The Bride Wore Black 1968
Blu-ray Company Release: Twilight Time
Starring: Jeanne Moreau, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Claude Brialy, Charles Denner, Claude Rich, Michel Lonsdale
Plot: Julie Kohler is prevented from suicide by her mother. She leaves the town. She will track down, charm and kill five men who do not know her. What is her goal? What is her purpose?
My Review and Thoughts:
This is another forgotten about gem. Thankfully Twilight Time has given it a lovely new Blu-ray format. A film that shines in all its storytelling and acting. A tight direction and a music soundtrack of ear candy. I have often thought this movie was a perfect example of early revenge style filmmaking. The idea of revenge film this day and age is everywhere but in the old days it was relativity rare. This is a film that not only leaves a deep impression of film making brilliance but it also expresses how to make a great feature film. This is based on a novel by the same name. Written by William Irish, real name Cornell Woolrich.
Directed by one of the greatest film makers of all time the master behind the lens Francois Truffaut. What needs to be said about this pioneer of film and passionate one of a kind amazing and original master of the film world? He was one of the original founding directors of the passionate and brilliant French New Wave movement. He is one of the truest ICONS of cinema. He has directed some of my favorite films of all time. His first feature length film was the masterpiece, 1959’s The 400 Blows. He died at the very young age of 52, he had so much more to offer and I can’t imagine the films he could have brought out if he would have lived. On an interesting note he was a multitalented man, a film critic, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He starred in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind as the character Claude Lacombe. His first American film he directed is one of my favorite futuristic sci-fi films Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. He would go on to be respected and talked about and held high above and he deserved every bit of it. He was and still is a master behind the lens and The Bride Wore Black is another film that showcases his unique style of film making.
Starring the beautiful, stunning, gorgeous and striking goddess of film Jeanne Moreau. Multi-talented award winning actress of perfection. She owns her parts in everything she has ever down. Her character of Julie in The Bride Wore Black is one of her defining moments. She acted a total of three times with director Francois Truffaut. This goddess of cinema received in 1998 American Academy Award of Motion Pictures life time tribute award. She is often thought of as being one of the greatest actress to ever grace cinema and I agree one hundred percent. She is not only known as the French acting goddess but also as a singer, screenwriter and director.
Now this movie is actually a tribute by Truffaut toward the grand master of film in the style of Alfred Hitchcock. The Bride Wore Black is in reality an old-school unflinching, brutal, revenge film. Interesting to note is the film was massively put down and criticized. Truffaut himself even gave in, putting it down. It’s a movie that was way before it’s time. It’s something that people were not use to and it expressed a violent no holds bar tone. Even though the critics hated the movie, it was a box office winner and over the years it has garnered a huge respect that it deserves. It’s a very different film. It’s a revenge film, plain and simple, yet mixed with a mysterious tone. It has an unflinching reality that people are going to die, plainly put. Even in the past when it was critically ripped apart, it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
This was adapted from the book and written in flawless fashion by a brilliant story teller the one and only Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich. He was one of the greatest crime writers in my viewpoint. His style always seemed to play with the emotions and led the reader down a path that you could never guess where it was going. Many of his stories have been made into film. Possibly his most famous one is It Had to be Murder which Alfred Hitchcock retiled Rear Window for his 1954 movie adaption of it. On an interesting note his story The Boy Cried Murder would become the movie adaption 1949’s The Window which would be also remade in 1984 into the awesome 80’s film Cloak and Dagger starring Henry Thomas from E.T. and Dabney Coleman. Also his story Rendezvous in Black would be made into the Italian Giallo film Seven Blood-Stained Orchids directed by Umberto Lenzi. As of this writing over 30 of his stories have become movies. He like Truffaut died young leaving many unfinished stories. He was a gifted word play god in the style of crime and mystery.
The master musician Bernard Herrmann composes the soundtrack in flawless excellence. You get the wonderful isolated music track as a special feature which is always a wonderful plus. Now Herrmann really does not need any introduction. He is the master behind some of the greatest music scores of all time. He was a regular on Hitchcock films composing such masterpieces as Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo and many, many other Hitchcock films. Now he also did beyond Hitchcock films such as the masterpieces Citizen Kane, Cape Fear, Taxi Driver. Whatever he graced with his master talent, was a true one of a kind music orgy of total perfection that left a movie, with so much more glory when it had his musical talent. He was a multi-award winning master composer. He worked his talent from 1941 all the way until 1976. His last four movies in the 70’s was array of his talent from De Palma’s Sisters and Obsession to Cohen’s It’s Alive to Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. He left his stand in the music and movie world for all generations to experience. The Bride Wore Black was his second feature working for director Truffaut, his first being Fahrenheit 451.
This is a very slow burn film. Many people might not get it or like it. Even possibly some will feel bored with it. It is not for everyone. It has it’s slow pace. It has a style that lingers with you even with its flaws and tedious watch at times. A slow unraveling of a plot. In my viewpoint it’s one of the great revenge films of the past; if not one of the defining revenge films of any era. Solidly directed and flawlessly acted.
Twilight Time Blu-ray has given a home to this forgotten classic. Twilight Time always knows, how to treat a film that is important to the history of cinema.
I have only seen this film one other time. This Blu-ray brought out by the Twilight Time is the best it's ever been seen or heard. The sound and picture quality is absolutely amazing. Twilight Time does such a wonderful job in refreshing films for a modern generation and for the old school lovers of important cinema or often overlooked cinema.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: French 1.0 DTS-HD MA
Some amazing special features. Not only the subtitled version, but you also get the English Dubbed. Plus my personal favorite besides the isolated score is the Bonus CD you get. This should make anyone want to buy this film. This recorded conversation is of the master music god himself Bernard Herrmann. 79 minutes of listening to this pioneering music god is perfect in so many wonderful ways and is a great special feature that qualifies as being one of the best features added to a Twilight Time Blu-ray. The Commentary is amazing and the booklet by Julia Kirgo as always is an added bonus. Perfect special features I listened with great satisfaction in the conversation and also the isolated music and effects.
Both versions, subtitled and English Language Dubbed Version / Isolated Music & Effects Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo, Steven C. Smith, and Nick Redman / Original Theatrical Trailer / INCLUDES BONUS CD: Conversation Piece: An Unvarnished Chat with Bernard Herrmann (79 mins)
Another priceless product by Twilight Time. A must own for any lover of old school cinema. Lovers of any style of cinema should experience this forgotten about film. This was a movie before it's time and thankfully Twilight Time has recognized its brilliance and beauty in the world of cinema history.
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