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The Private Affairs of Bel Ami [Blu-ray]
(Albert Lewin, 1947)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: United Artists
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,766,466,155 bytes
Feature Size: 24,646,072,320 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 24th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1804 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1804 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English, None
George Sanders (All
About Eve) is at his wicked best in The Private
Affairs of Bel Ami, based on the novel Bel Ami by
Guy de Maupassant and directed by Albert Lewin (The
Picture of Dorian Gray).
Writer/director Albert Lewin, ever on the lookout for esoteric story material that would accommodate his fascination with Egyptian sculpture and feline symbolism, managed to inject both into The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. Though based on a Guy de Maupassant story, Bel Ami seems to have been written by Oscar Wilde, another of Lewin's pets (e.g. The Picture of Dorian Gray). George Sanders plays an epigrammatic Parisian journalist, who rises to the top through the "kindnesses" of the various influential women that he's seduced and abandoned. This 19th-century rake's progress is ultimately halted by a duel, and somehow we're sorry that we don't get to see Sanders pull off at least one more caddish trick to save himself. Echoes from Lewin's previous works include his insertion of a Technicolor sequence (as he'd done in Dorian Gray and The Moon and Sixpence). George Sanders' stepping-stone ladies include Angela Lansbury, Frances Dee, Ann Dvorak, Marie Wilson, Katherine Emery and Susan Douglas.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Georges (George Sanders) is a womanizer out to increase his social status. He attends a party with his friend Charles (John Carradine) and Charles' wife, Madeleine (Ann Dvorak). There, he meets Madeleine's friend Clotilde de Marelle (Angela Lansbury). Clotilde and Georges fall in love, but when Charles dies Georges marries Madeleine for her money. He then frames Madeleine for adultery, and marries Suzanne Walter (Susan Douglas), but his social climbing catches up with him after they divorce.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Private Affairs of Bel Ami arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and but the 1080P exports plenty of texture and the light and shadow contrast in Russell Metty's (Arch of Triumph, All That Heaven Allows, Ride the Pink Horse) cinematography looks beautiful. There is modest depth but this is all very film-like with a couple of scenes having heavier scratches (see sample below.) The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I was very pleased with the HD presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1804 kbps (24-bit). There is a score by Darius Milhaud (his score on Marcel L'Herbier's 1942 L'Inhumaine apparently 'lost') It has notable moments with subtle depth and dialogue is consistent and audible. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
May 15th, 2016
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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