French Region 2 Scarlet Street and more

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ArthurMy, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    I know someone posted about this a while back, but I can't find the thread or the post.

    I picked this up on the basis that the post said it was from Paramount France and that it sounded legit. I also bought Hot Spot (I Wake Up Screaming) from the same company, both through amazon France.

    I should have known better. They are both public domain atrocities. Why there is a Paramount logo on the back of these DVDs is anyone's guess. When you open the case you see an ad for their other DVDs - all PD titles.

    Scarlet Street looks horrid, maybe the worst of all the PD transfers I've seen, with sound so muddy you can barely understand one word. Add to that non-removable (and HUGE) English subs and what do you get? A certifiable disaster.

    Hot Spot is more interesting. That film under its real title of I Wake Up Screaming is hardly in the public domain. It's a Fox film. Maybe these cretins think they can get away with it by using the Hot Spot (an earlier title) artwork? The disc itself says I Wake Up Screaming, which is interesting. The film itself also carries the IWUS title. What the film does not carry is the Fox logo, which has been removed as if by hatchet. What this label cleverly does is freeze frame all the title cards (there are the usual dissolves in the real film). When they get to the title card which carries the copyright information at the bottom of the screen, they simply blow up that frame and omit it. Shameless. I have a VHS of the film and the copyright info is there, plain as day.

    The quality of IWUS is a bit better - with sound quite harsh, but at least not muddy. The image looks like a fourth generation dupe off a VHS.

    Avoid these like the plague.

    I also picked up Berlin Express from Editions Montparnasse - it's quite nice.

    I also picked up a UK import of The Killing of Sister George because the packaging clearly says 16.9 widescreen, which the US version is not. Oops. It's not enhanced for widescreen - just the same 1:66 letterboxed 4.3 images as on the US, albeit sharper and a bit more colorful.
     
  2. Oliver_Groth

    Oliver_Groth Agent

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    Thanks for the info Arthur, you just saved me 35 Euros.[​IMG]
     
  3. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

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    I also fell victim of the shameless release of 'I Wake Up Screaming'. I just could not believe the awful quality of this DVD recording (by the way, the jacket claims that is's a remastered edition). What a lie! And those awful non-removable sub-titles! As the other reviewer says, stay away from this junk! I also have quite a few Editions Montparnasse DVDs. They are all very nice and their subtitles are removable.
     
  4. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Arthur, it looks as though Oliver and I both owe you a beer or two, since I had these in my Amazon queue to purchase as well. I was most looking forward to a better Scarlet Street - apparently not.

    I also can second Arthur's recommendation of the French Editions Montparnasse. I have the seven noirs that they've released, and they are all quite nice - obviously some are better than others.

    Irina, thanks for the email.
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    The third beer will be on me, Arthur! [​IMG]

    These two films deserve a good transfer after all these years of super-dupey VHS tapes.

    I have heard good things about Editions Montparnasse transfer of Berlin Express but have held off buying it, for some reason. I recently ordered the Canal Plus edition of Rene Clement's Forbidden Games from Amazon.fr and the transfer is excellent.

    Narrow Margin is available in France:
    L'Enigme du Chicago Express. It is apparently very good: DVD Beaver

    I hope that we see more Warner/RKO Noirs this year on R1.
     
  6. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the beers.

    I just finished watching Berlin Express. It's a strange movie, but beautifully directed by Tourneur.

    I don't know why I haven't picked up Narrow Margin yet - I must go order it right now.

    I, too, have the Canal Forbidden Games - wonderful transfer and film. I have several in that series and they're all very good.
     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Berlin Express isn't a great film - the script is a bit hokey, but it is technically awesome: Soild, skillful direction by Tourneur; beautiful lighting by the great Lucien Ballard and sharply edited by Sherman Todd. Another 'lesson in filmmaking', if you know what I mean. Also, there is no such thing as a 'dull' Robert Ryan performance: He is always a vital force in his movies and this is no exception.

    I'm really looking forward to Warner's Lewton/Tourneur boxed set. So many gems!
     
  8. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

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    Narrow Margin is great. I would also recommend Angel Face (Mitchum ahd Simmons) and On Dangerous Ground (Robert Ryan and Ida Lupino) - both from Editions Montparnasse. My favourite discovery, though, is Lubitsch's Cluny Brown (La Folle Ingenue). Great movie, great DVD quality and the French subtitles are removable. A treasure to cherish.
     
  9. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    I have On Dangerous Ground and it's great. Angel Face I have from the UK - a very nice transfer. I'll have to check out Cluny Brown - thanks for the tip.
     
  10. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    Gordon, I completely agree about the direction and photography, and also about the hokey script. It just has too much narration (by the wonderful Paul Stewart - not credited, but instantly recognizable). I like Frederick Hollendar's score, too.
     
  11. Armin Jager

    Armin Jager Stunt Coordinator

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    The Editions Montparnasse DVDs are nice, I heartily recommend EXPERIMENT PERILOUS with a stunning Hedy Lamarr and good direction by Tourneur. It's certainly better than BERLIN EXPRESS though I doubt that it is as great as some people seem to think.
    Also a revelation from their collection is STATION WEST a strange mixture of western and noir without noir photography, but with two veterans from OUT OF THE PAST: Screenwriter Frank Fenton who writes the sharpest dialogue I've ever heard and Jane Greer who is a amazing subtle, funny and glamorous actress. My favourite leading lady from the 40's.
     

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