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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The King of Hearts")


Directed by Philippe de Broca
France 1966

 

A cult comic masterpiece from acclaimed director Philippe de Broca, King of Hearts was a flop upon initial release in France, but was a smash hit in the US, where it ended up running for five years straight.

During the latter part of World War I, Private Charles Plumpick ( Alan Bates; Women in Love) is chosen to go into the French town of Marville and disconnect a bomb that the German army has planted. However, Charles is chased by some Germans and finds himself holed up at the local insane asylum, where the inmates are convinced that he is the "King of Hearts." Feeling obligated to help the inmates, Charles attempts to lead them out of town, but they are afraid to leave and frolic about the streets in gay costumes. Will Charles be able to deactivate the bomb in time and save his newfound friends?

Featuring a score by legendary film composer Georges Delerue and also starring Geneviève Bujold (Anne of the Thousand Days, Dead Ringers), King of Hearts is presented here from a gorgeous new 4K restoration in its UK debut as part of The Masters of Cinema Series, in a special Dual Format edition.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 21st, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

   

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Also available on Blu-ray from Cohen in the US:

  

 

Distribution Masters of Cinema Spine #192 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:29.036
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,369,818,442 bytes

Feature: 29,438,595,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.55 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Audio

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit 

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,369,818,442 bytes

Feature: 29,438,595,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.55 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Feature length audio commentary by film critic Wade Major
Geneviève Bujold on the making of King of Hearts - An interview with the Academy Award nominated actress from 2017 (14:23)
Interview with Pierre Lhomme the cinematographer discusses working with Philippe de Broca, and the techniques used for filming King of Hearts (09:25)
Interview with Michelle de Broca Producer and ex-wife of director Philippe de Broca talks about working on King of Hearts
Eureka! trailer for the 2018 UK theatrical release of King of Hearts (02:01)
A collector s booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp

DVD


Blu-ray Release Date: June 16th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

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

Eureka! has given the film a gorgeous new 4K restoration, for its "Masters of Cinema" label, and following a theatrical release in 2018, the film is now on a combo Blu-ray/DVD. The film is housed on a dual-layered Blu-ray, and a progressive DVD. The 1080p image is presented in the film's 2.35:1 aspect ration. The image here is excellent, with detail coming through strong. Colors seem to pop when they should, though certain early scenes have an intentional muddy look to them. Contrast has a strong showing here as well, with a wide spectrum of blacks, greys, etc. This is a top-notch transfer with little to no damage, and no clear revisionist tinkering.

There is an image title-card before the film reading:
"This movie was restored in 2016 by Technicolor for Alex Productions represented by Marina Girard-Muttelet with the support of the CNC in France. The restoration and the color grading work was done in 4K using the original Techniscope negative under the supervision of Pierre Lhomme AFC. Philippe de Broca's family thanks John Ptak and Charles Cohen who enabled the movie to be distributed again in the United States."

Eureka presents the film in French with a linear PCM 2.0 track. The films various sounds of war and celebration come through sounding clear and as intended. Any cleaning up of imperfections on this track has clearly been to the film's benefit. The film features a wonderful score by legendary film composer Georges Delerue (The High Commissioner,
Silkwood, Mister Johnson, Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night). There are optional English subtitles on this Region-B Blu-ray.

First off, Eureka treats us to a wonderful commentary with film critic, Wade Major. Major is able to place the film within the context of French cinema, particularly the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave). Philippe de Broca defied a lot of the conventions (or should I say anti-conventions) of the 'Nouvelle Vague'. Not afraid to stage a scene in the classical sense, de Broca achieves something completely unique here, and Major provides a wealth of information on the film's importance as an anti-war absurdist satire. I also found it interesting to learn that de Broca worked as an assistant director to Claude Chabrol and Francois Truffaut (he was Assistant Director on The 400 Blows). Next up we have a few interviews, starting with an interview with Academy Award nominated actress, Geneviève Bujold. Over 14-minutes, Bujold discusses the making of "King of Hearts". Following this is an interview with Pierre Lhomme. This 9.5-minute interview has the cinematographer discussing his work with Philippe de Broca, and the various techniques he used to film "King of Hearts". Next up is a 10-minute interview with Michelle de Broca, Producer and ex-wife of director Philippe de Broca. This interview is played over footage from the film, with optional English subtitles (de Broca speaks French here). The film's recent 2018 UK theatrical release trailer is included as well. There is a collectors booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp. There is also a limited edition O-card slipcase, for the first print run only.

This film was quite a lovely surprise, reminding me of William Peter Blatty's The Ninth Configuration, only with a lighter overall tone. Eureka have lovingly restored this cult comedy and given it the fine treatment it deserves. Fans of commentaries will be pleased here, as Wade Major's is a fine example of balancing the task of providing information while maintaing a certain levity and reverence for the film being discussed. Highly recommend listening. The interviews are also a treat, but the real star here is the great transfer of a great film. Highly recommend this Blu-ray.

Colin Zavitz

 

 


Extras


 


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

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

  


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also available on Blu-ray from Cohen in the US:

  

 

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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