(aka "Fan-Fan the Tulip' or 'Soldier of Love ')
Directed by Christian-Jaque
Italy / France 1952

Legendary French star Gérard Philipe swashbuckled his way into film history as the peasant soldier Fanfan in Christian-Jaque’s devil-may-care romantic action-comedy. In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV’s army to avoid a forced marriage to a local lass and gets himself into close scrapes and tight squeezes with Gina Lollobrigida’s impostor fortune-teller, Adeline, on his way to fighting in the Seven Years’ War. Filled to the brim with dazzling stunts and randy innuendo, Fanfan la Tulipe, which won the best director prize at Cannes and was a smash hit upon its initial release, remains one of France’s all-time most beloved films.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 21st, 1952

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DVD Comparison:

TF1 Vidéo (colorized and black and white) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

TF1 Vidéo

Region 2  - PAL

Criterion Collection - Spine # 451

Region 1  - NTSC

Runtime 1:35:21 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:39:51
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.72 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

TF1 Vidéo

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion

 

Audio

French 2.0 Stereo

French (mono), DUB: English

Subtitles French, and none English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio:
TF1 Vidéo

Aspect Ratio: - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Filmographies
• trailers

DVD Release Date: April 3rd, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
- 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• New video program about actor Gérard Philipe
A clip from the colorized version of the film
Theatrical trailer
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
Liner notes booklet with a new essay by Kenneth Turan

DVD Release Date:
November 18th, 2008
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 19


Comments:

Since I owned the TF1 Vidéo disc, that has the black+white version on one side and a colorized on the opposite, I thought it might be interesting to compare.  There also appears to be a bare-bones UK DVD release available HERE that I have not seen.

Although both the TF1 editions are single-layered - a DVD10 - (where the Criterion is dual) the image is not too bad at all. Where the Criterion improves is in maintaining the grain structure to a visible degree. The Criterion contrast may be marginally superior but I don't think it's dominant. The French disc is somewhat softer than the NTSC edition. As the TF1 is not English-friendly it is probably easily dismissed by most readers anyway. I don't see that any of the three transfers have cropped a lot away from the frame. By the way, many will rejoice that the Criterion is not pictureboxed (see our description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). Perhaps this is the end of that practice.   

I didn't notice any difference in the unremarkable audio tracks but Criterion have included an optional English DUB along with removable English subtitles.

-

 

Where supplements on the TV1 are nothing more than some trailers and text screen filmographies (in French), Criterion have added a 30 minute biography piece on actor Gérard Philipe, a clip from the colorized version of the film, the theatrical trailer and a liner notes booklet with a new essay by Kenneth Turan.     

The colorization on the TF1 is fairly placid without demonstrative overblown hues that we have seen some abuse with this process. I honestly didn't mind watching it in color as it is, essentially, such a 'fun' film . I'm pleased to state, though, that the Criterion achieves superiority and, in my opinion, this is a great little film to own and enjoy. Recommended!   

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

(TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)



 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM


 


1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


1) TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (colorized) - TOP

2)  TF1 Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL (black + white) - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion

Menu:

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Distribution

Miramax / Buena Vista - Rolling Thunder

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine # 451

Region 1  - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze