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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Swords of Blood")

 

Directed by Philippe de Broca
France 1962

 

Screen legends Jean-Paul Belmondo (Le Doulos, Le Professionnel, Le Magnifique) and Claudia Cardinale (Once Upon a Time in the West, Blindfold) star in the exciting swashbuckler Cartouche. Belmondo charms as 18th-century master thief, swordsman and rogue Louis-Dominique Bourguignon, alias Cartouche. But when Cartouche meets the beautiful bandit Venus (the luscious Cardinale), the pair launch a series of scandalous raids that rock the Parisian aristocracy. Can the most wanted man in France now steal the hearts of rich and poor alike or will he discover that true love may be the most dangerous caper of all? Jean Rochefort (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe) and Jess Hahn (The Night of the Following Day) co-star in this sumptuous and surprising adventure co-written and directed by Philippe de Broca, the internationally acclaimed director of The King of Hearts, That Man from Rio and Le Magnifique.

***

In the 18th century, Louis de Bourguignon is working with the Malichot's gang, but their ways are too 'unethical' for him. He creates his own band, acting under the name of Cartouche, making audacious robberies of the rich people, and even distributing the takings with the poor. Thus, cartouche attracts the people's sympathies, Venus's love, and hate from the Police and Malichot... Cartouche can escape all the traps they set at him - except the entrapments of love. Eventually, he will be saved by a woman, at her own cost.

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: March 7th, 1962

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

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:56:24.560        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,264,676,743 bytes

Feature: 36,482,623,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.93 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

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,264,676,743 bytes

Feature: 36,482,623,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Critic and Author Simon Abrams
Adventure with a Capital "C" - Documentary with Alexandra de Broca & Journalist Thomas Morales (26:25)
Theatrical Trailer (03:32)


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 8th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (June 2021): Kino have transferred Philippe de Broca's Cartouche to Blu-ray. It is a 4K restoration from the original camera negative on a dual-layered Blu-ray. The film has a maxed out bitrate, which only helps keep a consistently rich and detailed image while in motion. It can look dark throughout with a dominant green hue. An opening title card reads that:
"This film was restored in 4K by STUDIOCANAL with the support of Col. National Center for Cinema and Animated Image. The calibration was supervised by Jean-Francois Robin (AFC). Alexandra de Broca especially thanks Marina Girard-Muttelet" Found image film restoration & conservation l'immagine ritrovata (translated from French)"

The film's various decadent locations and elaborate sets come through beautifully in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio and 1080P transfer. Thanks to this 4K restoration, background details become more prominent and the image looks much more textured than any previous SD presentation could exhibit. The handful of darker scenes showcase even more benefits of a 4K transfer with a supporting strong contrast, giving the shadows a more 3-dimensional effect, and lacking unified blacks. There are rarely any damage marks, and the film has a nice but inconspicuous amount of grain, maintaining the film-like texture while not distracting one's eye. The only curiosity is that the film does have an almost golden brown and green/teal tint to the visuals. This could very well be intentional though or a function of being ritrovata'ed, but I didn't find it distracting. The film was shot with the Dyaliscope anamorphic lens, so sometimes actors on the left and right side of the frame can appear flat or stretched.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

Kino Lorber presents Cartouche in its original French, appearing here in 16-bit DTS-HD Master audio. The swashbuckling soundtrack is busy yet never too intrusive, easily handling the shifts in tone while maintaining clear and decipherable dialogue (though my French is admittedly a lil rusty). Iconic composer Georges Delerue (One Deadly Summer,
Mister Johnson, Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) is responsible for the film's score. The orchestrations have the same light and tongue--in-cheek feel as the film they underscore, once again proving that Delerue is capable of many styles and genres, never to be pigeonholed. The film is in French with optional English subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Kino presents us with a new commentary by freelance film critic Simon Abrams (author of Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone). Abrams discusses "Cartouche'' within the context of swashbuckler cinema. Abrams also provides comparisons with other Philippe de Broca/Jean-Paul Belmondo films, as well as the lore on which the story is based (Louis Dominique Bourguignon aka the highwayman 'Cartouche'). Abrams is always a well researched commentator, and his tracks are full of interesting film history. Also of note on this new Kino
Blu-ray is the documentary, "Adventure with a Capital 'C' ". This 27-minute piece features Alexandra de Broca (widow of director Philippe and writer/historian in her own right) as well as journalist Thomas Morales. Alexandra provides some interesting insider knowledge as to the creation and production of "Cartouche'' while Morales offers his take on director de Broca's excellence at being what he terms "the filmmaker of nostalgia". This documentary is available with English subtitles, and is in French. The film's wacky and completely 60's-style trailer (as well as trailers for a handful of other films) rounds out the extras on this Region 'A' Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Kino Lorber's 4K restoration of Philippe de Broca's "Cartouche" (from the original camera negative) is impressive despite the heavy green leaning. The film's gorgeous sets and costumes are worth seeing here in 1080P, not to mention the swashbuckling comedy that Jean-Paul Belmondo and Claudia Cardinale (and a cast of fantastic character actors) provide. The commentary on Kino's
Blu-ray from Simon Abrams is full of valuable contextual information, and the inclusion of the documentary "Adventure with a Capital 'C'" will be of interest to many. Certainly recommended.

Colin Zavitz

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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