With Jose Ferrer, occasionally walking on his knees, and Oswald Morris behind the camera, the film is one of the great treats of the era.
Photographically, it’s a marvel, and that quality is well-expressed in the restored version as seen on the BFI Blu-ray, funded by The Film Foundation and others, and with Grover Crisp as a consultant, nothing is apt to go awry, and it generally doesn’t.
I did make note of a few instances during the main title sequence where grain goes away for a bit, but beyond that the work is miraculous. If anything, it’s a bit too highly resolved, as make-up appliances tend to show through.
For those who love the film, and have seen it in original prints, or for those about to be newly initiated, the BFI’s Blu-ray (Region B) is about as perfect as one will find.
The wonderfully defined color palette leaps off the screen, and looks much like original prints that I’ve seen over the years. Only sharper and cleaner.
I once asked Mr. Ferrer how he was able to play the role, whilst walking on his knees to make him appear the height of the five foot Lautrec. His response was “painful,” but he also explained that there’s really very little of him in the film actually walking, and identifiable. One gets the feeling that the artist was actually shorter.
It has been mentioned that this is Region B only, but it’s worth the trouble, especially as it’s easy to order via Amazon at a reasonable price – $15 + shipping.
Image – 4.9
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Works up-rezzed to 4k – Beautifully
Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely
Very Highly Recommended
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