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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Girls in Uniform")

 

Directed by Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich
Germany 1931

 

A vital landmark in the history of queer cinema, Mädchen in Uniform is a remarkably brave and honest film about nascent love between women at a boarding school for girls. Vulnerable and quiet, Manuela von Meinhardis (Hertha Thiele) struggles to adjust to the stern discipline of the heavily-regimented institution. In time, she gains confidence through a friendship with one of her teachers (Dorothea Wieck). But no relationship between women, no matter how chaste, is to be permitted, and under the constant threat of punishment or expulsion, Manuela desperately tries to keep hope and love alive. Beyond its acclaim as a groundbreaking work in LGBTQ culture, Mädchen in Uniform has also been hailed as a timeless fable of the struggle of the innocent against the totalitarian forces of oppression—especially poignant since it was produced in Germany amidst the rise of the Nazi Party.

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A sensitive girl is sent to an all-girls boarding school and develops a romantic attachment to one of her teachers. One of the earliest narrative films to explicitly portray lesbianism. Based on "Gestern und Heute" by German playwright Christa Winsloe.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 27th, 1931

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:43.401       
Video

1.19:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,301,961,753 bytes

Feature: 21,206,363,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.39 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.19:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,301,961,753 bytes

Feature: 21,206,363,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.39 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by film historian Jenni Olson


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 14th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (July 2020): Kino have transferred the fascinating 1931 Mädchen in Uniform to Blu-ray. The image quality is indicative of its age and original production limitations. The transfer produces a very bright and textured image. It is in the 1.19:1 aspect ratio and had no digitization. It was reasonably consistent in-motion. The 1080P was pleasing and frankly, I was glad to have just seen the film in HD.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a linear PCM mono track (16-bit) in the original German language. It was a early sound film and the audio is imperfect with a bit of crackle and scattered dialogue but I didn't find any of it fatal to enjoying the film. There is a score credited to Hanson Milde-Meissner. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Queer film historian and archivist Jenni Olson and she talks about Mädchen in Uniform as the first lesbian feature ever made, as an early sound film and its historical importance. She is excellent and significantly advanced my appreciation of the film. She has references that frequently downplay the lesbian aspect of Mädchen in Uniform. She discusses other early films that broach the subject - all of them are German. Dietrich is referenced. She has a relaxed tone with some acceptable pauses and I found her commentary augmented my subsequent viewing wonderfully well. 

Mädchen in Uniform is about pupils in a Potsdam school for daughters of aristocratic families and their affection / relationships with their teachers showing subtle eroticism and lesbian suggestiveness. I thought it was a beautifully artistically shot film - soft focus, close-ups etc..  It has depth on many levels and the Jenni Olson commentary gives the Kino Blu-ray value but is essential in appreciating the film on its fullest level. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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