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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "L'ami américain" or "The American Friend")

directed by Wim Wenders
West Germany / France 1977

Superb adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley's Game, with Hopper as her amiably cynical hero, asked to find a non-professional for a killing or two, and - in echo of Strangers on a Train - drawing an innocent family man (Ganz) into the game by persuading him that the blood disease he is suffering from is not merely incurable but terminal. Good Highsmith, it's even better Wenders, with Ripley, an American expatriate in Germany, first seen keeping a rendezvous with a dead man, then confiding his disorientation to a tape recorder ('There is nothing to fear but fear itself... I know less and less about who I am or who anybody else is'). Ripley, in other words, becomes the quintessential Wenders hero, the loner travelling through alien lands in quest of himself, of friendship, of some meaning to life. Emerging enviously from his solitude to wonder at the radiating warmth of Ganz' family circle, he is irresistibly attracted; but he is also condemned by his own self-disgust to approach only someone on whom he can already smell the scent of death, and by destroying whom he can complete his drive to self-destruction.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 1, 1977

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Comparison:

Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Pavel Borodin and Gregory Meshman for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

  

  

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay (UK)

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay (USA)
Region 0 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine #793 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 2:00:32 (4% PAL speedup) 2:05:36 2:07:41.695
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.26 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,010,635,203 bytes

Feature: 32,653,842,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.25 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay (UK)

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay (USA)

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Blu-ray

 

Audio German (Stereo), German (Dolby Digital 5.1)

German (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 5.1)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3858 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3858 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, none English, none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary from Wim Wenders and Dennis Hopper
• Deleted scenes with commentary from Wim Wenders (34:37)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Talent Biographies

DVD Release Date: June 23, 2003
Keep case

Chapters 26
 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay (USA)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary from Wim Wenders and Dennis Hopper
• Deleted scenes with commentary from Wim Wenders
• Theatrical Trailer
• Talent Biographies

 

DVD Release Date: January 7, 2003
Keep case

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,010,635,203 bytes

Feature: 32,653,842,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.25 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary from 2002 featuring Wenders and actor Dennis Hopper
• 'Too Much on My Mind' - new interview with Wenders (37:31)
• New interview with actor Bruno Ganz (27:16)
• Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Wenders (34:36)
• Trailer (3:22)
• PLUS: An essay by author Francine Prose

Blu-ray Release Date: January 12th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapter: 17

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray January 16': Cited as a "New, restored 4K digital transfer, commissioned by the Wim Wenders Stiftung | A Foundation and supervised by director Wim Wenders." The improvement is evident - the SDs look greenish and the textures of the 1080P are more prevalent - it's s notably superior image. The Criterion runs a bit longer as it has this screen prior to the start of the film:

For the audio Criterion use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3858 kbps. Separations are fairly modest with a few significant effects reaching the rear speakers. The depth is very intense at times - notable in Jürgen Knieper's score as well as The Kinks' Too Much on My Mind and Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl. There are optional (SDH) subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

In the extras, Criterion's Blu-ray includes the same 2002 audio commentary with Wenders and actor Dennis Hopper from the older DVDs as well as the 36-minutes of deleted scenes with audio commentary by Wenders. New we get a lengthy interview with Wenders entitled 'Too Much on My Mind' - recorded by Criterion in New York, September 2015. There is also a new 1/2 hour interview with actor Bruno Ganz conducted in Zurich, 2015. Lastly we get a trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by author Francine Prose.

Absolute top-shelf Wenders! An easy recommendation to both those who have seen it and own the SD or those who get to indulge for a first time. Buy Criterion's Blu-ray with confidence!

***

ON THE DVDs: These two releases are almost identical. Image qualities are very close. I'm not sure, but maybe the UK image is just slightly sharper anf the US image is slightly more greenish. But the difference is so minimal that I would not consider it if choosing which DVD to buy.

Both DVDs have identical sound and special features. I find US menus slightly nicer, but again it means nothing.

 - Pavel Borodin


DVD Menus

(Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (UK) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay (USA) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

  

  

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay (UK)

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay (USA)
Region 0 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine #793 - Region 'A' Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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