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Love in the Afternoon [Blu-ray]
(Billy Wilder, 1957)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Billy Wilder Productions
Video: Warner Archive
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 40,106,104,753 bytes
Feature Size: 37,798,459,392 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 7th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1781 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1781 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
Description: She plays the cello. He plays the field. She’s coltishly young. He’s worldly and mature. Lovestruck conservatory student Ariane knows she’s not like millionaire American playboy Frank Flanagan. But if she pretends to be just as much a cosmopolitan lover as he is, maybe the magic of l’amour will take hold. May-December romance is in bloom when Billy Wilder directs and Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper meet for Love in the Afternoon. Laughs, Parisian settings, champagne elegance – Wilder, in his first collaboration with long-time cowriter I.A.L. Diamond, delivers them all in a soufflé-light homage to his filmmaking idol Ernst Lubitsch, punctuating it by casting Lubitsch alumnus Maurice Chevalier, the cinema’s ambassador of Gallic charm who smoothly plays Ariane’s detective father.
For this grandly sophisticated romance, which Mr. Wilder and I. A. L.
Diamond have penned, with a courteous nod to a novel by a Frenchman
named Claude Anet, is in the great Lubitsch tradition, right down to the
froth on the champagne, with a couple of fine additional "touches" that
Mr. Wilder may wholly claim.
Co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, Love in the Afternoon was filmed on location in Paris, showing off such sites as the Paris Opera House and the Chateau de Vitry. Like Sabrina(1954), a previous Wilder film also starring Audrey Hepburn, this May-December affair dealt with a younger woman's affection for an older man. Yet, despite the potentially disturbing age differences between the two characters, Love in the Afternoon managed to escape scathing comments from moralists due to Wilder's subtle handling of the subject matter. For instance, Ariane was always fully clothed and never seen in a compromising situation with Flannagan. Only the occasional removal of her gloves and Flannagan bestowing kisses on her hand and arm hinted that the couple were involved romantically. When the film was released in Europe, the ending was altered slightly, leaving the relationship between Ariane and Flannagan unresolved. The U.S. version, however, concludes with a promise of commitment between the two lovers.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Love in the Afternoon appears pretty solid on Blu-ray from The Warner Archive. The image detail advances over SD with nicely layered contrast and appealing textures. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. The visuals have inherent softness but there are sequences that look quite tight wit pleasing depth. This Blu-ray seems faithful expecting the slightly bastardized 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The film doesn't appear dynamic in 1080P but this may be exactly how it looked theatrically.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1781 kbps (24-bit). Dialogue is clear and consistent. No credited score but there is orchestral-based music; Henri Betti's C'est si bon, Matty Malneck's Love in the Afternoon 'theme', Wagner's Tristan und Isolde etc.. There's a strong sense of 'class; established by the background music and it's supported well by the lossless. There are optional English subtitles (all capitalized in a bright yellow font) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The only supplement is a trailer... with a scene I don't recall in the film (?!?)
March 1st, 2017
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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