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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Manina, The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter aka "The Girl in the Bikini" aka "Manina... La fille sans voile" [Blu-ray]

 

(Willy Rozier , 1952)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Sport-Films

Video: Eureka Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:29:31.783 

Disc Size: 45,214,557,978 bytes

Feature Size: 26,406,912,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.23 Mbps

Chapters: 6

Case: Transparent Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 13th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

56 Rue Pigalle (1:27:45 - 1.33:1 / 1080P) - Director Willy Rozier s little-seen noir-melodrama (16.5 Gig)
Footage of the infamous Rozier-Chalais duel, between director Willy Rozier and film critic François Chalais
Stills gallery containing rare photos of Bardot taken during the film ' productions

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A Parisian student, Gérard Morere, sets off to recover a lost treasure contained in a sunken Phoenician ship near an island off the coast of Corsica. With funds supplied by his fellow students, Gérard convinces a smuggler named Eric (played by Jess Franco favourite Howard Vernon) to be his transportation. Whilst diving for the treasure off the picturesque Lavezzi islands, Gérard gets to know Manina (Brigitte Bardot), the attractive daughter of the local lighthouse keeper...

Notable for being one of Bardot's first on-screen performances, five years before her appearance in And God Created Woman launched her to super-stardom, Manina, The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter is presented here for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

 

 

The Film:

In this fluffy comedy-drama, Manina (Brigitte Bardot) is a beautiful young woman who lives with her father, who tends a lighthouse near the ocean. One day, Manina meets two men who are working along the coastline, searching for treasure. Manina becomes infatuated with the younger of the two treasure hunters, and a romance blossoms between the two. In time, Manina must come to the rescue of her new beau when his parter commits an act of betrayal which could cost him his life. Manina, la Fille Sans Voile was one of Bardot's first starring roles; the film was shot in 1952 (when she was just 18), but was little-seen outside France until five years later, after ... And God Created Woman made her an international star. It was shown in America as The Girl In The Bikini and in the UK as The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Manina, the Girl in the Bikini is a 1952 French film directed by Willy Rozier and starring Brigitte Bardot, Jean-François Calvé and Howard Vernon. The film is one of Bardot's first film roles, at the age of 17, and was controversial for the scanty bikinis worn by the young Bardot in the film, one of the first occasions when a bikini had appeared in film and when the bikini was still widely considered immodest.

Though released in France in 1953 as Manina, la fille sans voiles, the film was not released in the United States until 1958 as Manina, the Girl in the Bikini and in the United Kingdom until 1959 as The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter. In other countries it was released under other names. The film was able to be screened in the United States notwithstanding the Hays Code prohibition of exposure of the midriff as a foreign film.

The film was shot in Cannes, Nice and Paris in the summer of 1952. Brigitte Bardot's father had signed a contract, on behalf of his minor daughter, specifying that the film was not to show indecent images. When in the course of filming, a series of "highly suggestive" photographs of his daughter was released, he accused the producing company of not respecting the contract and demanded that the film not be projected without the permission of a court. He lost the suit.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

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

Manina, The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter was restored by the CNC and gets a transfer to Blu-ray from Eureka in the UK.  It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed-out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. There is some inconsistency with a couple of sequences showing extensive, frame-specific, damage (see sample below). But most of the presentation in the original 1.66:1 frame can look appealing.  Contrast can also waver with some scenes looking grey-brown. Grain textures are strong. This Blu-ray looks solid in-motion with some close-ups showing impressive detail. The weaknesses are a function of the original source and limitations of the restoration. This is the best Manina, The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter will, probably, ever look for your home theater though.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visible Cue Blip.... on the right!

 

 

Damage

 

 

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Audio :

Eureka use a linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps (24-bit) in the original French. Effects are minimal including nothing in the underwater sequences. The audio is generally clear, and flat but like the video it has some inconsistencies in mild-to-moderate pops. Marcel Bianchi, his only film credit and Jean Yatove (Jour de Fête) did the score. It's fairly light with a few instances of drama. Yatove also does the score for Willy Rozier's 56, rue Pigalle - included on the Blu-ray. That sounds is as, predictably, as rough as the presentation's video although transferred in LPCM (24-bit). There are optional English subtitles on both films and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Eureka include Willy Rozier's 56 Rue Pigalle - a lesser-seen noir-melodrama from the late 40's. It runs 1.5 hours and is transferred in 1080P although the source is quite weak (see captures above - could it have been shot on 16mm). There is also about 5-minutes of footage of the infamous Rozier-Chalais duel, between director Willy Rozier and film critic François Chalais with the director coming out ahead nicking his opponent on the arm. Lastly, is a stills gallery containing rare photos of Bardot taken during the film ' productions.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Manina, The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter starts as an adventure - morphing into a romance with young Bardot's body cheesecaked exploitively. Her presence was notable - if awkward at times. It's an easy enough film to be attentive to - if devoid of enough thrills. 56, rue Pigalle also has interesting moments - a kind of fatalist Noir romance and watchable if not overly remarkable. I was keen to see this 'Willy Rozier double bill' as I wasn't familiar with his work. Yes, I'd be open to more. The Eureka Blu-ray is probably more targeted to Bardot, and French cinema, fans. If you feel interested - we encourage you to indulge - there is value here. 

Gary Tooze

October 26th, 2017


 




 

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