Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Eclipse series 42: Silent Ozu - Three Crime Dramas

 

Walk Cheerfully (1930)      That Night's Wife (1930)


Dragnet Girl (1933)

 

The great Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu is best known for the stately, meditative domestic dramas he made after World War II. But during his first decade at Shochiku studios, where he dabbled in many genres, he put out a trio of precisely rendered, magnificently shot and edited silent crime films about the hopes, dreams, and loves of small-time crooks. Heavily influenced in narrative and visual style by the American films that Ozu adored, these movies are revelatory early examples of his cinematic genius, accompanied here by new piano scores by Neil Brand.

Titles

Walk Cheerfully
This was the Japanese master’s first true homage to American crime movies, and it is a fleetly told, expressively shot work of humor and emotional depth.

That Night's Wife
In noirish darkness, a man commits a shocking robbery. But, as we soon learn, this seeming criminal mastermind is actually a sensitive everyman driven to desperation by the need to provide for his family.

Dragnet Girl
This formally accomplished and psychologically complex gangster tale pivots on the growing attraction between Joji, a hardened career criminal, and Kazuko, the sweet-natured older sister of a newly initiated young hoodlum.

Theatrical Releases: 1930 - 1933

  DVD Reviews

 

 

DVD Review: Eclipse series 42: Silent Ozu - Three Crime Dramas

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:35:54, 1:05:26 and 1:35:57 / Bitrates: 6.12 Mbps 8.62 Mbps 5.86 Mbps
Bitrate:  Walk Cheerfully
 
Bitrate: That Night's Wife
 
Bitrate: Dragnet Girl
 
Audio Japanese (original mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date:
April 21st, 2015
3 Slim Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 6, 5, 7

 

 

 

 

Comments:

Corollary to Eclipse #19 from 2008, Silent Ozu Comedies, Eclipse series 42: Silent Ozu - Three Crime Dramas provides us 2 early Ozu films that I don't believe I have ever seen before (Walk Cheerfully and That Night's Wife). The BFI released a similar package in 2013 of PAL discs, with the same three titles called Ozu Collection: The Gangster Films.

The 3 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim transparent keep cases they are not sold separately, by Criterion, at this time.

All three DVD discs are single-layered. They are also progressive in, and around, their original aspect ratios (1.33:1) Bitrates are reasonable. I compared Dragnet Girl to the Asian Panorama release (both below and HERE). Obviously, the age and poor storage, have deteriorated the quality and we have shown some examples of the damage below. It only tends to exist for a couple or more frames and I think, overall, the films are totally watchable.

These are silent films but are accompanied here by new piano scores by Neil Brand sound which sound excellent and there are optional English subtitles for the Intertitle cards (samples below). The music, for myself, was an important part of the presentation!

Aside from one page liner notes for each film (visible on the inner case sleeve through the transparent case cover there are no supplements - as typical for Eclipse.

I really enjoyed this package - with the crime/gangster theme running throughout each. It was also a pleasure to re-watch Dragnet Girl with the improved image and score. It makes me want to return to Eclipse's Silent Ozu Comedies. This package has a strong recommendation for the director's loyal following!

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus



 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

A silent picture by Yasujiro Ozu (1930) about a petty thief who dreams of becoming a boxer and decides to go straight; he's helped by the love of a woman and ultimately a job as a window washer. Like all Ozu silents, this is much brisker than his subsequent sound work, and the compositions are an eyeful.

 

Screen Captures

 

Walk Cheerfully (1930) aka 'Hogaraka ni ayume'

 

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damage

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

There is a pull to evaluate Ozu’s pre-war works for their differences from his post-war films. This is probably of the 1950s being his most successful and celebrated period of work, but the unfamiliarity with his silent films in particular is telling in most evaluations. Sure, That Night’s Wife is remarkably different in an aesthetic sense from something like Tokyo Story but this emphasis on differences devalues Ozu’s progression as a filmmaker during his early years. Here we have a film that is actually reflective of the filmmaker’s overall social concerns. It’s biggest difference from the later films would be that he is more explicit about these concerns here. The result is something more sentimental than one would expect from Ozu, but he still feels like the artist in charge here.

Excerpt from CinemaTalk HERE

 

 

Screen Captures

 

That Night's Wife (1930) aka "Sono yo no tsuma"

 

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damage

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

(aka 'Hijosen no onna' or 'Dragnet Girl')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ozu.htm
Japan 1933

This silent gangster picture by Yasujiro Ozu (1933), about a typist determined to make her criminal boyfriend go straight, is one of the most striking of Ozu's American-style silents. It stars the great Kinuyo Tanaka, who later played the title role in Mizoguchi's The Life of Oharu and subsequently became a director herself (the first Japanese woman to do so).

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at The Chicago Reader located HERE

 

 

(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

DVD Box Covers

   

 

 

Distribution Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:39:27  1:39:57 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate: Panorama

Bitrate: Criterion

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, Chinese, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Panorama Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Directors Biography (text screens)
• Director's filmography (text screens)

• Collectable handbill with production notes (in English and Chinese)

DVD Release Date: October 13th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date:
April 21st, 2015
3 Slim Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 6, 5, 7

 

Subtitle on Intertitle Sample

 

(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
 

 


(Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP vs. Eclipse/ Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC




 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!