This Blu-ray, as I mentioned before, is basically a port of the 2-disc DVD release, packing everything on one disc with the film. For the most part, the supplements are the same (one is slightly different) and Iíve copied most of my review of the supplements from my DVD review (I will indicate where the supplements are the same.)
Thereís a few interviews on here, starting with a 22-minute piece with assistant director Michel Romanoff. In it he talks about working with Clouzot and the two years that went into making the film. He has some interesting anecdotes about the director, who would call and wake him at night to throw out some ideas. He reminisces on the actual filming and the dangerous conditions they met (they really blew up a rock, and they really filmed on a rickety, partially built bridge.) He also touches on working with Clouzotís wife, Vera, and the interesting substance used for the oil pit sequence (and it wasnít oil.) He calls the making of the film more of an ďarmy operationĒ than anything else. Itís a brief but interesting look at Clouzot and the making of the film. (This feature is the same as what appears on the DVD.)
An interview with Marc Godin is a brief one, only running 10-minutes. Co-author of the book Clouzot: Cineaste he quickly goes over Clouzotís career and his influences. Itís brief and has some interesting things in it, like the problems that Clouzot ran into because of his film Le corbeau but Iíd actually recommend skipping this one and going to the documentary on this disc. (This feature is the same as what appears on the DVD.)
Excerpts from an older interview with Yves Montand, recorded in 1988, is next on the list. Itís a short feature, lasting only 5-minutes, but is worth viewing. Montand talks about becoming an actor and his work on Wages of Fear, a film he considers important to his career. Iíve never seen an interview with Montand before so I found this a nice little treat. (This feature is the same as what appears on the DVD.)
The big feature on here is the 52-minute documentary Henri-Georges Clouzot: The Enlightened Tyrant, a very thorough piece on the career of the director. It covers his younger years and touches on his influences, which were primarily books (he had more of a desire to become a writer) and then follows him to Germany where he got into the film industry. After the Nazis took power he was pretty much kicked out of the country because of his association with his Jewish friends and he returned to France. Once he returned he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent four years in a sanatorium. Once released he got back into film but found himself once again working under the Germans during wartime. During this period he would make Le corbeau and come under fire for it, and then after the war ended he would be banned from the film industry for a number of years because of what was seen as participation with the Germans. It then gets into great detail about his later films, specifically Wages of Fear. Thereís a lot of details about his first wife, Vera Clouzot, and his desire to make her a star (while it was questionable if this would ever really happen, her life was cut short by a heart condition) and then gets into his last few films, with some interesting anecdotes from Brigitte Bardot. Itís a great documentary, and gives a very thorough look at the directorís life and career. Itís been divided into 7 chapters. (This feature is the same as what appears on the DVD.)
The feature slightly different from what appeared on the 2-disc DVD is the final supplement, Censored. The original DVD presented a ďmultimediaĒ presentation with a mix of text notes and clips offering a possible explanation as to why 55-minutes was cut from the original American version. Here Criterion removes the text notes and manual navigation with a more visual presentation with narration by Allison Mackie, who speaks over snippets and pictures from quoted articles. While the text and manual navigation has been replaced by a more visual presentation the same clips are still shown. The essay suggests that the cuts were made to remove scenes that either contained homosexual undertones or anti-American sentiment. Odd that Criterion would upgrade this feature for the Blu-ray version, but nothing is missing and it is a better presentation. The feature runs 12-minutes.
Also exclusive to the Blu-ray release (and all Blu-ray titles from Criterion) is the Timeline. You can open it from the pop-up menu, or by pressing the RED button on your remote. This is a timeline that shows your current position in the film. It lists the index chapters for the film. You also have the ability to ďbookmarkĒ scenes by pressing the GREEN button and return to them by selecting them on the timeline. You can also delete bookmarks by pressing the BLUE button. This is pretty common on Blu-ray (also common on HD DVD) so itís nothing new, but itís a nice presentation and easy to use.
The supplements are generally the same from the 2-disc release (the Timeline is the only exclusive feature and the ďCensoredĒ feature has had a bit of an upgrade, though still covers the same material) so anyone with the previous 2-disc release shouldnít be too concerned. 8/10