(aka 'Ordres Secrets aux Espions Nazis')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm
USA
1959

 

The great Fuller at his punchy, unsubtle best, beginning with a long tracking shot of an American GI clambering through the grim rubble of war-torn Berlin (the rifle shot of snipers intercut with the opening chords of Beethoven's 5th), and ending with an image of raging flames. In between, the film, set mostly in the immediate postwar period, charts the troubled relationship of the American, working for the occupying Allied Forces, with a German woman who saved his life and why is surrounded by compatriots - including her younger brother - determined to revive the power of the Nazi movement. It's a tale of betrayal, violence, confusion and stark ironies, and takes in bravura action sequences, scenes of argumentative discourse, and documentary footage of the Nazi atrocities shown at the Nuremberg War Criminals Tribunal. Fuller's methods may not be sophisticated, but they are complex; as such, his own inimitably brash brand of didactism makes for riveting and powerful cinema.

Excerpt from Time Out Film Guide located HERE

 

"Their love was Verboten!" screamed the ads in 1959, and this sleazy masterwork by Sam Fuller is no less shrill, beginning with a sniper being tracked down to the strains of Beethoven's Fifth and continuing with the romance of an American soldier and an off-limits fraulein in occupied Germany. Sweaty, claustrophobic, occasionally frenzied, and often brilliant, in a thoroughly iconoclastic (and marginally psychotic) way.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 13th, 1959

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DVD Comparison:

Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

   

 

Distribution Warner (Europe)  - Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:06 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:21
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.81 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.11 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.

Bitrate: Warner Europe

Bitrate: Warner Archive

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

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (Europe)

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: September 17th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (1:35)
• Archive Advert (0:59)

DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 17

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Warner Archive widescreen edition - June 2010:

Some blemishes, marks and specks. Advertised as remastered edition. Running time indicate that French disc has PAL speed-up. French disc is also appears to be open matte, while Warner Archive disc is in original theatrical aspect ratio. Transfer is anamorphic and progressive. Capture 6 was not exact match since each frame in this new footage has some specks, but French frame grab has only a line on the left and does not appear to have any marks.

  - Gregory Meshman

****

 

ON THE FRENCH WARNER DVD: I believe this was initially an RKO release distributed by  Columbia - so I'm unsure how Warner are involved, but this PAL SD-DVD transfer looks very strong. I've done some investigation about the aspect ratio - and come up empty. if anyone is sure that this 1.33:1 ratio is correct - or that it should be widescreen (there is a lot of empty space at the bottom of the frame) - I appreciate hearing from you

Contrast and detail are surprisingly good (Criterion level!) on this dual-layered DVD - of a film approaching 50 years old. The bitrate is sky-rocketing. There may have been some marginal brightness but it didn't adversely affect the presentation IMO. 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. The image is fairly clean without undue speckles or damage - excepting, of course, the archival footage (see sample below).

There are no extras at all, but if there were - odds are they would be in French anyway. I don't see this coming to Region 1 soon - so for the money this is a great deal if you consider the strong film value. It's a no-brainer for cinema students and Fuller fans. Rock your world!  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT


 
 

 


Screen Captures

 

Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM
 

 


Warner (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM
 


DVD Box Cover

   

 

Distribution Warner (Europe)  - Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC




 

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