Marriage Italian Style [Blu-ray]
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Sophia Loren stars in this comedy about a successful businessman who kept a woman as his mistress for several years and now plans to marry another woman, until his mistress pretends to be on her deathbed to induce him to marry her before she dies.
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I was really looking forward to the release of that film, but the result is not only disappointing but also a disaster. Of course, one can not always demand a transfer quality on the level that criterion has established with its releases ("divorce italian style", to cite just one example of that great collection), but there is a minimum of quality standards to be followed.
Although amazon is neither responsible for the content nor the quality standards of the offered products, they should be able to find a way to rate new products in the DVD section initially. Especially from a point of view that has its focus in reviewing the picture transfer, audio quality, language and subtitle options.
Considering this item, I would recommend to delete it from the sales list. In my humble opinion, customer service means, to prevent people from purchasing products like that one.....
Note: For future readers, this review applies to the videotape copy of the film sold by Jef Films during the year 2001 ...
Most of the reviews here complain bitterly about the poor quality of the DVD transfer. Well, it isn't great, but I've seen far worse. And it's really only in the first few minutes of the movie that the video quality is especially poor; it improves considerably a little further on, and then remains that way.
At least one reviewer has remarked that without subtitles the video quality is much better. There's a simple explanation for this. There are actually two separate complete copies of the movie on the DVD, taken from different sources. If you'll notice, the Carlo Ponti Italian release (without subtitles) begins with red curtains, whereas the Joseph E Levine American release, with burned-in subtitles, omits that intro. The original Italian copy that was used for that portion of the DVD was in much better condition than the original of the American release.
The bottom line is, if you care more about how sharp your picture is than about the qualities of the movie itself, then this is definitely to be avoided. But if you're able to excuse a less-than-pristine copy of an important film, or alternately, if you can manage some Italian without subtitles, then go for it.
EDIT: One previous reviewer complained that the movie is dubbed, and another complained that the English version was wanted but the Italian version had been sent.
Neither of the two different copies on this DVD is dubbed into English; both are in the original Italian. I'm not aware of a dubbed version ever having been made. The American release of the movie has subtitles in English (granted, not the best or most complete job of subtitling possible, but not at all bad -- they're in the film stock itself rather than being added for the DVD, and are exactly the same as what you would have seen in a theater in 1964), while the Italian copy does not.
I sense a bit of piling-on in these reviews -- something doesn't meet your highest expectations, and then you find all these 1-star reviews here, which just reinforces your own disappointment, so you add another one instead of putting the situation into perspective. Many of these old Joseph E Levine releases of foreign films are in fair-to-poor condition, and the DVD issuer used the best copy they could find; they didn't screw it up just out of laziness or to annoy people. It's true that with a lot of expensive equipment and an enormous amount of time and labor a film can go through a restoration process where each frame is digitally cleaned up, and perhaps eventually an outfit like Criterion may turn their attention to this one. In the meantime, this is what there is.
So don't buy this DVD unless you're willing to watch a great movie with less-than-perfect video.
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