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Eclipse Series 8 - Lubitsch Musicals

 

The Love Parade (1929)      Monte Carlo (1930)

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)      One Hour with You (1932)

 

Directed By Ernst Lubitsch

 

Renowned as a silent film pioneer and the man who refined Hollywood comedy with such masterpieces as Trouble in Paradise, The Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be, Ernst Lubitsch also had another claim to fame: he helped invent the modern movie musical. With the advent of sound and audiences clamoring for "talkies," Lubitsch combined his love of European operettas and his mastery of film to create this entirely new genre. These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood (Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins), as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as "the Lubitsch touch.".

 


Titles

 

 


 

The Love Parade
Ernst Lubitsch, 1929
Ernst Lubitsch’s first "talking picture" was also Hollywood's first movie musical to integrate songs with narrative. Additionally, The Love Parade made stars out of toast-of-Paris Maurice Chevalier and girl-from-Philly Jeanette MacDonald, cast as a womanizing military attaché and the man-hungry queen of "Sylvania." With its naughty innuendo and satiric romance, The Love Parade opened the door for a decade of witty screen battles of the sexes.

Monte Carlo
Ernst Lubitsch, 1930
Jeanette MacDonald's independent-minded countess leaves her foppish prince fiancé at the altar, and whisks herself away to the Riviera. There, she strikes the fancy of the sly Count Rudolph (theater veteran Jack Buchanan), who poses as a hairdresser to get into her boudoir. Lubitsch's follow-up to The Love Parade shows even more musical invention, and presents MacDonald at her sexily haughty best.

The Smiling Lieutenant
Ernst Lubitsch, 1931
Maurice Chevalier's randy Viennese lieutenant is enamored of Claudette Colbert's freethinking, all-girl-orchestra-leading cutie. Yet complications ensue when the sexually repressed princess of the fictional kingdom of Flausenthurm, played by newcomer Miriam Hopkins, sets her sights on him. The Smiling Lieutenant is a delightful showcase for its rising female stars, who are never more charming than when Colbert tunefully instructs Hopkins, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie."

One Hour With You
Ernst Lubitsch, 1932
Lubitsch reunites Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, this time as a seemingly blissful couple whose marriage hits the skids when her flirtatious school chum comes on to her husband a bit too strong. Necking in the park at nighttime, husbands and wives having casual dalliances, and a butler telling his master, "I did so want to see you in tights!": it's one of Lubitsch's sauciest escapades and his final "pre-Code" musical.

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Releases: 1929 - 1932

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eclipse Series Eight from the Criterion Collection (4-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:49:24, 1:30:09, 1:29:03, and 1:17:48
Bitrate:

The Love Parade

Bitrate:

Monte Carlo

Bitrate:

The Smiling Lieutenant

Bitrate:

One Hour With You

Audio English (original mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date: February 12th, 2008

4 Slim Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 15, 12 , 14 , 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 4 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim transparent keep cases (see image above) they are not sold separately at this time. These particular editions can only be obtained in Criterion's Eclipse Series Eight - Lubitsch Musicals package at present.

Only One Hour With You (1932) is pictureboxed (on all 4 sides - see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). The rest are somewhat pillar-boxed (see specific reviews below for each aspect ratio) and One Hour With You is surprisingly the only dual-layered disc of the 4.  Each are coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. The transfers are all progressive and there are no digital extras. The audio for all is original mono and there are optional English subtitles. The color Universal logo starts each transfer (followed by the older Paramount black and white logo announcing the start of the film) so we can assume that is the print source. MCA/Universal bought over 700 films (made between 1929 and 1949) from Paramount in 1958, for eventual television distribution.

The Love Parade (1929) - is pillar-boxed in a ratio of 1.21:1. There is some contrast flickering, and light vertical scratches are visible (as are, what appears to be, vertical crease marks - see subtitle capture - right side). The disc is dual-layered and I expect this is the best this film will look on SD DVD with a high bitrate of 7.85 mbps. The mono audio shows some weakness but both visual and aural representations of the film are complete enough to thoroughly enjoy the production. We should remember that this film will be approaching its 80th birthday next year.         

 

Monte Carlo (1930) - is similarly pillarboxed in a 1.21:1 ratio. The disc is single-layered. Image and audio quality seem a notch cleaner than the older Love Parade. Although light scratches and marks are still prevalent they are lesser in intensity. I had no strong issues of disappointment with the DVD and the film is another masterfully intelligent (and cute) piece of cinema. The selected screen captures below accurately reflect the image quality in my opinion.

 

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - I measure this aspect ratio at 1.19:1 This is a significant jump in image improvement over the first two films-to-DVD. It offers superior detail and very strong contrast with richer black levels and decent greyscale. It is surprisingly visual detail and the sharpness is a welcome benefit to this wonderful example of Pre-code humor and fun.

 

NOTE: Although the first three are pillarboxed the image does extend to the very bottom of the frame - unlike 'pictureboxed' transfers like One Hour With You.


One Hour With You (1932) - 1.33:1, pictureboxed with possibly boosted black levels. Details is very good but perhaps not a strong as
The Smiling Lieutenant . Unlike the others this shows some heavy noise - that, at least, resembles grain. Again, I think the captures below give a good representation of how this DVD looks.           

Bitrates are range from from 6.75  - almost 8 MPS.

Aside from one page liner notes for each film (visible on the inner case sleeve through the transparent case cover) there are no supplements. 

The sound is original mono and dialogue is clear and quite audible - I noted a couple of instances of softened pops and drop-outs on the first 2 films, but overall it was acceptable for standard viewing.

To obtain these timelessly enjoyable films so competently rendered at a purchase price of about $10 each is indeed a cineastes dream come true. It certainly approaches 'must-own' or 'essential' status if you are at all keen on the era or Lubitsch. Although these films are quite old, I feel confident that they look as good as could have been expected considering the medium. Eclipse continue making some of the more important films ever made affordable and accessible to vast audiences. We continue to encourage them in this project and strongly recommend this DVD package that is filled with comedy, music and pre-code charm.

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus



Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

The Love Parade (1929)

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Starring Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth
 
Subtitle Sample
 

 

 

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Monte Carlo (1930)


Directed by Ernst Lubitsch


Starring Jack Buchanan, Jeanette MacDonald, Claud Allister and Zasu Pitts

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

 

 

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

 

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch


Starring Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins and Charles Ruggles

 

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

 

 

 


Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

One Hour With You


Directed by Ernst Lubitsch


Starring Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin, Charles Ruggles, Roland Young

 

 

 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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