(aka 'The Last Metro')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/truffaut.htm
France
1980

 

Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study. Against all odds—a Jewish theater manager in hiding; a leading man who’s in the Resistance; increasingly restrictive Nazi oversight—the troupe believes the show must go on. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, The Last Metro (Le dernier métro) is Truffaut’s ultimate tribute to art overcoming adversity.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 17th, 1980

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 462 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 462 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:12:00  2:12:08.754
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

Disc Size: 48,387,193,475 bytes

Feature Size: 35,682,643,968 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:  DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio French 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Two audio commentaries: one featuring Annette Insdorf, author of François Truffaut, and one with actor Gérard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azéma, and Truffat biographer Serge Toubiana

Disc 2
• Deleted scene
• French television excerpts of interviews with Truffaut, and actors Catherine Deneuve, Depardieu, and Jean Poiret
• New video interviews with actresses Andréa Ferréol, Sabine Haudepin, and Paulette Dubost, assistant director Alain Tasma, and camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine
• A video interview with the celebrated cinematographer Nestor Almendros, detailing his collaborations with Truffaut
• Une histoire d’eau, Truffaut’s 1958 short film co-directed by Jean-Luc Godard
• Theatrical trailer 
• PLUS: A new essay by Armond White  

DVD Release Date: March 24th, 2009

Custom Case (see below photo)
Chapters: 32

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Disc Size: 48,387,193,475 bytes

Feature Size: 35,682,643,968 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Two audio commentaries: one featuring Annette Insdorf, author of François Truffaut, and one with actor Gérard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azéma, and Truffat biographer Serge Toubiana
• Deleted scene
• French television excerpts of interviews with Truffaut, and actors Catherine Deneuve, Depardieu, and Jean Poiret
• New video interviews with actresses Andréa Ferréol, Sabine Haudepin, and Paulette Dubost, assistant director Alain Tasma, and camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine
• A video interview with the celebrated cinematographer Nestor Almendros, detailing his collaborations with Truffaut
• Une histoire d’eau, Truffaut’s 1958 short film co-directed by Jean-Luc Godard
• Theatrical trailer 
• PLUS: A new essay by Armond White  

Blu-ray Release Date: March 24th, 2009

Slip Case
Chapters: 32

 

DVD package

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray - March 09': With about 5X the bitrate - Criterion have improved in every visuals facet from their own competent SD DVD edition. Detail is stronger, skin tones exhibit a more natural luster (warmer - less orange), depth is prevalent and grain is more noticeable. There are fewer artifacts and it maintains the 1.66 aspect ratio. It presents the visual element of the film to a much higher degree.

On the audio front, Criterion have utilized a uncompressed liner PCM track that seemed marginally crisper and more even. The film doesn't support extravagant effects and this is obviously a more faithful route in regards to an accurate original presentation. There are still optional English subtitles available.

Extras are duplicated from the DVD (and expanded upon below) excepting that they are now in HD and all accessible from the one disc.

I am so thrilled that Criterion have not waited to indulge us in this new high-definition format. It makes every film experience bond more closely to the narrative. This Blu-ray looks and sounds so wonderful. We give it, and the film, full marks and encourage a purchase for those who have invested in Blu-ray.    

***

 

Fox Lorber came out with this on DVD in 1999 for North American audiences HERE and has been out-of-print for years. It was non-anamorphic, cropped and had burned-in subtitles -  we have compared some captures below to this new Criterion which obviously shows far superior color depth and detail. In fact the Criterion DVD reds are quite rich and I look forward to seeing the Blu-ray which we will obviously add to this review/comparison. Overall the Criterion SD transfer looks pretty strong with minor noise and it shows some good grain. It is fairly clean with no extensive blemishes.

Audio is likewise consistent in original French and offers optional English subtitles as per Criterion standard.   

The package is smart looking and stacked with supplements - there are two audio commentaries: one featuring Annette Insdorf, author of the book ; François Truffaut, and one, in French with optional subtitles, with actor Gérard Depardieu, historian Jean-Pierre Azéma, and Truffat biographer Serge Toubiana. Excellent in-depth information all round - I could listen to Insdorf all day. On disc 2 (also dual-layered) there is a deleted scene, some French television excerpts of interviews with Truffaut, and actors Catherine Deneuve, Depardieu, and Jean Poiret plus new video interviews with actresses Andréa Ferréol, Sabine Haudepin, and Paulette Dubost, assistant director Alain Tasma, and camera assistants Florent Bazin and Tessa Racine. Most interesting is a video interview with the celebrated cinematographer Nestor Almendros, detailing his collaborations with Truffaut. We also get a Truffaut 1958 short film co-directed by Jean-Luc Godard called Une histoire d’eau. Finally on the digital front we get a theatrical trailer and included in the package is 16-page liner notes booklet with a new essay by Armond White. Very impressive extras and on the Blu-rays these will all be accessible from the one disc (and maybe even some in HD!)

Obviously a heck of a lot of effort went into this edition - even by Criterion's lofty standards. On the extras front I enjoyed the Annette Insdorf commentary and interview with Nestor Almendros. Truffaut made so many great films and it is such a pleasure to revisit this one in such a competent - vastly more film-like transfer. This is at top-tier pricing but certainly it still retains strong value. Stay tuned for our Blu-ray addition coming as soon as we can.   

Gary W. Tooze

 



Menus / Extras


Disc 2


Screen Captures

 

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

 

1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Fox/lorber - Region FREE - NTSC DVD BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Fox/lorber - Region FREE - NTSC DVD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 462 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 462 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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