. Yet this was so adroit in catching the troubled zeitgeist of France at the time that it was loathed by audiences at the time of its release, making it the biggest flop of Renoir’s career. Only many years later, after it was painstakingly restored and reconstructed, was its greatness seen and acknowledged. Mostly set in a country chateau over a single weekend, where the crisscrossing romantic intrigues of both guests and servants play out in  intricate counterpoint, culminating in a costume party, Renoir joins the proceedings as a major actor and character as well as writer-director, attempting to serve as go-between between two of his most intimate friends, the wife (Nora Grégor) of the Jewish marquis (Marcel Dalio) who’s hosting the weekend and the lovesick but rejected famous pilot (Roland Toutain) who wants to run away with her. As a view of French society in 1939, this tragicomic farce is both scathingly satirical and warmly compassionate, though it was plainly only the scathing satire that most members of the contemporary audience responded to.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's article "30 Great Movies on DVD" located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: July 8th, 1939

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Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

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Comparison:

Korean - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 0 - PAL vs. Edition Montparnasse Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to the Markus of Chiaroscuro and Pavel Borodin for the DVD screen captures.

1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL LEFT 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

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Box Covers

 

(Out of Print)

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without any extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Distribution

Unknown (Korean)

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI Video

Region 0 - PAL

Montparnasse / Buena Vista / Collection Diamant

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 216

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #  216

Region 'A' -  Blu-ray

Runtime 1:46:20 1:41:39 (+ 4% PAL Speedup) 1:41:42 (+ 4% PAL Speedup) 1:46:20 1:46:35.806
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,267,832,073 bytes

Feature: 23,939,444,736 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Korean and none English (ingrained) English, Spanish, German and none English, and none English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Unknown (Korean)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• Introduction to the film by Jean Renoir

• Commentary (same as Criterions)

DVD Release Date: Unknown
Keep case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Image par image
• Directors Biography

DVD Release Date: June 2nd, 2003
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Release Information:
Studio: Editions Montparnasse / Buena Vista / Collection Diamant

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Documentary: La règle du jeu de Jean Renoir: Une analyse du film par l’image, by Pierre-Oscar Levy with texts by Jean Douchet, from the 1987 TV series Image par Image (42:36 min)
• Film Posters
• DVD-ROM: Biographies & filmographies
• Complete Crew & Cast
• Internet Links

DVD Release Date: April 26th, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction to the film by Jean Renoir
• Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
• Selected scene audio commentary by Renoir historian Christopher Faulkner
Jean Renoir le Patron: La Regle et l'Exception (1966), a French television program about The Rules of the Game featuring interviews with Renoir and actor Marcel Dalio directed by Jacques Rivette (31:13)
• A new video essay about the film's production, release, and later reconstruction
• Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and re-release of the film (1965)
• New interview with Renoir's son, Alain, an assistant cameraman on the film
• New interview with set designer Max Douy
• Written tributes to the film and Renoir by Francois Truffaut, Paul Schrader, Bertrand Tavernier, Wim Wenders, and others.
• Number of discs: 2

DVD Release Date: January 20th, 2004
Slip Case inside transparent plastic sleeve
Chapters: 29

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,267,832,073 bytes

Feature: 23,939,444,736 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

Edition Details:
• Introduction to the film by Jean Renoir
• Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
• Selected scene audio commentary by Renoir historian Christopher Faulkner
Jean Renoir le Patron: La Regle et l'Exception (1966), a French television program about The Rules of the Game featuring interviews with Renoir and actor Marcel Dalio directed by Jacques Rivette (31:13)
• A new video essay about the film's production, release, and later reconstruction
• Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and re-release of the film (1965)
• New interview with Renoir's son, Alain, an assistant cameraman on the film
• New interview with set designer Max Douy
• Written tributes to the film and Renoir by Francois Truffaut, Paul Schrader, Bertrand Tavernier, Wim Wenders, and others.

Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray case
Chapters: 28

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - (October 2011) - On many films - especially very old ones - you cannot improve sharpness beyond the production levels established at the inset. BUT the beauty of rendering vintage cinema to 1080P is in the appreciation of the grain. This is the biggest visual difference between the best of the SD transfers and Criterion's new Blu-ray version. Higher resolution can tends to exemplify the light damage marks - but I didn't find this a distraction. You can more plainly see the thick grain via the additional captures at the bottom of the review. It can look like a film being shown on a plush shag rug. Accepting this appearance as the most film-like is tantamount to appreciating the HD visuals - which, I am sure, are the most authentic this masterpiece can look through the digital medium.

Criterion remain consistent using a linear PCM mono in the original French at 1152 kbps. I would say the weaknesses, inherent in the source, are still there - but the lossless tends to smooth them out allowing the dialogue to sound a shade more even. The uncompressed is superior but I wouldn't say it is a highly notable improvement. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc. 

The Criterion Blu-ray contains the supplements of the 2004 DVD - including the 6.5 minute Introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir and the 1989 audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske, author of Jean Renoir: The French Films, 1924-1939, and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. Jean Renoir's original version of The Rules of the Game ran ninety-four minutes. When the film opened to wildly negative reactions, though, he reduced it to eighty-one minutes. Subsequently, during WWII, the original cut of the film was destroyed when the GM Film Labs were bombed. It wasn't until 1959 that the film was reconstructed with Renoir's approval, from the surviving elements, to create the longer, 106-minute version that most know today. Criterion provide a version comparison from Renoir historian Chris Faulkner who, for about 13-minutes, looks at the different endings of the longest and shortest versions of the film. Presented also is the ending of Renoir's 1939 short version in its entirety - running 8.5 minutes. Faulkner also provides a selected-scene analysis by lasting about 5.5 minutes. Included is excerpts from Jean Renoir, le patron: La Règle et l’exception (1966), a French television program by filmmaker Jacques Rivette which aired February 8th, 1967. In it Renoir discusses The Rules of the Game with Rivette and Producer Andre Labarthe. It runs over 1/2 an hour. Film critic David Thompson's two-part two-part 1993 BBC documentary, entitled Jean Renoir, aired in 1955. Presented as an extra is part-one "From Belle Époque to World War II" which covers Renoir's upbringing and his career through Rules of the Game. Chris Faulkner narrates a video essay on the film's inception, production, and original release, as well as its 1959 reconstruction. In a second piece - lasting 27-minutes critic Olivier Curchod expands that discussion. In a third, a 1965 interview from an episode of the French television series Les écrans de la ville - Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand - who were responsible for the reconstruction - discuss their roles in the film's history. There are also interviews with set designer Max Douy, Renoir’s son, Alain - who worked as an assistant cameraman and actress Mila Parély (Genevieve de Marras). There is a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by Sesonske; writings by Jean Renoir, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bertrand Tavernier, and François Truffaut; and tributes to the film by J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, Paul Schrader, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, and others.

With the inclusion of the extensive supplements this is an overwhelming package and now to have it in 1080P resolution? It is so gratifying to see Renoir's The Rules of the Game - debatably the greatest film ever made - treated with such respect and made available for your Home Theater appreciation. I envy those who can see it for the first time through this Blu-ray. This is digital library essential and 100% recommended!

***

ADDITION: Korean and BFI editions (Nov -04) - All 4 DVDs are the longer un-cut version of the film restored by film historians Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand. The Montparnasse and BFI have PAL speedup.

We can't find the Korean edition online anymore, and e strongly suspect it as a boot leg of the Criterion. The image is identical. The BFI looks like the hazier Montparnasse but with ingrained English subtitles. The Criterion extras are overwhelming. We again, strongly recommend the Criterion.

NOTE: the Montparnasse is Out of Print.

***

ON THE CRITERION DVD: The Criterion is sharper - less grain and dirt - and shows the Montparnasse version to be slightly cropped on the left and right edges. The Criterion is a bit brighter than the PAL release. The Montparnasse has some good Extras but how could they compete with the Criterions staggering supplements. I cannot compare the audio - but guesses would lean towards Criterion. the Criterion contrast level is softer, but the subtle palette of grays still show with clarity. Go for the Criterion...   

 - Gary W. Tooze


Menus

(Korean -Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. BFI - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT)

 

 

(Montparnasse - Region 2,3,4,5,6 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Korean -Region 0 - NTSC - PAL TOP 

2) BFI - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Montparnasse - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - FIFTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

More Blu-ray Captures


Hit Counter


Box Covers

 

(Out of Print)

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

Criterion (without any extras) also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Distribution

Unknown (Korean)

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI Video

Region 0 - PAL

Montparnasse / Buena Vista / Collection Diamant

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 216

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #  216

Region 'A' -  Blu-ray

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion / Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze