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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Audio commentary featuring director Robert Altman
  • Galleries of rare production and publicity stills
  • Original theatrical trailers and television spots

3 Women

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Robert Altman
Starring: Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule
1977 | 124 Minutes | Licensor: 20th Century Fox

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #230
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 13, 2011
Review Date: September 10, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

In a dusty, underpopulated California resort town, a naive southern waif, Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek), idolizes and befriends her fellow nurse, the would-be sophisticate and "thoroughly modern" Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall). When Millie takes Pinky in as her roommate, Pinky's hero worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, this dreamlike masterpiece from Robert Altman careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s.

Forum members rate this film 8.1/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Robert Altmanís 3 Women (inspired by a dream the director had) comes to Blu-ray from Criterion in its original aspect ratio of about 2.35:1 on this dual-layer disc in a high-definition transfer of 1080p/24hz.

While the high-definition transfer used for the original 2003 DVD is probably the same one used here it looks like itís been touched up a bit. The print looks substantially cleaner here and I was hard pressed to find any print damage, short of a few tram lines and the odd spec here and there; it looks incredibly clean.

The digital transfer, which still looked pretty good on the DVD, is much cleaner, sharper, and far more film like here. Colours are saturated nicely, skin tones are clean, and black levels are strong. The image remains sharp, fine details can pop, and film grain is left intact, looking natural and, other than maybe during the dream sequence that occurs late in the film, never gets all that heavy.

Itís a sharp upgrade overall, and one that makes updating to the Blu-ray worthwhile.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless linear PCM mono soundtrack offers a mild improvement over the DVD with a slightly cleaner presentation. Dialogue is crisp and the music has some beautiful range and depth to it. Thereís no noise or distortion present, and it comes off fairly lively. An above average mono presentation.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Unfortunately the Blu-rayís selection of supplements are still a little underwhelming, with the same single significant supplement. That supplement is the audio commentary by director Robert Altman. For those possibly hoping for an explanation to the film you may be disappointed, though Altman does throw out some ďbonesĒ so to say when he talks about the themes of the film, but in the end it sounds as though Altman was more interested in making a film that ďfeelsĒ a certain way and was dependent on its visuals rather than telling a truly linear tale. Past this Altman primarily talks about the various aspects of the production, such as the dream that inspired it, getting the financing for the film (which sounded almost too easy considering what Altman went to those at Fox with) and offers an incredibly amount of praise to the performers in the film, particularly Duvall who pretty much created every aspect of her character. Itís a strong track and worth a listen, which is good since there isnít much else on here.

The remaining supplements are primarily marketing or PR in nature. Thereís an incredibly large photo gallery (more than 150 photos) showing publicity shots, on set photos from various locations, photos of the cast and crew, and a small section midway through devoted to Bodhi Windís artwork, even showing the artist at work. After this we get a teaser trailer which plays stills from the film over Duvallís voice reading from her diary, a theatrical trailer, which presents clips from the film with narration from the filmís three women, each reading from a diary by the sounds of it. There are then 2 TV spots which present the film as more of a thriller but still manages to touch the themes of identity found in the film in their (lame) tagline.

The release then comes with an insert containing the same essay by David Sterritt, covering the filmís production and the themes within the film. Mixed with the commentary it does aid a little in deciphering the film.

The commentaryís great but itís disappointing that not much else wasnít added especially when one considers the film had never been available on home video in North America prior to the Criterion DVD edition.

5/10

CLOSING

The commentary is excellent but itís still disappointing Criterion couldnít dig up much else in the way of supplements for the film. But the transfer offers a noticeable improvement and the Blu-ray is worth upgrading over the DVD in this department.


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