A Double Life - Reviews/Opinions?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dave B Ferris, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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    With very little fanfare, at least to my ears and eyes, the
    film 'A Double Life', featuring the great Ronald Colman in
    his (only) Oscar winning-role, was released to DVD last
    week (under the Republic Pictures banner).

    Was the fanfare limited because of problems with the
    quality of the DVD? Personally, especially with
    older films, I try to be more accommodating
    toward quality issues. With a film such as
    'A Double Life' which to my knowledge was
    never even released on LD, I have often
    thought I would be prefectly happy with
    a DVD equal to the quality of the print
    used for broadcast on TCM.

    Comments? Feedback?
     
  2. John Koehler

    John Koehler Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! This great picture on DVD? I had no idea! Thanks for the post, Dave. I ordered it today.

    This wonderful, literate and superbly written/acted/directed noir gem has inrigued me ever since I saw it as a kid. Had not much understanding for the adult relationships in it then, only that it was fascinating, i.e. Colman's character so immersed in his stage roles, he becomes that role in real life. Now, as I grow older, the film grows with me, a fabulous psychological thriller. We all of us have our obsessions, and this picture explores the tragedy which can ensue should we indulge them to seriously.

    Mikos Rozsa wrote an equally great score (which was also an Oscar winner that year).

    I have the Beta version, VHS, but no LaserDisc (never released in USA on LD).

    Director: George Cukor
    Written by: Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon
    DP: Milton Krasner


    Dave, you made my day!
     
  3. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Hi Dave... I'm also looking for A Double Life in the local B&M's with not much success. Also looking for Blood On The Sun (the Republic version) -- no luck locally. I'm curious as to the quality and how it compares to the Image Release.

    When I track them down, I will post.

    Herb.


    EDIT: Scratch that about the Republic version of BotS... according to one of the HTF members its a colorized version, so I went with the Image version.
     
  4. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    I found A Double Life today at Borders B&M, $10.99 minus 20%coupon. Not bad![​IMG]
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Finally, other people who've seen A Double Life! (started a thread on this a while back which got zero replies)

    I was pleasantly surprised by the video quality as well - not top-notch mind you, but perfectly acceptable considering the age of the film.

    All I can say is: more Ronald Colman on DVD!
     
  6. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Picked it up for $7.97 at DeepDiscount. Well worth the investment!
     
  7. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    With all of the knocks Artisan has taken lately for a ... well, less-than-admirable track record in classic films on disc (post-Republic take-over; their unaltered reissues of discs that were originally brought out by Republic Home Video generally look great), I'm really, really hoping they've done right by this title -- A Double Life is a great film and a personal favorite (such twisted fun! The Bard would have a good laugh, methinks), and while I was hesitating given the disasters that are The Fighting Kentuckian and Topper on Artisan's Topper/Topper Returns double feature, to name two, I noticed a copy in the store, checked the box more closely, and discovered that Artisan states they've mastered this film from the original negative! Now, of course, I hope they mean a dupe of the negative or best yet a new interpositive from a dupe (jeopardizing an original camera negative for a home video master is poor policy), but the claim that they've returned to original film elements is a welcome one -- and one Republic Home Video made on a number of their classic discs prior to the Artisan acquisition.

    Of the lousy Artisan classic transfers I've seen, none have claimed original film elements as a source. So this bodes very well. A review is now up at DVDTalk, and while it is very sparing in image quality detail, the reviewer seems quite pleased:

    http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=7610

    While I've generally sworn off Artisan classic product (I couldn't even finish The Fighting Kentuckian; it looked like a library VHS on its last legs), a return to original film elements and positive reaction from fans just might sway me back this once (and to any further titles for which Artisan may honestly make these same claims). If anyone else has seen it (and might compare it to major studio classic product for image quality, and no, I don't mean the digitally perfected copies of Now, Voyager or Casablanca [​IMG], but rather quality photochemically sourced material such as, say, Columbia's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or WB's The Thin Man, or what may be the absolute pinnacle of transfers that have not passed through sophisticated digital restoration, Columbia's Only Angels Have Wings and His Girl Friday), that would be much appreciated.

    This is shaping up to be a step in the right classic direction for Artisan; I really hope that impression proves correct. [​IMG]
     
  8. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Bill... I ordered ADL over a month ago from Amazon (as well as a few other oldies)... still waiting for it/them to ship...

    Herb.
     
  9. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Ack -- sorry to hear that, Herb. I spied a copy at Best Buy, but only one, and I haven't seen it at other B&Ms. I wonder if interest in the title was unexpectedly high, leading to a run shortage?
     

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