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"Marie Antoinette" (1938) finally on DVD 10/10/06!

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"Marie Antoinette" (1938) finally on DVD 10/10/06!

Old 10-09-06, 10:28 AM
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"Marie Antoinette" (1938) finally on DVD 10/10/06!

Coming out tomorrow... Yes... I know... already posted in "dvdtalk"... wrong forum...

"Marie Antoinette" (1938) on DVD for the first time, remastered from the original camera negative ... Oh... my... God!

The laserdisc transfer... was already so pristine... it could pass for 3-D!

Best of all, the films in the "Motion Picture Masterpieces" boxset will be sold separately...(pant, pant)... I can't believe my ears ...

... Willing to overlook fact DVD cover is plug-ugly ... Can't have everything... Must go now... Feeling faint...



Here... is... boxset... cover...


Last edited by baracine; 10-09-06 at 10:31 AM.
Old 10-09-06, 10:56 AM
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Well, you probably have Sophia Coppola to thank for this. Ironic, I know.

Greater irony would be created if, a la Scarface, this could only be obtained as part of a box set with the current release.
Old 10-09-06, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Well, you probably have Sophia Coppola to thank for this. Ironic, I know.

Greater irony would be created if, a la Scarface, this could only be obtained as part of a box set with the current release.
Yes... thank you, Sofia Coppola... (muttering under failing breath: you, bitch!)... And... thank you... for not insisting on a tie-in release... which would have been as mismatched as "Flesh Gordon" and "Flash Gordon" in a single boxset...

Some screencaps from dvdbeaver's review: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDRev...sterpieces.htm



(Norma Shearer and Robert Morley)

(Gladys George)

(Tyrone Power)

Last edited by baracine; 10-09-06 at 06:19 PM.
Old 10-09-06, 11:41 AM
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DVDBeaver review of the boxset:

The 5 films are also sold individually on DVD, but there is a significant savings by purchasing in one package (currently $34.88 for the collection vs. $14.88 X 5 = $74.40 - a savings of almost $40.00... or better than double the price of the lone 5-pack).

NOTE: If we have time we will review the titles individually as well.

The 5 films are spread over 5 single-sided discs - all dual-layered and in their own keep cases. They are encoded in the NTSC standard for regions 1,2,3 and 4 (set to sell in South America and possibly some Asian countries). All are progressively transferred and have short featurettes of the period as extras. Each have original audio and optional English, Spanish, Portuguese or French, subtitles (except Treasure Island which does not offer Portuguese).

Minimal damage and flickering contrast are prevalent to varying degrees throughout all 5 editions, but they look far better than I have ever seen on television in the past 30 years. Some restoration and decent contrast help round out these transfers as well above-average (especially considering the age of the films - 3 are over 70 years old). A Tale of Two Cities might be the best and Treasure Island/David Copperfield the weakest, but I am not going to quibble too much as I am so appreciative that these classic are now available at such a reasonable price. Personally, this is one of the great benefits to the DVD medium - having great old classics and hard to see films available at any time I choose.

There are a lot of supplements but I would have traded them all for a decent commentary. Unfortunately, these films are all quite long and a complete commentary might be difficult to arrange. I was kind of enjoying some of these shorts, but overall I wouldn't rate them too highly - understandable filler from Warner's vault is certainly better than nothing. Some of the cartoons were very amusing - I do always enjoy them.

Overall, for fans of classic cinema - this package is a must-own. None of the films have been released before on DVD and seeing Freddie Bartholomew, Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore, Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Maureen O'Sullivan, Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone, Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper either in their primes or early in their careers makes this collection all the more desirable. We recommend - (five stars) out of (five stars)

Gary W. Tooze

Last edited by baracine; 10-09-06 at 12:02 PM.
Old 10-09-06, 07:54 PM
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Short excerpt on youtube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYp1ciILkYQ

Mme DuBarry (Gladys George), mistress of Louis XV (John Barrymore), confronts Philippe D'Orléans (Joseph Schildkraut).

Last edited by baracine; 10-09-06 at 07:57 PM.
Old 10-09-06, 09:00 PM
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I'm going to pick this up later this week. Very exciting news.
Old 10-09-06, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by baracine
"Flesh Gordon" and "Flash Gordon" in a single boxset...
That would be the greatest boxset ever.
Old 10-10-06, 03:36 AM
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I'm going to be that guy. why is all this "Talk" about a "DVD" not in the "DVD Talk" section?
Old 10-10-06, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
I'm going to be that guy. why is all this "Talk" about a "DVD" not in the "DVD Talk" section?
Because he already did the exact same thing in a seperate thread on the DVD forum.
Old 10-10-06, 08:57 AM
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... a fact I mentioned in the very first line of my first post, BTW.

This thread was created to discuss Marie Antoinette (1938) - the movie - as opposed to the Hollywood Movie Masterpieces Collection boxset which is already discussed in the dvdtalk forum. But this won't happen until more members have seen the movie, which is only available on DVD right now.

If more people had seen the movie, THAT GUY would probably have asked that the discussion be moved to "Horror Talk" because it contains a lot of gruesome scenes. But that's another story...

About the movie, here is my IMDb comment:

4 out of 7 people found the following comment useful :-
Top Ten Reasons why "Marie Antoinette" is quite possibly the best movie ever made in Hollywood, 23 March 2002

Author: Benoît A. Racine from Toronto, Ontario, Canada


10. The script

Uncredited as a scriptwriter is novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. His love scenes are extremely elaborate and exquisitely structured. They also introduce innovations that have since become clichés and the hallmark of 'women pictures' everywhere.

9. The actors

Barrymore is unforgettable as the regally cranky Louis XV. Morley gives one of his best interpretations. Schildkraut plays the best two-faced villain of his entire body of work. As for Power... remember the anecdote about the reporter asking romance-writer Barbara Cartland (Lady Di's stepmother) how she could possibly have written so many romance novels before she was even married and while she was still a virgin? Her answer was: 'Oh! We didn't have sex in those days. We had Tyrone Power.'

8. The director

Van Dyke was an expert at handling large crowds, a myriad details, heavy production calendars, big budgets, big stars and acts of God. His directing style was a compromise between time-efficiency and giving the stars leeway as long as they respected the general style of the piece. This 'honour system' seems to have encouraged the actors to do their homework and present a credible, coherent performance every time. Both W.S. Van Dyke and Shearer were fulfilling the legacy of Irving Thalberg on this film and it shows.

7. Artistic direction

What can you say about a period film that tackled the challenge of recreating Versailles in the XVIIIth century on the MGM back lot? The production values are staggering. The Gallery of Mirrors is actually longer, higher and wider than the original. The costumes tread a fine line between historical accuracy (covered shoulders and revealed cleavage) and the requirements of the movie code (exposed shoulders were tolerated but bosoms had to be covered) but still manage to convey the era and the fairy-tale quality of Marie's court. The costumes were also specially constructed to shine, glitter and shimmer on black and white film.

6. Historical accuracy

The film's script is based (in part) on Stefan Zweig's groundbreaking biography of the Queen, "Marie Antoinette, Portrait of an Ordinary Woman", which tried to create the first accurate, adult, factual but Freudian-inspired narrative of the Queen's life by using documents and correspondence that had long been overlooked or suppressed. The book was the first to reveal Louis XVI's mechanical sexual problems, which prevented his consummating the marriage during its first seven years (until a slight surgical intervention) and explained in turn the Queen's extravagant spendthrift personality, in Freudian terms, as extreme sexual frustration. This story actually makes it to the screen in a large degree. Compare this to recent biopics like "A Beautiful Mind", whose scriptwriters conveniently 'forget' essential but non-mainstream plot elements like the fact that John Nash's paranoia may have been caused or amplified by the McCarthy era persecution of homosexuals. Some historical events have been telescoped into one another in order to accommodate the general American public's limited understanding of French history and the Orléans character was used to maintain tension by representing the turncoat part of the nobility which exploited MA for their own various agendas.

5. The music

Herbert Stothart may not be a household word but he did win an Oscar for his original score to "The Wizard of Oz", based, of course in part on Harold Arlen's melodies. Besides giving Miss Gulch/the Wicked Witch her immortal theme, he is also one half of the composing team that produced the operetta "Rose Marie". Stothart shines in two respects: the approximate recreation of XVIIIth century dance music in the court scenes, emphasizing the bored grandeur of the proceedings, and the psychological music that accompanies everything from exciting chase scenes to the love scenes between Shearer and Tyrone. Note especially the use of the harpsichord in a rupture scene between Orléans and MA and the use of the viola d'amour in the garden love scene.

4. The cinematography

MA is in 'glorious black and white', but especially in the escape to Varennes sequence which has the most credible - and suspenseful - 'day for night' sequence ever filmed. The marriage scene may have inspired Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Also notable are the matte paintings, the overwhelming use of cranes to move in on particular characters in a crowd scene and the chiaroscuro of the last meeting with Fersen.

3. Detail and scope

Every scene has something special added to it in characterization, movement, rhythm, lighting, art direction, choreography (and not just in the dance scenes). The costumes could have starred in a picture by themselves.

2. The lost art of story-telling

This film was planned with intelligence and skill and was built around the principle stated by Selznick when filming GWTW: 'The secret of adapting a book to the screen is to give the impression that you are adapting a book to the screen.' Which means that many literary devices are used to give the story many interesting arcs and recurring themes. The story is well balanced in terms of spectacular action, recreation of important historical events (giving the impression of the passage of time) and intimate scenes. It is truly 'the intimate epic' that Mankiewicz's 'Cleopatra' was supposed to be. Need I add I am really dreading the Sofia Coppola version...

1. Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer is an unjustly forgotten star of the first magnitude. MA is permanent testament to her uncanny abilities. In this film she portrays the main character from the age of sixteen to her death as a prematurely aged and debilitated woman of 38, all with perfect verisimilitude, thanks to her magnificent vocal instrument and stage presence. As a fairy-queen, she makes Cate Blanchett as Galadriel (in LOTR) look like Carol Burnett's charwoman. Her virtuosity as the fated widowed Queen is all the more poignant when one realizes that at the time she was Thalberg's widow in her last husband-approved venture and that the Hollywood suits were rapidly closing in on her.

Last edited by baracine; 10-10-06 at 09:28 AM.

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