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(aka 'Everybody's Woman' or 'Everyone's Lady')

Directed by Max Ophüls
Italy 1934

 

With the Nazi terror on the ascent, master filmmaker Max Ophuls fled to Italy in 1934 and made La signora di tutti [Everybody’s Lady] — an exuberant, desperate melodrama that, although arriving early in Ophuls’ body of work, ranks comfortably alongside Letter from an Unknown Woman, Madame de…, or Lola Montès in the hierarchy of the director’s achievements.


Isa Miranda, one of Italy’s greatest stars, plays the role of a star revisiting her life in flashback after a suicide attempt leaves her comatose. From the record revolving on a turntable in the picture’s opening moments, Ophuls sets into motion one of those roundelays with fate that he alone could pull off with such eminent elegance.


A precursor to the romantic themes that would culminate in Lola Montès, Ophuls’ vertiginous La signora di tutti serves brilliantly as both an empathetic portrait of the femme fatale, and as an elevation of her glacial femininity to the level of sublime fetish. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Max Ophuls’ luminous La signora di tutti for the first time on DVD in the UK.

***

Max Ophuls made this melodrama in Italy in 1934, following his flight from Germany. With its large-scale, operatic effects and aggressively experimental style, it is clearly a young man's film, yet contains more of the mature Ophuls than any early work of his I have seen: the elaborate flashback structure employed to tell this tale of a movie star's romantic entanglements anticipates Lola Montes, and the cold, static beauty of lead actress Isa Miranda suggests the sublime emptiness of Danielle Darrieux' Madame de. Ophuls's camera glides and glides, as it always would, yet at this early point the camera movements don't have quite the emotional refinement they would acquire later on. Technique, in Ophuls' case, seems to precede specific meaning, but the emotional outlines are clear.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader.

Posters Etc.

Theatrical Release: March 1934

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DVD Comparison:

RHV - Region 0 - PAL vs. Masters of Cinema (Spine # 100) - Region 0 - PAL

RHV - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution RHV - Region 0 - PAL Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:25:54 (4% PAL Speed-up) 1:26:12 (4% PAL Speed-up)
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.4 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate: RHV

Bitrate: MoC

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, Italian, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: RHV

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Interview with Isa Miranda by Francesco Savio (20:12) - Italian no subtitles
• 12-page booklet with photos (in Italian)

DVD Release Date: June, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• New 30-minute video-essay, So Alone…, produced for The Masters of Cinema Series by writer-critic-scholar Tag Gallagher (29:34)
• 44-page booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker and critic Luc Moullet, and newly translated testimonials from Max Ophuls, Isa Miranda, and filmmaker Alfredo Guarini

DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2010

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL - November 2010:Film fans were thrilled that The Masters of Cinema have chosen a Max Ophüls film for their 100th DVD spine number. I'm a big fan of La Signora Di Tutti and had a feeling the MoC transfer would 'best' the already strong RHV edition. There isn't much difference in the image quality but a couple of contrast flares that occur on the Italian release are not present on the UK edition. Otherwise it is quite similar with the Masters of Cinema showing a tad more grain and slightly darker and, hence, marginally more film-like. Rounded corners are still visible and the image is remarkably sharp and damage-free.

Audio is also clean and clear without any notable deficiencies. MoC have rendered new subtitles but I can't recall any wide discrepancies from the Italian DVD translation. The UK edition may have been a bit more detailed. The PAL disc is also region free.

Where the MoC DVD vaults more definitively ahead are in the supplements with a wonderful 30-minute video-essay, So Alone…, produced for The Masters of Cinema Series by writer-critic-scholar, and member of the DVDBeaver ListServ member, Tag Gallagher. He gives a solid overview of Ophüls early life, Isa Miranda and Angelo Rizzoli (renowned Italian producer of Umberto D., The Flowers of St. Francis, Red Desert, , La dolce vita, and Juliet of the Spirits among his credits - La Signora Di Tutti was his first). Tag goes into more detail about the feature with clips from Signora and other films. It's, predictably, excellent. There is also a 44-page booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker and critic Luc Moullet, and newly translated testimonials from Max Ophuls, Isa Miranda, and filmmaker Alfredo Guarini.

Great release from Masters of Cinema series- a magnificent film - and DVD package celebrating their 100th SD-DVD. The Tag Gallagher video-essay and comprehensive liner notes booklet make it and easy choice and we offer a strong recommendation.

***

ON THE RHV: One of the more amazing single-layered transfers that I can recall seeing - and the film itself is almost 75 years old. How is this possible? The source must have been in tremendous shape. Bottom line is that contrast and detail are exceptionally strong considering these, age and disc limitation, factors. It appears to actually show some grain but the straight-line bitrate suggests an analog transfer. The frame does show frequent rounded corners but, although unusual, it didn't hinder my viewing at all. The presentation includes two 'intermezzo' titles cards dividing the acts. This DVD image is quite stupendous at times - impressive indeed.

The mono soundtrack is clear and dialogue audible. There are well-rendered optional subtitles in both Italian and English (sample below). This SD-DVD is very surprisingly strong and fans of the director should definitely indulge. Ordering from the website (link above) was fairly easy - I used Babel Fish for a bit of translation (Duhhh... there is an English-friendly version by clicking the top right of the site). Mine took a while arriving but it could have been in demand as the cinephile community was aware of it since Summer.

Ohhh... extras include a 20-minute interview and liner notes but both are only in Italian with no translation.

The film is marvelous and ranks as, possibly, my favorite Ophüls film - although I'll have to spin it again to more accurately judge. Anyway, it's a cracker and I'm grateful I was encouraged to purchase by a friend. Strongly recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

RHV - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT


 


Subtitle Sample

 

RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


RHV - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution RHV - Region 0 - PAL Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - PAL




 

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