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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Marriage Italian Style [Blu-ray], 1964)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Compagnia Cinematografica Champion

Video: Lorber Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:41:34.129

Disc Size: 23,603,877,970 bytes

Feature Size: 20,738,156,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23/99 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard case

Release date: May 17th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio Italian 386 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 386 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 160 kbps)



English, none 



• Three Trailers (Sunflower, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian Style)

• Promo (3:41)

• Stills Gallery (28)





Description: Sophia Loren stars in this comedy about a successful businessman who kept a woman as his mistress for several years and now plans to marry another woman until his mistress pretends to be on her deathbed to induce him to marry her before she dies. TWO ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS - BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM, BEST ACTRESS (SOPHIA LOREN) 1964.



The Film:

In flashback, Marcello Mastroianni recalls his wartime romance with Sophia Loren. He is so enamored with her that he... finances her escape from the bordello where she lives and sets her up with a good job in the restaurant that he owns, and later finds a place for her on his mother's domestic staff. He is not, however, enamored enough to make their union legal, and expects Loren to behave like a servant by day and his mistress by night. Years later, Loren lies on her deathbed. The contrite Mastroianni finally consents to marry her. Not only does she make a full recovery, but she brings her three grown sons to live with the nonplused Mastroianni after the wedding. He tries to weasel out of the arrangement, but is mollified by Loren's insistence that all three boys are his sons. Thus, after nearly twenty years' servitude, Loren is at last in a position to call the shots. Sold to American distributors on the basis of Sophia Loren's revealing costumes (some of these absolutely defy the laws of gravity), Marriage Italian Style remains a warm and spicy concoction today, even after years of less expert imitations. The film was based on Filumena Marturano by Eduardo de Filipo.

~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Whenever Vittorio de Sica gets together with Sophia Loren to make a motion picture, something wonderful happens. It did when he directed her in "Gold of Naples," Two Women," "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," and now it's happened again, in "Marriage Italian Style."

The something wonderful that's happened is the conception and projection of a film so frank and free and understanding of a certain kind of vital woman—and man, too—that it sends you forth from the theater feeling you've known her — and him — all your life.

Significantly, the actor they have to play the man is Marcello Mastroianni, who warmed up with them for this film in that memorably heat-producing comedy, "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." And the total combination is so congenial to the material at hand that it adds up to the achievement of one of the dandiest films of the year.

Excerpt from Bosley Crowther at the NY Times located HERE


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

Lorber's single-layered transfer certainly doesn't scale to the heights of the format's capabilities. The Blu-ray image is slightly picture-boxed and there is a prominent vertical scratch 2/3rd from the left that surfaces repeatedly in varying degrees of prominence. I'd say that this is not even of the same quality as the Blu-ray of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. There is quite a lot of noise in the darker parts of the film. Contrast shifts between scenes and I can only comment that the visual weaknesses are a factor of the source print which has had no restoration. This Blu-ray looks only slighter better than SD but I expect it is the best we will be getting for a long while. Nothing to cheer about here.

















Audio :

Strangely - while using an uncompressed transfer and remaining faithfully mono, Lorber's TrueHD original Italian track has no robust qualities squeaking through at only 386 kbps. There is no depth and it sounds, like many Italian film tracks, weak - with flatness and potential sync issues. Still you come to expect it seeing Loren and Mastroianni onscreen together. There is an original score with some bouncy qualities and drama by Armando Trovajoli.  There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

Not much in the way of supplements but there are three trailers (Sunflower, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian Style) from the so-titled Sophia Loren Award Collection by Lorber, a 3.5 minute promo and a stills gallery with 28, click-thru, images.



This is a decent film - a bit same-ish preying upon Loren's undeniable sexuality and some broad humor as in the similar themed Italian comedies with the two stars. I would think that this is in need of some restoration and the film is probably worth it for its humanist qualities and Loren. The Blu-ray doesn't excel in any a/v areas and we only recommend to those in dire need of seeing Marriage Italian Style - keep your expectations low. 

Gary Tooze

May 20th, 2011

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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