Blu-ray Release: The Earrings of Madame de…

Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 6, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion


The Earrings of Madame de... movie scene

Danielle Darrieux in The Earrings of Madame de...

The 1953 drama-romance film The Earrings of Madame de…, a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance, remains the most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls (Lola Montes).

When an aristocratic woman known only as Madame de (Danielle Darrieux) sells a pair of earrings given to her by her husband (Charles Boyer, Gaslight) in order to pay a debt, she sets off a chain reaction of financial and carnal consequences that can end only in despair.

Ophuls’s adaptation of Louise de Vilmorin’s incisive 1951 novel employs the elegant and precise camera work for which the director is so justly renowned, to ravishing effect.

Criterion issued a splendid DVD version of the classic film (which is presented in French with English subtitles) back in 2008, which is still available. A majority of the features on the new DVD first appeared on the earlier edition. They include the following:

• Restored high-definition digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Audio commentary featuring film scholars Susan White and Gaylyn Studlar
• Introduction by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson
• Interviews with director Max Ophuls’s collaborators Alan Jessua, Marc Frédérix, and Annette Wademant
• Visual essay by film scholar Tag Gallagher
• Archival interview with novelist Louise de Vilmorin on Ophuls’s adaptation of her story
•A booklet featuring an essay by critic Molly Haskell, an excerpt from costume designer Georges Annenkov’s 1962 book Max Ophuls, and the 1951 source novel by Vilmorin, Madame de

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.