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Directed by Frantisek Vlácil
Czechoslovakia 1970

 

The first colour film by Czech master director Franti ek Vlácil ADELHEID is an emotional tale of two lovers trapped in the march of history. In the aftermath of WWII, a Czech airman returns home from his tour of duty with the British RAF, intending to claim a German factory located in the Sudetenland along the Czech-German border. There he meets the beautiful Adelheid, the former owner's daughter who once lived in the estate but is now reduced to servitude. The Czech airman falls in love with Adelheid, but lingering resentment and bitter political strife stand in the way of their happiness.

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This 1969 chamber drama by Czech director Frantisek Vlacil serves as a parable for the tense and resentful relations between Czechs and Germans after World War II. A Czech officer (Petr Cepek) acquires an estate on the Bohemian border once occupied by a German family; its patriarch has been imprisoned for crimes against the locals, and the man's daughter (Emma Cerna) becomes servant and love interest for the new occupant. Heavy symbolism and arty compositions weigh the film down, but I was intrigued by the psychological cat and mouse between the two leads, kindred spirits separated by language and history.

Excerpt from Ted Shen at The Chicago Reader website located HERE

 

Poster


Theatrical Release: April 6th, 1970

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DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

   

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Adelheid is also available for a significant savings in the 4-disc Frantisek Vlacil Collection - with Marketa Lazarová (1967), The Valley of the Bees (1967) and Sentiment (2003) - Tomá Hejtmánek's acclaimed 2003 documentary portrait of the director - exclusive to the boxset.

Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:38:15 (4% PAL Speedup)
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.56 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.

Bitrate:

Audio Czech | German (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 16-page booklet featuring a new essay by author Peter Hames

DVD Release Date: August 23rd, 2010

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

Second Run continue to amaze by introducing fabulous world cinema that I was previously unaware. It perpetuates the truism that the journey never ends. This is a wonderful political love-story - great characters and the setting was extremely quaint and comfortable. Adelheid is filled with symbolic references which add further layers to the intriguing plot.

I suspect this dual-layered DVD edition from Second Run handily advances upon the overpriced, interlaced, single-layered, incorrect standards US Facets edition found HERE. It looks to be a bit frail with a touch of edge enhancement (possibly on the source) but this was only noticeable in extensive zooming in.  For the most part the visuals showcase impressive detail. Colors are a little dullish but on my system it looked outstanding - augmented by Frantisek Ulrich's interesting and occasionally obtuse-angled cinematography. This DVD is region free, progressive, in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and rendered in the PAL standard.  

The flat 2.0 channel audio is fairly consistent but not an impacting part of the presentation. Dialogue is clear. There are, well rendered, optional English subtitles. The only supplement is a 16-page booklet featuring a new essay by author Peter Hames. There are no digital extras.

 

If you haven't seen other offerings by the director you should consider that Adelheid is also available for a significant savings in the 4-disc Frantisek Vlacil Collection - with Marketa Lazarová (1967), The Valley of the Bees (1967) and Sentiment (2003) - Tomá Hejtmánek's acclaimed 2003 documentary portrait of Vlacil (also a renowned painter and graphic artist) - exclusive to the boxset! Regardless, this entry in his oeuvre is strongly recommended. I feel very encouraged to find more of his work and hope Second Run continue their eclectic and fascinating DVD releases. They have produced some real gems and I am highly appreciative. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


 

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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Adelheid is also available for a significant savings in the 4-disc Frantisek Vlacil Collection -with Marketa Lazarová (1967), The Valley of the Bees (1967) and Sentiment (2003) - Tomá Hejtmánek's acclaimed 2003 documentary portrait of the director - exclusive to the boxset.

Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL




 

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