592 Design for Living

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

592 Design for Living

#1 Post by knives » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:25 pm

Design for Living

Image Image

Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s” agree­ment, in this continental pre-Code comedy freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship comedy and a witty take on creative pursuits, it concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his most adroit, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure.

Disc Features

- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- “The Clerk,” starring Charles Laughton—director Ernst Lubitsch’s segment of the 1932 film If I Had a Million, which he made just before Design for Living
- Selected-scene commentary by film professor William Paul
- Play of the Week: A Choice of Coward, a 1964 British television production of the play Design for Living, introduced on camera by playwright Noël Coward
- New interview with film scholar and screenwriter Joseph McBride on Lubitsch and Ben Hecht’s screen adaptation of the Coward play
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kim Morgan

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agnamaracs
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#2 Post by agnamaracs » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:39 pm

knives wrote:Design for Living? I can't see why anyone would opt for this over the boxset.
What boxset? Do you mean the Gary Cooper Franchise Collection, or did I severely miss something?

Unfortunately, Design for Living is a film I saw and remember absolutely nothing about. Literally, the only two things I remember about this film are Cooper was in it and Lubitsch directed.

Also: Suzuki on Blu FINALLY. But now there's nothing to put my money on next month...

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knives
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#3 Post by knives » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Yeah that one. I think most people would prefer Peter Ibbetson as an 'extra' and it's significantly cheaper.

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Forrest Taft
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#4 Post by Forrest Taft » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:19 pm

swo17 wrote: I also would have hoped that CC would pair DFL with To Be or Not to Be, but that's mostly just because I'd like to see it on Blu-ray during the window for the '40s list.
To Be or Not to Be is coming soon to the Studio Canal Collection, if that's good enough for you.

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swo17
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592 Design for Living

#5 Post by swo17 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:27 pm

RobertAltman wrote:To Be or Not to Be is coming soon to the Studio Canal Collection, if that's good enough for you.
Oh, I'd only heard about Grand Illusion earlier today. Thanks.

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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#6 Post by jwd5275 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:12 pm

swo17 wrote:
RobertAltman wrote:To Be or Not to Be is coming soon to the Studio Canal Collection, if that's good enough for you.
Oh, I'd only heard about Grand Illusion earlier today. Thanks.
It is likely that, To Be or Not to Be (like much of the Studio Canal collection) will be an european only Blu, since (as evidenced by its presence on Criterion's Hulu channel) Studio Canal does not hold the US rights

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George Kaplan
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#7 Post by George Kaplan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:23 pm

knives wrote:Design for Living? I can't see why anyone would opt for this over the boxset.
Because a Blu-ray edition of DESIGN FOR LIVING was "not exactly expected [but] anticipated, hoped for and dreamed about."

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domino harvey
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#8 Post by domino harvey » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:35 pm

I will gladly pick up the Blu and still hold onto my Gary Cooper set. I wish Criterion'd just include the entire If I Had a Million, though

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knives
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#9 Post by knives » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Had they included the whole I would've kept mum. As is though it doesn't seem worth the double dip (or really a first dip for those with neither).

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Jeff
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#10 Post by Jeff » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:20 pm

I would buy the Blu-ray for the supplements alone. Sounds like a great set to me. This release shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, we've known about it for over a year. I too wish that To Be or Not to Be was coming at the same time, but I think most of the Caidin titles need quite a bit of work to be ready for Blu-ray.

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swo17
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#11 Post by swo17 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:27 pm

Although if Studio Canal has a Blu-ray on the way...

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Jeff
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#12 Post by Jeff » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:35 pm

swo17 wrote:Although if Studio Canal has a Blu-ray on the way...
Surely Criterion is doing their own (better) transfer though.

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swo17
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#13 Post by swo17 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:57 pm

I suppose that's what I get for using ellipses. I just meant that materials were presumably up to snuff for someone else to produce an HD release, so maybe the Criterion release can't be too much further along.

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Jeff
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#14 Post by Jeff » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:09 pm

swo17 wrote:I suppose that's what I get for using ellipses. I just meant that materials were presumably up to snuff for someone else to produce an HD release, so maybe the Criterion release can't be too much further along.
I know, and you're probably right. I don't even know what the extant elements for To Be or Not to Be are. I was just randomly speculating that Criterion's standards for what is Blu-ready might be significantly higher than SC's standards. Even if they end of using the same transfer, they'll do their own digital cleanup. Hoping to see lots of the Caidin titles next year.

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knives
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#15 Post by knives » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:21 pm

They must have a master they're comfortable with showing since it along with several other Caidin titles are up on Hulu. Maybe they're working extra hard on the extras for these titles? I can only remember Stagecoach actually getting a disc, but that one is stacked.

felipe
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#16 Post by felipe » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:27 pm

Is Criterion expected to release To be or not to be? I thought Warner held the rights in America...

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knives
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#17 Post by knives » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:42 pm

The Caidin trust owns it in America. Previously Warners licensed the title (and others in the Caidin trust), but didn't renew and so Criterion has picked them up. Going only by Hulu I'd assume either To Be or Not to Be or I Married a Witch would be the next title released.

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Feego
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#18 Post by Feego » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:57 pm

I have the Gary Cooper Franchise set mentioned above, and to be honest, Design for Living may be my least favorite Lubitsch. But I will likely still buy this Blu (at some point) for the supplements. Ironically, I bought the Cooper set specifically for this film (which I hadn't seen yet), but I ended up much preferring Peter Ibbetson, a sadly underrated movie.

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Gregory
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#19 Post by Gregory » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:00 pm

Anyone seen Play of the Week: A Choice of Coward? How good was it?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#20 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:12 pm

Design for Living was my favorite film from that set (and one of my favorite Lubitsch films); Ibbetson was "interesting" but did not win me over.

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colinr0380
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#21 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:28 am

Gregory wrote:Anyone seen Play of the Week: A Choice of Coward? How good was it?
I've not seen it but it looks like Network DVD (who handle ITV material) put out a DVD in the UK last year of the four plays chosen by Coward. Here's the Coward introduction and a clip from the first of the four plays.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#22 Post by Fred Holywell » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:02 am

I wish I liked this Lubitsch more than I do. It just seems to pale in comparison to "Trouble in Paradise". But then what doesn't. Not crazy about the "If I Had a Million" excerpt. How 'bout the whole movie, guys?! There are some other not-so-bad segments in that film; even a Gary Cooper one that ties in. At 80-odd minutes, it would have made a really nice extra.

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triodelover
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#23 Post by triodelover » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:47 pm


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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#24 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Offhand, I see no reason for replacing my DVD with this new Blu-Ray version (at least judging by the screen captures).

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triodelover
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Re: 592 Design for Living

#25 Post by triodelover » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:41 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Offhand, I see no reason for replacing my DVD with this new Blu-Ray version (at least judging by the screen captures).
Well, there's this:
Gary Tooze wrote:This is a case where the static captures are not the best indication of improvement via a 1080P transfer. The Criterion is lighter but the contrast has more layers than the Universal SD rendering. The SD looks pretty good next to the HD until you peer closer and can see the digital weaknesses of the DVD. The Blu-ray shows more information in the frame - on all 4 edges. The DVDs digital artifacts look a lot like grain and the darker image is appealing but it loses in the overall more film-like presentation appearance. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. The film's textures are still intact and are represented well in HD. This is a case where a shade of black level boosting may have benefitted the visual appearance but regardless the Blu-ray gave me a fantastic viewing.
Now you can dismiss this as the kind of BS reviewers who get free screeners from premium labels write when they want to stay on the label's good side so that the freebies keep flowing. I have the SD in the Cooper set and I've pre-ordered the BD, so we'll see (this is one of my favorite Lubitsch's, primarily for the scrumptious Miriam Hopkins).

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