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Press Release Criterion Press Release: Cluny Brown

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 11 Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    2NL4TMdMmWQnZUUjLK3Db1qD0YUBMI_large.
    The final film completed by Ernst Lubitsch, this zany, zippy comedy of manners, set in England on the cusp of World War II, is one of the worldly-wise director’s most effervescent creations. Jennifer Jones shines in a rare comedic turn as Cluny Brown, an irrepressible heroine with a zeal for plumbing. Sent to work as a parlormaid at a stuffy country manor, she proceeds to turn the household upside down—with plenty of help from Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), an eccentric continental exile who has fled the Nazis but is still worried about where his next meal is coming from. Sending up British class hierarchy with Lubitsch’s famously light touch, Cluny Brown is a topsy-turvy farce that says nuts to the squirrels and squirrels to the nuts.

    FILM INFO
    • Ernst Lubitsch
    • United States
    • 1946
    • 100 minutes
    • Black & White
    • 1.37:1
    • English
    • Spine #997

      SPECIAL FEATURES
      • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
      • New conversation between film critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme on unconventional female characters in Ernst Lubitsch’s films
      • New video essay by film scholar Kristin Thompson
      • The Lubitsch Touch, an interview with film scholar Bernard Eisenschitz from 2004
      • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1947, featuring Olivia de Havilland and Charles Boyer
      • PLUS: An essay by novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt
      New cover by Caitlin Kuhwald

      September 17, 2019


     
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  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    If anyone has never seen this, boy are you in for a treat! An absolute charmer of a film. One of my favorite 1940s comedies right up there with His Girl Friday, Palm Beach Story and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.
     
  3. Mike2001

    Mike2001 Supporting Actor

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    This one used to play often on the repertoire circuit back when I was in college, but I haven’t seen it since. I’m looking forward to revisiting it.
     
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  4. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    I for one haven't, but it appears that will be rectified this September!
     
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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Another definite purchase for me.
     
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  6. Danny Burk

    Danny Burk Second Unit

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    I haven't either. Odd, as much as I love Lubitsch, but I'm more partial to his silents and early '30s films. I'll definitely get this on the next sale, however.
     
  7. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    The film, which you may not be able to tell from their new bluray cover, is charming and luminous, witty and wise. A must-buy for me.
     
  8. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    This is what Pauline Kael had to say about it: "A girl with a passion for plumbing is terribly repugnant to stuffy people who don't want to admit that they have drains. This wonderfully suggestive idea is at the center of Ernst Lubitsch's mischievous satire on English propriety, set in contemporary rural England. Jennifer Jones is Cluny (it's her lightest, funniest performance rivaled only by her dippy blonde in Beat The Devil) and Charles Boyer is a debonair scrounger - a displaced European sophisticate who encourages her to flout social conventions. It's a lovely easy going comedy, full of small surprising touches."
     
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  9. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    I'm usually partial to the original one sheet:

    [​IMG]

    Though this photo looks nice:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    The price link below will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

     
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  11. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    I've had this Blu-Ray about a week and have already watched it three times. I've always had a fondness for this film, but considered it somewhat minor. Oh, no! Not at all!

    I now believe this may be Ernst Lubitsch's greatest film, with an even more refined and sharper satire than TROUBLE IN PARADISE & TO BE OR NOT TO BE, no matter how sacrilegious that may sound.

    You know, it never "looked" like a Lubitsch film, in that the editing is more invisible, and other than the end, there's really no use of the "off-space" for either humor or social commentary. That's because the film's main characters, Adam Belinsky and Cluny Brown, democratize all the spaces in the film. I won't say any more, except the performances by Jennifer Jones and Charles Boyer are extraordinary; so funny you expect them to float away, and yet touched with seriousness. I don't think either of them was ever better.

    How does it look? I was too busy paying attention to the film to spend any time analyzing the specificity of the HD master or the contrast or the grain management. It all looked fine to me, but I can't really judge, for this is a film (THE LADY VANISHES is another) where try as I might, from the first image, I'm caught up with the characters and can't really pay attention to anything else.

    I thought it all looked and sounded beautiful, and i saw all kinds of things in terns of the placement of lights and focus and framing that reinforced the satire and serious messages underneath the film. The contrast also had the quality (though perhaps a bit less dazzling as those coming from Sony/Columbia ) of those b&w 35mm Fox nitrate prints MOMA & the Eastman House used to show in the very early 70's. According to the booklet, this came from a composite fine grain positive, but I didn't really notice what those guys at the other site refer to as "heterogeneity" which I always thought had to do with which ear one wore an earing, or was it a key chain?

    Anyway, I thought it looked lovely, creamy even, a souffle of creme fraiche and chocolate sauce that initially seems lighter than air, but has many serious things to say, but does it in such a seemingly casual way, that many people, including some VERY SERIOUS sorts at other sites, take this for granted. But you shouldn't.

    btw, does anyone else who's seen this film recently come to the conclusion that Richard Haydn's accent must have been an inspiration for Inspector Clouseau?
     
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