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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

A Scandal in Paris [Blu-ray]

 

(Douglas Sirk, 1946)

 

   

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Arnold Pressburger Films

Video: Cohen Media Group

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:39:52.611

Disc Size: 35,585,421,928 bytes

Feature Size: 31,927,062,528 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: September 27th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bits

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio commentary track by Wade Major, Film Critic with NPR affiliate KPCC-FM and co-host/producer of the IGN DigiGods

• Re-Release Trailer (0:58)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From the memoirs of François Eugène Vidocq, the elegant thief turned chief of police of all Paris, comes this rediscovered classic of melodrama and romance. George Sanders is at his debonair best as we see him climb from clever criminal through the ranks of French society in the early 1800's, with seemingly nothing to stop him from the biggest heist of his career ... except, perhaps, the charms of a young lady.

 

 

The Film:

In 1805 Paris, petty criminal and lothario Eugene-Francois Vidocq (George Sanders) and his cellmate escape from prison. Pretending to be soldiers, they travel to Marseilles where attractive young singer Loretta (Carole Landis) and her jewels tempt them. Vidocq then meets a marquise and plots to steal her stash of jewels. With the help of the minister of police's daughter, Therese (Signe Hasso), Vidoqc finds himself unexpectedly replacing the police chief and reconsidering his ways.

Excerpt fromMRQE located HERE

Without at all wishing to denigrate Sirk’s endlessly rich ‘50s films, the recent release of A Scandal in Paris in a fine video transfer makes it both pleasure and necessity to pay attention to this earlier work. Scandal shows what Sirk was capable of in a different mode than his fans are accustomed to, using a classical narrative and superb collaborators, with no need to undermine or mock material he felt was unworthy of his talents.

The film has an unusually fine pedigree. Producer Arnold Pressburger was also responsible for Fritz Lang’s Hangmen Also Die and Sternberg’s Shanghai Gesture. Cinematography was by one of Europe’s finest, the exiled Eugene Shuftan, and scored by Hanns Eisler, whose credits include several Fritz Lang films. A brilliantly epigrammatic script is credited to Ellis St. Joseph (with uncredited help from Sirk). The cast is a veritable who’s who of treasured 1940s Hollywood character players: Sirk favorite George Sanders, Akim Tamiroff, Carole Landis, Vladimir Sokoloff, Alma Kruger, Gene Lockhart, Alan Napier.

Excerpt from BrightLightsFilm Journal located HERE

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

A Scandal in Paris on Blu-ray from Cohen Media, in their Two Films by Douglas Sirk Double Feature, coupled with a second Blu-ray of Sirk's Lured (compared HERE to the old DVD edition.) Aside from the same occasional incipiency as found in the Lured HD presentation - this looks very pleasing and a notch superior to, 1 year younger film, Lured. It is one a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. There is some softness but generally close-ups and contrast are impressive. This Blu-ray video has a touch of gloss and looks superb in-motion. Great to see this film in, restored, 1080P!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is transferred via a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 2304 kbps (24-bit). There is a buoyant consistency via the lossless - dialogue all audible. The score is by Hanns Eisler (Resnais' Night and Fog, Renoir's The Woman on the Beach, Lang's Hangmen Also Die) and sounds restrained but light and pleasing in the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

By way of supplements Cohen provide audio commentary track by Wade Major, Film Critic with NPR affiliate KPCC-FM and co-host/producer of the IGN DigiGods. He gives plenty of production details - from producer, cinematographer, Sirk, cast and crew. Very informational and pleasant to listen to. There is also a short re-release trailer. This package also has a second Blu-ray of Sirk's Lured (compared HERE to the old DVD edition.)

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
What a delightful period piece. I enjoyed A Scandal in Paris. It is classy, filled with brilliant sets, costumes, wonderful dialogue - all at once a sexy mystery, romance with adventurous overtones. An interesting pairing with Lured (also a period piece) - which is a very different film but also displays the range of Sirk. The Cohen Blu-ray
package would seem the best way to view such a visual film experience. I can see myself revisiting this, measured-pace, film in the future. Certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

October 29th, 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.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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