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DVD Review Criterion 'Drôle de drame' DVD Review with screen caps (1 Viewer)

Gary Tooze

Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 2000
Drôle de drame Criterion - released April 29th, 2003

A huge international hit in the 30s, I suspect this seems a bit too labored and artificial now to quite captivate a modern audience the way, say, Children of Paradise still does. But the fan of 30s cinema (Marx Brothers and Carole Lombard division) will find lots to like in the collision of disparate styles-- screwball motivations (Barrault plays a besotted madman worthy of Mischa Auer) and Feydeau-farce complications (I won't spoil the delightful way in which Simon, having absconded from home and suspected of a nonexistent murder, is immediately forced to return to his house in disguise); a supposed proper Englishness (the mania for detective tales and the orderly reality beneath them) seen through thoroughly French eyes (which means that mad Gallic passion roils just below the surface). And if you know French cinema, the cast is its own reward-- stern Jouvet, as an increasingly irrational and surreal-acting clergyman, versus shambling Simon (reportedly they hated each other, in any case the clash of styles is perfect), Rosay (of Carnival in Flanders), the handsome Aumont and, most surprisingly, Barrault in an energetically black- comic role 180 degrees from his winsome mime in Children of Paradise. (from Imdb)

DVD Menus

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertai
Theatrical Release Date: October 27th, 1937

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Black & White
• New digital transfer

Screen Captures:

This Home Vision DVD claims a new digital transfer and I have no reason not to believe them. The picture quality is VERY strong. Good contrast and occasional piercing blacks. Resolute detail in foreground with out of focus backgrounds. This is very well done by Home Vision! A very worthy purchase indeed. Clear true sound if a little on the quiet side in spots. No Extras are the big failing here but I will still give it a resounding out of Gary W. Tooze


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