(aka 'The Search')

Directed by Fred Zinnemann


Out of the stuff of one of the saddest and most arresting human dramas of our times—that is the fate of the children of Europe whose homes were wrecked and whose lives were damaged by the war—Lazar Wechsler, a Swiss film producer, has made a picture which may prudently be said to be as fine, as moving, and as challenging as any the contemporary screen provides. The Search is its American title, and it opened at the Victoria last night. Our earnest wish is that it might be seen by every adult in the United States.

For The Search is not only an absorbing and gratifying emotional drama of the highest sort, being a vivid and convincing representation of how one of the "lost children" of Europe is found, but it gives a graphic, overwhelming comprehension of the frightful cruelty to innocent children that has been done abroad. Within the framework of a basic human story—the tireless search of a displaced Czech mother for her little boy and the parallel efforts of others to help the nameless youngster and give him security after the war—it clearly lays out for us a problem facing western civilization today: what's to be done with this vast backwash of shattered children who will be grown-ups tomorrow?

Excerpt from Bosley Crowther at the NY Times located HERE

Theatrical Release: March 23rd, 1948

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DVD Review: Warner (France) - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Warner (France)  - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:39:33 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.90 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.


Audio English and some French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles French, None

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (France)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2007

Keep Case inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 12



Firstly, how the heck did this masterpiece slip by us? Thanks to our friend Nicolas for informing DVDBeaver. This dual-layered transfer of this ohh-so classic Zinnemann film is very strong.  Contrast and detail are superb and there are very few damage marks (light scratches and minor speckles). I'm reminded of our recent review of Fuller's Verboten! which was also close to a Criterion-level of image quality.  We should keep in mind that this film is 60 years old. It has a healthy bitrate. There may have been some marginal brightness but it didn't adversely affect the presentation. The transfer is progressive and sports optional French subtitles. The 2.0 channel audio is unremarkable but close, I'll wager, to the way it was produced. Overall I'd say quite an impressive transfer!

Unfortunately there are no extras at all, and if they existed they would surely be in French regardless. Aside from this cheapo Chinese bootleg - from a video analog source - this appears to be unavailable on legitimate DVD anywhere else. Great film, evoking De Sica, Rossellini and, later, even Tarkovsky - strongly recommended!

NOTE: We have been told an edition exists in Germany HERE.  

Gary W. Tooze


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