St. Vincent de Paul led a
remarkable life. Born into poverty, sold into slavery in Africa after being
kidnapped at sea by Turkish pirates, he eventually rose to become a trusted
advisor to queens, princes, and nobility.
Monsieur Vincent, director Maurice Cloche’s beautifully crafted, award-winning biopic of St. Vincent de Paul, celebrates the saint’s single-minded devotion to the poor without romanticizing the objects of his devotion and recipients of his charity. Vincent himself (Pierre Fresnay in a moving performance), though he urges his followers to regard the poor as their masters, admits frankly that they are "masters who are terribly insensitive and demanding… dirty and ugly… unjust and foul-mouthed." Yet he is adamant that, the harder they are to serve, "the more you will have to love them."
Theatrical Release: November 5th, 1947
DVD Review: Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 4.98 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||French (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
Despite the low bitrate and higher-than-normal incidence of digital noise in dark monochromatic scenes, this Lions Gate single-layered transfer doesn't look fatally poor. I suspect some digital manipulations here and there but the overall presentation seems adequate enough considering the age of the film. There are moments of healthy detail in this progressive, 1.33:1 - original aspect ratio, DVD. My biggest complaint might be the contrast flickering that is more prominent in the opening but soon settles down. Light scratches are very prevalent but no major damage was noted.
The unremarkable 2.0 channel audio seems free of pops and dropouts - French dialogue was clear enough and it is supported by option Spanish or English subtitles. The DVD offers no supplementary material at all.
The transfer seems to come from Studio Canal (their logo open prior to the menus) and I found the film pretty interesting - a relaxing bio-pic about a person I previously knew absolutely nothing about. I understand though it barely touches upon much of his interesting life. Some might recognize the lead, Pierre Fresnay from such classics as Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau (1943) and Renoir's La Grande Illusion. This is a very good film and one worth the $13 price tag despite the mediocrity of the transfer.