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directed by Woody Allen
USA 1992

Woody Allen’s oxymoronic German Expressionist comedy, Shadows and Fog (1991), features an impressive array of stars including Mia Farrow, John Malkovich, Donald Pleasence, Kathy Bates, Jodie Foster, Lily Tomlin, John Cusack, and Allen himself as a classic nebbish fumbling through a Kafkaesque experience involving a serial killer, a circus, a brothel, and a vigilante mob. Gorgeously photographed in black and white by the great Carlo Di Palma (The Red Desert, Blowup) and featuring the music of Kurt Weill.

***

One of Woody Allen s strangest films, this studio-bound fantasy turned his Kafkaesque one-act play Death (1975) into a full-blown homage to German Expressionist filmmakers like Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau and G.W. Pabst, brought to life by one of the starriest casts he ever assembled: Kathy Bates, John Cusack, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Julie Kavner, Madonna, John Malkovich, Donald Pleasence and Lily Tomlin, plus Allen himself.

He plays the cowardly Kleinman, reluctantly recruited by a vigilante mob in search of a serial killer. When he finds himself involved with a troupe of circus performers whose sword-swallower Irmy (Farrow) and clown Paul (Malkovich) want to leave to start a family, Kleinman thinks that this is a welcome distraction but the killer has other ideas...

Described by the New York Times as a brazen, irrepressible original , Shadows and Fog is the most visually and narratively unpredictable of Allen s films. Carlo di Palma s dazzling cinematography makes full use of the title elements, but it s the richness of the multi-layered narrative, with its Shakespearean oscillation between burlesque comedy and poignant tragedy that really sticks in the mind.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 12th, 1992

Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays

 

 

Reviews                                                                                         More Reviews                                                                                 DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Peter Mann and Pavel Borodin for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL SECOND

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

 

Box Covers

 

  

Also part of Arrow's Woody Allen Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-ray Boxset:

Distribution

MGM (US)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Europe)
Region 2,4 - PAL
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:21 1:21:51 (4% PAL speedup) 1:25:39.634 1:25:40.885
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 23,039,849,774 bytes

Feature Size: 22,317,889,536 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Disc Size: 27,200,673,783 bytes

Feature Size: 26,794,010,880 bytes

Total Bitrate: 37.48 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate:

 

MGM (US)

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM (Europe)

 

Bitrate: Twilight Time

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Arrow

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (DD 2.0), DUB: French (DD 2.0), DUB: Spanish (DD 2.0)

English (DD 2.0 surround), DUBS: French (DD 2.0 mono), German (DD 2.0 mono), Spanish (DD 2.0 mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1071 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1071 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1685 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1685 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Spanish, French, none English (HoH - only), French, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, none English (SDH) and none English (SDH) and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM (US)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM (Europe)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
 

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2002
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

Disc Size: 23,039,849,774 bytes

Feature Size: 22,317,889,536 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Original Theatrical Trailers (1:07)
Isolated Score Track

• 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 units

 

Blu-ray Release Date: November, 2015
White Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

Disc Size: 27,200,673,783 bytes

Feature Size: 26,794,010,880 bytes

Total Bitrate: 37.48 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Trailer (1:02)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 3rd, 2017
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters:9

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray January 2017: Once again, the Arrow 1080P of Shadows and Fog is almost exactly the same, visually, as the Twilight Time. Like the others that we have compared so far - it has a few pixel shifts but the image quality is identical, for the most part. If I was forced to choose - Arrow, with the higher bitrate, on a dual-layered disc, would get the nod for in-motion although most would find the difference imperceptible.

Audio, linear PCM, is a shade more robust but few could identify differences between it and the Twilight Time - Woody's 'Allen-esque' selections with the wonderful score credited to Kurt Weill with selections from The Cannon Song from Little Threepenny Music, When Day Is Done, Prologue from the Seven Deadly Sins, When the White Lilacs Bloom Again etc. Like the Twilight Time, it, likewise, offers optional English (SDH) subtitles, however the Arrow Blu-ray is region 'B'-locked.

Only a trailer and the Twilight Time does offer that and an isolated score option. I believe that the Arrow Woody Allen Seven Films - 1986-1991 boxset will include a booklet. This is another wonderful reasons to indulge in the Seven Films package!

***

ADDITION: Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray November 15': The new Twilight Time 1080P is brighter than the DVDs and still retains the film's textured look. I did see a few artifacts but I'm unsure if the technique to give the film it's style was not the culprit. While frequently frame-specific they did exist. Generally, it looks quite appealing in-motion adhering to the intended appearance. It's single-layered with a very high bitrate and a leap beyond the SDs.

Twilight Time use a DTS-HD master mono track. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Twilight Time include their usual Isolated Score Track in lossless and the package has an 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 units.

This is an underrated Allen film - in the top tier - which is saying loads. I really enjoyed my viewing and recommend - despite the, occasional, niggling artifacts.

***

ON THE DVDS: Without getting overly obsessive with image, this comparison is a wash. No significant difference in either edition. The PAL edition has a few more expected DUB and subtitle options, but as with other MGM's in Europe the English subtitles are only hearing impaired. These DVDs are usually very reasonably priced so I would just nab the one that is most readily available, unless you need those additional subtitles or DUBs.

- Gary Tooze





DVD Menus

(
MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Arrow - Region 'B' Blu-ray


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL SECOND

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL SECOND

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL SECOND

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (US) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM (Europe) - Region 2,4 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

 

  

Also part of Arrow's Woody Allen Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-ray Boxset:

Distribution

MGM (US)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Europe)
Region 2,4 - PAL
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Blu-rays

 


 

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Gary Tooze

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