Home Page  
 
 

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • L'aventure des "Visiteurs du soir," a documentary on the making of the film
  • Trailer

Les visiteurs du soir

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By:
Starring: Arletty , , Fernand Ledoux, Alain Cuny, Marcel Herrand, Jules Berry
1942 | 121 Minutes | Licensor: SNC

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #626
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Review Date: September 29, 2012

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

A work of poetry and dark humor, Les visiteurs du soir is a lyrical medieval fantasy from the great French director Marcel Carné. Two strangers (Arletty and Alain Cuny), dressed as minstrels, arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities-and it is revealed that they are actually emissaries of the devil himself, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love. Often interpreted as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France, during which it was made, Les visiteurs du soir-wittily written by Jacques Prévert and Pierre Laroche, and elegantly designed by Alexandre Trauner and shot by Roger Hubert-is a moving and whimsical tale of love conquering all.

Forum members rate this film 9/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

The Criterion Collection presents Marcel Carne’s Les visiteurs du soir on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on this dual-layer disc with a new 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer.

For whatever reason I wasn’t expecting much from this but again Criterion surprises me: the transfer offers a stunning, filmic presentation. It’s sharp and crisp when the source allows (soft focus is used often,) with cleanly defined edges and a high amount of detail. Contrast looks nice with some deep blacks and distinctive gray levels. Artifacts are also not a concern.

Grain is rendered naturally and the print is in excellent condition. Some minor marks do remain and there are a few moments where fine scratches do appear. But otherwise Criterion delivers another sharp black and white transfer.

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.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

The audio is a little rough around the edges but is otherwise acceptable. Dialogue is clear if flat, but music can come off a little distorted. There’s a faint hiss at times but when considering the age and possible condition of the materials I’m sure this track could have been much worse.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The only disappointing aspect to this release (especially when the price is taken into account) is its lack in supplemental material. There is only one documentary, L’aventure des “Visiteurs du soir”, a 37-minute piece from 2009, created for another DVD edition by the looks of it (scenes from the film come from what is obviously a much poorer, heavily damaged DVD transfer.) The documentary features author and Carne friend Dider Decon, journalist Philippe Morisson (sporting a 50 Years of Janus Films box set in the background,) archivist Andrew Heinrich, and film historian Alain Petit. It covers the film’s production and Carne’s career up to it while also mentioning other films that Carne had worked on, but it covers , in great detail, what it was like to make films under the German in occupation in France and how films were released under it. There’s a lot of detail in here, if not specifically about the film itself, and is a nice addition.

Unfortunately the rest of the supplements are limited to a theatrical trailer and a booklet with a nice essay by Michael Atkinson. Though the material is at least good, but at the steep price one would expect a little more.

3/10

CLOSING

A solid video presentation that is somewhat undone by the skimpy extras and the high price.


View packaging for this Blu-ray

Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection