Directed by Jack Cardiff
USA 1962


  Although hampered by a transparent plot, a lean and implausible one-joke premise and a tendency to fluctuate uneasily between comedy and drama, the picture has been richly and elaborately produced on location in Japan, cast with perception and a sharp eye for marquee juxtaposition.

A certain amount of elementary but traditionally evasive information on the Japanese geisha girl weaves helpfully through Norman Krasna's brittle screenplay about an American film actress (Shirley MacLaine) who blithely and vainly executes a monumental practical joke on her insecure director-husband (Yves Montand) by masquerading as a Geisha to win the part of 'Madame Butterfly' in his arty production of same in Japan.

Excerpt from Variety located HERE


Theatrical Release: February 1962

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DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1, 4 - NTSC

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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:59:24 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital mono), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital mono), French (Dolby Digital mono)  
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, None

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: December 12th, 2006

Double lock Keep Case
Chapters: 21




The dual-layered transfer looks magnificent - which, more than likely, is greatly due to the film itself... or rather its director Jack Cardiff. Black levels are super rich and colors / detail appear spot on. Paramount (innovators of the double lock keep case) are obviously gearing up to sell this in South America too - with coding for regions 1 and 4 in the NTSC standard. Spanish, French and Portuguese DUBs and subtitles are all optional. No extras but they have boosted the audio to 5.1 and it sounded quite impressive. 

I'm afraid I have never been much of a Shirley MacLaine fan and I wasn't partial to this film at all. It is kind of a fun, worn, unconvincing comedy - perhaps one of the first wave of star appeal eclipsing content. Although I'll admit Shirley MacLaine has oodles of talent - I thought she did a very poor job as a Geisha imitation. No, I'm obviously not recommending the film, except to those few who cherish Cardiff enough to enjoy the visual splendor of the films appearance - its is quite beautiful. 

Gary W. Tooze



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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC


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