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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka "La ronde de l'aube')

Directed by Douglas Sirk
USA
1958

 

One of legendary director Douglas Sirk’s most cherished passion projects, this spectacular adaptation of William Faulkner’s Pylon has risen in stature to become one of his most acclaimed films. Reuniting with his core creative team from oil tycoon saga Written on the Wind, Sirk this time examined the marginal lives and lost souls living one rung from the bottom with surpassing delicacy and artistry.

Rock Hudson stars as journalist Burke Devlin, fascinated by the sordid lives of a trio eking out a living in carnival circuit daredevil airshows – Roger Shumann (Robert Stack), former WWI fighter pilot, forced into races and parachute routines with the help of his wife LaVerne (Dorothy Malone), and faithful mechanic Jiggs (Jack Carson).

Evoking Depression-era New Orleans with glorious black-and-white CinemaScope photography, Sirk’s spellbinding chronicle of personal obsession, romantic longing, and irreconcilable desires now appears as one of the most extraordinary films to come out of 1950s Hollywood. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Tarnished Angels on Blu-ray for the first time.

***

Douglas Sirk took a vacation from Ross Hunter and Technicolor for this 1958 production, though he retained Rock Hudson, who turns in an astonishingly good performance as a journalist who finds himself fascinated by the sordid lives of a trio of professional stunt fliers (Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, and Jack Carson). Based on a minor novel by William Faulkner (Pylon), the film betters the book in every way, from the quality of characterization to the development of the dark, searing imagery. Made in black-and-white CinemaScope, the film doesn't survive on television; it should be seen in a theater or not at all.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 6th, 1958

Reviews                              More Reviews                             DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Carlotta (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big Thanks to Per-Olaf Strandberg for the Universal DVD caps!

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- LEFT

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

 

Released on Blu-ray in Germany in 2014:

 

Directed By Douglas Sirk - Has Anyone Seen My Gal?/All I Desire/Magnificent Obsession/All That Heaven Allows/Written On The Wind/The Tarnished Angels/Imitation Of Life

Distribution Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #54

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:27:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:27:05 (4% PAL speedup) 1:30:48.067
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.12 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,238,381,580 bytes

Feature: 28,360,990,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:  Carlotta - disc 1

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) , DUB French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Effects/Score Track LPCM Audio Undetermined 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles French,  None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta (FR)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

Disc 1

• Trailer (2:36)

Disc 2

• La ronde de l'aube par Bourget & Berthomieu (25:04 - in French no subtitles)
• Faulkner / Sirk: La Defaulknerisation de Pylone
(24:54 - in French no subtitles)
• Le Cercle Infernal (28:28 - English)
• Parlons Du Spectacle (18:12
- English)
• Jouer Pour Douglas Sirk (22:26 - English)

DVD Release Date: November 2nd, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Universal (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• None
• DVD-5

DVD Release Date: 15 Jan 2007
Fold-out plastic slip-case inside VHS sized case

Chapters 20

 

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka (Master of Cinema #64)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,238,381,580 bytes

Feature: 28,360,990,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Feature-length audio commentary by film critic Adrian Martin
• Talk About the Business, a video interview with supporting actor William Schallert (18:59)
• Infernal Circle, a video interview with critic Bill Krohn (29:42)
• Acting with Douglas Sirk, a collection of archival interviews with Douglas Sirk, producer Albert Zugsmith and actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone (23:25)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:37)
• Isolated music & effects track
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf & hearing impaired on the feature
• 44-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing on the film by Luc Moullet, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Tag Gallagher; a vintage report from the set at the time of production; interview excerpts with Douglas Sirk and William Faulkner; and rare archival imagery 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 19th, 2013
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (July 2013): Masters of Cinema's new 1080P transfer looks solid - dual-layered with very high bitrate. It shows a lot more information in the frame on the left and top edges. The DVDs were top notch but the higher resolution exports wonderfully layered contrast (the film is littered with shadows and light play) which tightens up the detail a few notches. There are instances exhibiting depth. Overall it is a shade brighter and I can't imagine the film looking any better in digital.

 

Audio for the Blu-ray is transferred via a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It sounds, predictably flat and a great score by Frank Skinner (All That Heaven Allows, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Dark Mirror and many more) that is also accessible, with effects, in an isolated lossless track. The plane engine sounds are notable. There are optional English subtitles on the region B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Masters of Cinema include the excellent feature-length audio commentary by film critic Adrian Martin - as found on the region 4 Madman Entertainment DVD plus three wonderful FICTION FACTORY documentaries from the Robert Fischer and the Munich-based film production company. Talk About the Business, 20-minutes of veteran actor William Schallert talks about his early years in the film business and working with directors such as John Huston and Max Ophuls before concentrating on his small part in Douglas Sirk’s The Tarnished Angels. Infernal Circle, spends a 1/2 hour with Bill Krohn, Cahiers du Cinéma’s correspondent in Los Angeles and author of numerous books on film, who discusses the special place of The Tarnished Angels within Douglas Sirk’s oeuvre and why this black-and-white, Cinemascope adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel Pylon is as unique as the pyramids. He also offers a detailed analysis of the film’s key scenes. Acting with Douglas Sirk is 23-minutes culled from archival interviews with Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack as they talk about the two films directed by the legendary Douglas Sirk on which they shared top billing: Written on the Wind (1956) and The Tarnished Angels. Also included in this fascinating documentary are interview clips with producer Albert Zugsmith and with Douglas Sirk himself. Contemporary film artist Allison Anders adds her own comment in a newly filmed interview. There is an original theatrical trailer, you may access an isolated music & effects track and the package contains a 44-page liner notes booklet featuring writing on the film by Luc Moullet, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Tag Gallagher; a vintage report from the set at the time of production; interview excerpts with Douglas Sirk and William Faulkner; and rare archival imagery. Magnificent!

 

MoC make this an easy decision for Sirk and Rock fans - a powerful film and a beautiful, stacked, Blu-ray package. Thumbs skyward!

Gary W. Tooze

***

ADDITION: Universal UK - November 08': It seems that both editions have used the same transfer. The difference is that the UK disc has only used 4.06 Gb of space on a single layered disc. I believe that this makes the image on the UK disc quite noticeably softer. The UK disc is also much darker. Both are anamorphic transfers.

The screen captures are from the box-set DIRECTED BY DOUGLAS SIRK, including the following films: Has Anyone Seen My Gal?/All I Desire/Magnificent Obsession/All That Heaven Allows/Written On The Wind/The Tarnished Angels/Imitation Of Life. The Tarnished Angels can also be bought separately. There are no extras but it does have optional English subtitles.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

***

There is a Region 4 edition of this film by Madman Entertainment with an audio Commentary by Dr. Adrian Martin but I, unfortunately, don't own it to compare.  

I am very impressed with this Carlotta release in terms of image quality. It's quite stunning. Contrast and grayscale are magnificent. It shares the first disc with only a trailer and the bitrate is sky-high. Detail is also very good and as the films has many shadow lit scenes - this high-end rendering to SD-DVD transfer really seems to benefit. It has a couple of drawbacks that I noticed - some chroma - but it didn't overly impinge upon my viewing. The other was that it may be horizontally squeezed a shade. The disc (actually both) are dual-layered coded for region 2 in the PAL standard.   

The 2.0 channel audio seems equally as flawless - representing the film extremely well. There are French subtitles and a French DUB.

NOTE: Neither on my computer nor on my two Malata DVD players were these French subs forced when the English language options was chosen (as the menu selection might indicate). I can't speak about other machines.

Extras include the aforementioned trailer on disc 1 and a second disc with 5 featurettes - 3 of which are in English! Le Cercle Infernal has about 1/2 hour of Bill Krohn discussing the film with sporadic clips. Parlons Du Spectacle talks with William Schallert for 18 minutes on his recollections of the film and his career plus working with other directors including Max Ophuls and Edgar Ulmer. Jouer Pour Douglas Sirk is 22 minutes and has vintage interview pieces with Sirk, Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack - mostly about Tarnished Angels. Great stuff!

A fascinating film and I am so happy to have it in my collection. I give this work and DVD package a big thumbs-up! 

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

(Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- LEFT vs. Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 
 

 Carlotta Disc 2

 

Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL- TOP

2) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Spine #64 Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

   

 

Released on Blu-ray in Germany in 2014:





 

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Gary Tooze

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