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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Hollywood Party" or "Kom og vask min elefant" or "Birdie Nam-Nam")

 

directed by Blake Edwards
USA 1968

 

You’ll never work in Hollywood again!    –    Does that include television, sir?
 

With the massive success of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Pink Panther cementing his reputation as one of America’s finest directors of comedic cinema, Blake Edwards followed them up with The Party, arguably his greatest film, and at the time one of the most experimental films ever produced by a Hollywood studio.


By a twist of fate, the clumsy but good-hearted, aspiring actor Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers, The Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove) is invited to attend Fred "General" Clutterbuck's big party, after having utterly ruined the set of his latest feature film. In this cozy and friendly atmosphere, drinks are flowing, food is in abundance and everybody is in high spirits. But when Bakshi accidentally has his first-ever sip of alcohol and his real identity is finally revealed; only God knows how this party is going to end up.

Serving as a series of set pieces for Seller’s improvisational comedy talents, The Party developed a reputation over the years as a “cult film”, but is now highly regarded as one of the best comedies of its era. Eureka Classics is proud to present the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK.

***

Enter Hrundi V. Bakshi. Perhaps the worlds worst actor. An incompetent over polite Indian bit-player, who tries to make a living in Hollywood, and who considers extreme overacting dramatic punctuation. By accident he gets invited to a fancy Hollywood party by the producer, as the studio head writes his name on the guest list, instead of on the “never to work in Hollywood again” list.

That’s the setup for “The Party”, a film that divides both fans of Blake Edwards and fans of Peter Sellers, but remains one of the most unique comedies ever made and one of the major cult movies.

The story itself is basically non-existent. The first 2/3rds or the party sets Bakshi is simple situations turning into disasters and the last third is pure chaos, involving a painted baby elephant and gallons of soap.

While Sellers after “A Shot in the Dark” had said, that he never wanted to work with Edwards again, as their work relationship was head on collisions of two major egos, Sellers found the idea for the film so fascinating, that they put all differences aside. Working on a limited script, allowing for extensive improvisations, the comedy of Sellers is an extension of the techniques of Tati. Bakshi isn’t funny himself, but works as a catalyst for comic situations, and Edwards took advantage of the video-assist system, previously used by Jerry Lewis, to time the comedy to a split second.

To me, “The Party” is the quintessential Sellers movie and one of the most daring films of Edwards. A masterpiece.

 

Henrik Sylow

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 4, 1968

Reviews                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                              DVD Reviews

Comparison:

SF Film (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Eureka Entertainment - Region 'B'- Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Review!

1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Eureka Entertainment Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

US Edition:

  

 

Distribution

SF Film

Region 2 - PAL

Kino / Lorber

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Eureka Entertainment
Region
'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:34:50 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:03.520 1:38:57.848
Video

2.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.00 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,470,342,778 bytes

Feature: 19,326,517,248 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.94 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,213,153,815 bytes

Feature: 26,446,934,016 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps

Bitrate Kino: Blu-ray

Bitrate Eureka: Blu-ray

Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital English, German (dub), French (dub), Spanish (dub) and Italian (dub) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1674 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1674 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit) DTS-HD Master Audio English 2105 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2105 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish, Greek and Turkish, none None English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: SF Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.33:1

Edition Details:
• Inside 'The Party' (23:59)
• The Party revolution: A new technology (16:30)
• Filmmakers profile: Blake Edwards (5:59)
• Filmmakers profile: Walter Mirisch (4:25)
• Filmmakers profile: Ken Walsh (7:19)
• Vintage interview with Peter Sellers (21:40)
• 3 Barkley Bank Commercials (3:06)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:54)
• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: September 27, 2004
Double Amaray

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,470,342,778 bytes

Feature: 19,326,517,248 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.94 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Inside the Party (24:00)
• The Party Revolution (16:31)
• Blake Edwards Profile (6:00)
• Ken Wales Profile (4:26)
• Walter Mirisch Profile (13:53)
• Trailer (2:01)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,213,153,815 bytes

Feature: 26,446,934,016 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• The Party Revolution (16:31) - a video piece on the groundbreaking filming methods used in the films production
• Inside The Party (24:00) - A behind the scenes look at the making of the film
• Blake Edwards profile (6:00)
• Walter Mirisch Profile (4:26)
• Ken Wales Profile (7:20)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:01)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 16th, 2017
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 10

 

 

 

Comments ADDITION: Eureka Entertainment - Region 'B' Blu-ray - October 2017: The Blu-rays have similarities. I'll be brief; I give an edge to the Eureka video - both are 1080P but the UK disc is more technically robust, is darker and has richer colors. They use 16-bit linear PCM or the option of a DTS-HD Master surround bump that exports some buoyancy and separation. The Eureka offers optional English subtitles (see sample below), has the same MGM extras, and the Eureka Blu-ray  is region 'B'-locked.

Eureka wins as the best Blu-ray release. One of the best comedies of all time - infinitely re-watchable.

***

ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (September 2014): The Kino upgrade looks pretty good - brighter, better detail, more information in the frame and the visuals carry some depth. It's a shade glossy and a bit 'blue' leaning but I liked it... a lot. Notable is the Mancini soundtrack in lossless, only in stereo - certainly adding to the fun atmosphere. No subtitles offered and most of the extras of the DVD (missing a vintage interview with Sellers.) IMO, the film is too iconic not to own in this superior presentation edition. It's all one big round of laughter. Recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: A generally great transfer. There are minor edge enhancements and the film is quiet grainy, but when viewing hardly noticeable.

The SE has gotten an update in sound from the original 2.0 Dolby Digital on the 2001 release to a 5.1 Dolby Digital.

The extras begin with a 24-minute reflection of the production and the impact of the film with Blake Edwards and others. A great feature. Following this is a featurette on the development of video-assist system. Another great feature. Then comes filmmakers profiles, before we get nine excerpts from a Sellers interview, running 22-minutes, where Sellers talks about his character, about comedy, about television and so on. Missing here is a "Play All" option, as it becomes frustrating to constantly have to return to the menu to get the next excerpt.

What I feel is missing is a program on Sellers, specifically on his skills of improvising, on his comedy and his timing, and his career in general.

* Bitrate is an approximation by visual read-out, as bitrate wasn't recordable.

 - Henrik Sylow

 


Menus
 

 

Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures
 

1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Eureka Entertainment Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Eureka Entertainment Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Eureka Entertainment Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP
2)
Eureka Entertainment Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) SF Film - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

US Edition:

  

 

Distribution

SF Film

Region 2 - PAL

Kino / Lorber

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Eureka Entertainment
Region
'B' - Blu-ray




 

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