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1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

(aka "Three Women")

directed by Robert Altman
USA 1977

In a dusty, under-populated California resort town, Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek), a nave and impressionable Southern waif begins her life as a nursing home attendant. There, Pinky finds her role model in fellow nurse "Thoroughly Modern" Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall), a misguided would-be sophisticate and hopeless devotee of Cosmopolitan and Woman's Day magazines. When Millie accepts Pinky into her home at the Purple Sage singles complex, Pinky's hero-worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, Robert Altman's dreamlike masterpiece, 3 Women, careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 11th, 1977

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                          DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

 Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 230 - Region 1- NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 230 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow
Region 'B'  -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:03:36  2:03:51.465 2:03:37.368
Video 2.31:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.36:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,000,890,692 bytes

Feature: 36,541,685,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

2.36:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,569,803,802 bytes

Feature: 36,239,041,920 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

 

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

Bitrate: DVD

 

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Arrow Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 2.31:1

Edition Details:

• New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions
• Audio commentary by director Robert Altman
• Stills gallery of rare production and publicity photos
• Original theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: April 20th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 19

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,000,890,692 bytes

Feature: 36,541,685,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by director Robert Altman
• Stills gallery of rare production and publicity photos
• Original theatrical trailer / Teaser Trailer

 TV Spots
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Transparent Blu-ray case
Chapters: 1
8

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,569,803,802 bytes

Feature: 36,239,041,920 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• New video interview with David Thompson, editor of 'Altman on Altman' and producer of the BBC's 'Robert Altman in England' (37:07)
Archive interview with Shelley Duvall from the Cannes Film Festival - The actress describes working with Altman, his methods and how she started acting (5:46)
Galleries featuring behind-the-scenes photos (1:02), the Cannes Film Festival press conference and promotional images
Trailer (1:27)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Jenkins and excerpts from Altman on Altman, illustrated with original stills
 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 13th, 2015
Transparent
Blu-ray Case  

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray July 2015: There are some very big differences between the Criterion and Arrow visuals. Both transfers are dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate but if you toggle between the larger caps you will note that one is 'out-of-ratio' (perhaps Criterion kept the 'Cinemascope mumps' look?) and there is a notable disparity between the colors. The Arrow seems to show more in the frame - pretty much on all four sides. The Criterion looks very 'blue' beside the UK 1080P. However, I think I agree with Biff who says:

"I saw 3 WOMEN in its original release, but I'd be lying if I said I could remember exactly how it looked; but, while I'm impressed by the brightness and resolution of the Arrow caps, I honestly think the Criterion may be closer to Altman's/Rosher's intentions." (Thanks Biff!)

Ben says "I didn't see it theatrically, but Altman's known for soft lighting, natural tones, they've oversaturated it I think. Looks more like Gosford Park than 70's Altman." (Thanks Ben!)

Peter says: "That looks to my eyes simply like someone in the mastering house elected to push the contrast and over-saturate it. 1970s Eastman prints just didn't look like that. Too modern. " (Thanks Peter!)

The funny thing about the Arrow is that of all my viewings of Altman's 3 Women - this was, by far, the most, personally, impacting. It has risen as one of my favorite of the director's work. I felt in a hypnotic state and let the film, and amazingly haunting, a-tonal, Gerald Busby score, just wash over me. Powerful stuff, indeed.

I think a unique look from the Arrow is great for the consumers to have an option. Whether accurate or not - it certainly buoyed my viewing experience. I didn't notice any quality difference in the audio - but it has been a while since I watched the Criterion. Technically it is the same and also offers optional English subtitles. The Arrow Blu-ray is region 'B'-locked.

It is also appreciated to have some different extras than those offered by Criterion. From Arrow we get a new 37-minute video interview/visual essay with David Thompson, editor of 'Altman on Altman' and producer of the BBC's 'Robert Altman in England' expanding on many themes present in the film - really quite fascinating. There is a 6-minute archival interview with Shelley Duvall from the Cannes Film Festival where the actress describes working with Altman, his methods and how she started acting. There are three, fairly extensive galleries featuring behind-the-scenes photos, the Cannes Film Festival press conference and promotional images - and lastly, on the digital-front - a trailer. The package itself has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh and a booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Jenkins and excerpts from Altman on Altman, illustrated with original stills.

Arrow put together some great packages - I wouldn't say they bested the Criterion here, but this is another of their Blu-ray discs I am keeping in an honored place on my shelf. Recommended!   

***

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - August 11': Not much to really say here - the visual improvement is more evident in-motion than the static screen captures but even there the 'scope' dynamic is more notable - as is detail and the integrity of the grain. There is less noise in the darker sequences.  The Blu-ray, with close to 5 times the bitrate, is certainly an improvement however the 2004 DVD was dual-layered and strong for that format. This 1080P was the best, and most film-like, I have seen Altman's 3 Women. It's haunting qualities seem all the more impacting.

Audio is lossless and authentically mono, English subtitles remain, supplements are duplicated from the Criterion's 7-year old SD with the Altman commentary, plus stills gallery, trailers and TV Spots. 

If you are a fan of the director and have a system that supports the a/v improvements - its seems like an easy choice.

***

Once again Criterion gets high marks most every area - sharp, bright, great contrast - my only negative is that the colors look a little washed out, certainly not as vibrant as seen in past DVD releases, but we have been told that this is how the film was shown theatrically as well (Thanks Daryl). The Altman commentary is a huge bonus for his fans who will devour this DVD.  out of    

Gary W. Tooze


Menus
 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample (still have trouble getting sub screen captures on Criterion's English-language films)

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 
Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 230 - Region 1- NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 230 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow
Region 'B'  -
Blu-ray

 





 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...