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(aka "The French Woman")

 

Directed by Just Jaeckin
France 1977

 

Following the worldwide smashes EMMANUELLE (1974) and THE STORY OF O (1975), influential French filmmaker Just Jaeckin returned in 1977 with the sensual real-life drama MADAME CLAUDE. Starring French New Wave icon Françoise Fabian in the title role along with a sinister Klaus Kinski and the lovely Dayle Haddon, MADAME CLAUDE is an incredibly timeless look at one of the most controversial figures in recent French history. Originally released as THE FRENCH WOMAN in the United States, MADAME CLAUDE is a mesmerizing mixture of elegant eroticism and potent political thriller powered by Jaeckin's inventive direction and an unforgettable score by legendary French composer Serge Gainsbourg.

***

Based on a true story. Madame Claude, a well connected Parisienne with dark past, runs a network of high-class call girls. She sends her girls to any place in the world to satisfy sexual desires of wealthy and powerful men. Claude's manipulations also involve big business and politics. Meanwhile, photographer David Evans is trying to clear his own criminal record by providing the authorities with pictures of Claude's girls with important clients in compromising positions. But powerful men can do anything to keep their secrets...

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 11th, 1977

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Cult Epics - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Cult Epics - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:56.530         
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,975,130,680 bytes

Feature: 28,359,948,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 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 French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio French 837 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 837 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -27dB
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Cult Epics

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,975,130,680 bytes

Feature: 28,359,948,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by Jeremy Richey (Author of the upcoming book "Sylvia Kristel: From Emmanuelle to Chabrol."
Interview with Just Jaeckin (2020, HD - 27:01).
Vintage French Theatrical Trailer (1:36)
Promotional Gallery (1:22)
Cult Epics Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 9th, 2021
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Cult Epics Blu-ray (March 20211): Cult Epics have transferred Just Jaeckin's Madame Claude to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "New 4K HD Transfer (from original 35mm negative) supervised by cinematographer Robert Fraisse". I identified some macro-blocking (see below) but its seemed isolated in a few spots not blanketed across the presentation. Despite appearing a shade green the 1080P visuals look better than you might anticipate. Heavy soft lens permeate - as per this 70's genre - but overall it was a decent presentation considering the age and noted imperfections.  

NOTE: We have added 52 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Cult Epics use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo and linear PCM dual-mono track (both 16-bit) options in the original French language (some English and Italian.) There is also a lossy Dolby English DUB option that could appear awkward at time due to the sync. Overall the audio is about the level of the video - I preferred the LPCM after sampling all three options. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score credited to Serge Gainsbourg (Je t'aime moi non plus) with "Diapositivisme", "Discophoteque", "Mi Corasong", "Yesterday Yes a Day" and others - most performed by Jean-Pierre Sabar Et Son Orchestre with one track by his muse Birkin. Cult Epics offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Cult Epics Blu-ray offers an audio commentary by Jeremy Richey (author of the upcoming book "Sylvia Kristel: From Emmanuelle to Chabrol.") He talks about the performers like Françoise Fabian (My Night at Maud's), gorgeous Toronto-born Dayle Haddon - former Miss Montreal, recognizable Robert Weber (12 Angry Men), Jaeckin's interest in cinematography, the real life Fernande Grudet - whom the story is based and much more. He digs quite deep and makes some interesting connections to this film and others in French cinema. I enjoyed his measured pace and detail. There is also a new 1/2 hour interview with Just Jaeckin, vintage French theatrical trailer, promotional gallery and a handful of Cult Epics trailers.

You are probably not wrong if you can guess what Just Jaeckin's Madame Claude is all about. Reference the director's Gwendoline, Emmanuelle, The Story of O, Lady Chatterley's Lover etc. Transparent Euro sleaze or arty sex-bio with a touch of class - depending on your view point. I can only say that this was better than I was expecting and the commentary helped me appreciate it a bit more. The Cult Epics Blu-ray has delivered a good product that will definitely appeal to fans in this genre space. There are positives worthy of some collections. The whole milieu for this envelope-pushing 70's erotic cinema has an artistic consistency that will appeal to many. Others not so much. 

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

Macro Blocking Sample (Source - LEFT - Zoom'ed in RIGHT)

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 

Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES (Mouse Over to see)

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
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Distribution Cult Epics - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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