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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Pearl Necklace")

 

Directed by Frank Borzage
USA 1936

 

From Frank Borzage, the acclaimed director of  History is Made at Night, Disputed Passage, Street Angel and Moonrise, comes the classic romantic comedy Desire. Screen legends Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel, Touch of Evil) and Gary Cooper (Beau Geste, High Noon) star in this story about a crime spree that leads to love. In the most elaborate jewel heist in European history, the beautiful and conniving “Countess” Madeline (Dietrich) embezzles a small fortune of pearls. As she makes her getaway to Spain to deliver the hot goods, her escape is thwarted by car trouble, until a handsome and likable young tourist (Cooper) helps her out. She shows her gratitude by leaving the unsuspecting good Samaritan in the dust—literally! When he accidentally ends up with the pearls, she must feign romantic interest to get them back. The charade soon turns into the real thing, however, and Madeline realizes that her only hope of happiness is to clean up her act—no matter what the cost—or lose the man she loves. Desire co-stars Akim Tamiroff (The General Died at Dawn), John Halliday (Bird of Paradise) and William Frawley (TV’s I Love Lucy).

***

Madeleine steals a string of pearls in Paris and uses US engineer Tom, who is driving on his vacation to Spain, to get the pearls out of France. But getting the pearls back from him proves to be difficult without falling in love.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 23rd, 1936

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:42.903        
Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,807,567,271 bytes

Feature: 30,174,904,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,807,567,271 bytes

Feature: 30,174,904,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Samm Deighan
NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians David Del Valle and Nathaniel Bell
Theatrical Trailer (2:50)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 10th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (August 2021): Kino have transferred Frank Borzage's Desire to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". The 1080P is extremely thick. I don't recall Desire being released on DVD to much fanfare ('Vault Series' in 2014.) The source may have lost some density but it isn't overwrought with damage - only minor speckles and marks. It can shows some inconsistency with the grain being of varying degrees of fineness and the overall image shows softness but I was okay with the 1.37:1 HD presentation - Dietrich still shines brightly. 

NOTE: We have added 54 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language (and some Spanish.) Desire has no aggressive moments but a very pleasingly light score by Friedrich Hollaender (The Man in Search of His Murderer, The Bride Wore Boots, Bluebeard's Eight Wife, Angel, The Great McGinty, Christmas in Connecticut, Caught, Berlin Express, Background to Danger, The Verdict, A Foreign Affair) diversifying to the film's many moods. Kino offer optional English subtitles (SDH) on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers two new commentaries. The first is by David Del Valle and Nathaniel Bell. They work very well together reflecting on past era stars, production, a lot of Borzage, Dietrich being the architect of her stardom. David always impresses me with his anecdotes and knowledge. The second commentary is by Samm Deighan. She discusses the perception of a larger Lubitsch influence on the film than Borzage. She discusses how this was a remake of the 1933 German film Happy Days in Aranjuez. Samm covers a lot on Borzage, Dietrich (a transition point for her career), Cooper, the supporting players and much more. I didn't find the two commentaries overlapped information much at all. There is also a trailer for Desire and trailers for other films of this Golden-age period.

The Dietrich/Cooper film Desire is such a wonderful genre mix with a confidence-game, romance, comedy, crime - all expertly realized by director Borzage. It's been out of the conversation and far less-known than it rightfully deserves... plus it is produced by Ernst Lubitsch! It's full of wit, sophistication, Euro-fabricated locales, Dietrich's beautiful gowns, hats and gloves (Travis Banton) - Cooper's Americana persona and a fun storyline of a con-woman falling for one of her marks. As Dietrich stated "The only film I need not be ashamed of is Desire". There is a lot of joy here. The Kino Blu-ray has the film in 1080P and two expert commentaries! Our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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