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Marriage Italian Style [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Compagnia Cinematografica Champion
Video: Lorber Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,603,877,970 bytes
Feature Size: 20,738,156,544 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23/99 Mbps
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)
• 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.
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."
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
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.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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