(aka 'Capitaine mystere')

Directed by Douglas Sirk


Sirk's collaboration with Hudson was notable for the melodramas, but this enjoyable historical romp also has good qualities, although Rock doesn't look that happy in early 18th-century garb. He plays Michael Mann, an Irish revolutionary and highwayman (in support of the cause) who joins the rebel Captain 'Thunderbolt', becoming his second in command as Captain 'Lightfoot' (providing inspiration for Cimino and the struggle). Sirk's characteristic confrontation of the material (adapted by Burnett from his own novel) is underpinned by authentic Dublin locations, exquisite colour and CinemaScope photography and the use of notable Irish actors..

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE


Theatrical Release: March 26th, 1955

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DVD Review: Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:27:51 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.19 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 (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French 2.0
Subtitles French, None

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• L-ironie d'un recit d'adventures (27:09)
• Bande Announce trailers

DVD Release Date:
February 21st, 2009
Keep Case inside cardboard slipcase



I don't think we can blame Carlotta for the hazy image quality as the dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic transfer appears to have done all it could for an SD rendering. The source material was probably sub-standard - possibly even compromised with time - but there is no extravagant damage. There may have been some digital tinkering - not that it helped the thick and less-than-pristine appearance. There is a slim black border circumventing the frame limiting the horizontal resolution.  Overall, though, it was watchable but Sirk fans shouldn't expect the same quality as Carlotta's impressive previous output.

NOTE: Via the menus you might expect this to have forced French subtitles when the original English audio is chosen. But I can assure you that via my computer and both Malata players that I tested it on - this is not the case. You can see the film in its original format (English audio - no subtitles).

The 2.0 channel English audio is unremarkable - a little on the quiet side and mimics the image for quality giving a few pauses for unusual lack of sync. There is an optional French DUB and subtitles. 

Supplements give, what appears to be, a decent 1/2 hour video essay by Bertrand Tavernier... but unfortunately it is only in French with no subtitles available.

While not premium Sirk, the film offers some highlights but the weak image and audio make lean the product to completists only. They're not all masterpieces, but I was impressed with Hudson's  brogue after all he was Irish on both sides (real name - Roy Fitzgerald!). 


Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL


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