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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Frank Costello, faccia d'angelo" or "The Godson")

directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
France 1967

In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays a contract killer with samurai instincts. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture—with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology—maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece Le Samouraï defines cool.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 14th, 1967 - France

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DVD Comparison:

 René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC

This is on the TOP 100 List of DVDs.

 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

  

Distribution René Chateau Vidéo - Region 0 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 306 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:40:45 (4% PAL speedup) 1:45:08
Video 1.66:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 16 X 9 enhnaced
Average Bitrate: 7.17 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.83:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 16 X 9 enhnaced
Average Bitrate: 6.95 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Bitrate:

 Rene Chateau

Bitrate:

 Criterion

Audio French  (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)  French  (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English, none English, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: René Chateau Vidéo

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect ratio - 1.66:1 anamorphic

Edition Details:

Trailer, widescreen, anamorphic (3:18)
Posters of the movie around the world (
10)
Exclusive photos from the film (
13)
Interview with Alain Delon , 4:3, black and white and excerpt of the movie :"Quand la femme s'en mêle"(
7:23)
Filmographies -Static screen fro Melville and Delon

NO SUBS ON EXTRAS

DVD Release Date: March, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: 2

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect ratio - 1.83:1 anamorphic

Edition Details:

• Video interviews with Rui Nogueira, author of Melville on Melville, and Ginette Vincendeau, author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris
•  Archival interviews with Melville and actors Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon, and Cathy Rosier
•  Theatrical trailer
• 29-page liner notes booklet featuring film scholar David Thomson, filmmaker John Woo, and selections from Melville on Melville


DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2005
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Comments: ADDITION: Criterion - NTSC - November 05':  Well, I always thought this film's original aspect ratio was 1.66 - the René Chateau DVD image is exactly 1.66:1. Criterion advertises 'presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1' - theirs is about 1.83:1. So one of these DVDs is technically incorrect but neither looks to have compromised the integrity of the image. I don't see any chopped heads and only minor (and seemingly inconsequential) information appears removed at times from the sides and tops - and it is not consistent. A combination of opening-up, zooming, cropping and vertical (or horizontal) stretching or compressing has taken place. Generally the Criterion shows more information on the sides and less on the top and bottom. I don't consider either DVD image to be violently affecting the film expression so lets just drop that issue for the moment. I suspect both transfers may be culprits in some minor ratio manipulations although overall the Criterion is displaying more information.

The René Chateau is brighter than the Criterion and many colors are different (see the car when the license plates is being changed as one example). It is impossible for me to determine which is more correct at this time. The DVDs look equally sharp and crisp - with the Criterion being a minute notch ahead.

Subtitle translations are occasionally different. I suspect that the Criterion are more literally accurate, but the René Chateau more figuratively translated. Neither have a bearing on extravagantly adjusting the inference of the films narrative. The Criterion subtitles are small and less intrusive - both issues they are optional.

Extras, of course, go the way of Criterion. I particularly enjoyed the archival interviews. The René Chateau's supplements are in French with no subtitles offered.

BOTTOM LINE: The René Chateau has been a rare bird for a while and the Criterion is in their lower price point. We rate this film extremely highly here at DVDBeaver and accept both presentations as being very worthy of any personal DVD library. Both are progressive, anamorphic and very sharp. Forced to choose we go with the Criterion in most categories.      

Gary W. Tooze


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

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
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"




DVD Menus

 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

 

 

 


Subtitle Samples

 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 


Screen Captures

 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


 (René Chateau Vidéo (oop) - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 

Report Card:

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion

 

DVD Box Cover

  

Distribution René Chateau Vidéo - Region 0 - PAL Criterion Collection - Spine # 306 - Region 1 - NTSC

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Gary Tooze