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A Scandal In Paris/Lured Blu-ray Review

a-scandal-in-paris-lured-blu-ray

Classic film lovers are sure to find much to admire about this 2 film Douglas Sirk set.

Over the past couple of years, the Cohen Collection has released indie films, art films, as well as many classic films. The company continues that trend by releasing a 2 film set of Douglas Sirk films that feature his early B&W works “A Scandal In Paris” and “Lured.” Sirk may be best known as the director who made dazzling color melodrama films like “All That Heaven Allows” and “Written On The Wind,” but his early work was just as interesting if not moreso. This collection provides a solid sample of his non-melodrama films.

The first film in the set (“A Scandal In Paris”) is is based on the memoirs of a French outlaw named Francois-Eugene Vidocq. The story traces the life of Francois as we see his birth in a prison, his prison escape, his stint in the army, his thieving ways, and his eventual transition into a Chief of Police. We also see him become tangled up with some romantic interests including a police chief’s wife (Loretta) and the daughter of the Minister of Police (Therese).

Make no mistake about it; “A Scandal In Paris” is a weird movie. The premise about change, human flaws, personas, and adventures is certainly not what I expected going into the movie and I liked being surprised by it. Do I wish the pacing wasn’t so sluggish? Absolutely, but the production values (particularly the lavish sets and costumes) and George Sander’s suave performance as Francois makes the film worth a gander.

The best film on this set is without a doubt “Lured” which involves a poetic killer luring women with newspaper ads in London. As Scotland Yard tries to hunt this madman down, they hire a female Detective (Sandra) as bait for the killer. As Sandra tries to bring out the killer, she begins to fall for a businessman (Mr. Fleming) who may or may not be a suspect himself.

Until now, I had not seen “Lured” but I am glad I finally did. It’s an intense and stylish thriller that grabs you from the start. It also features a truly great performance by Lucille Ball as a sassy, funny, and charming dance hall girl turned Detective. She steals every scene she is in and makes you forget that she is almost always synonymous with “I Love Lucy.” Now, sure, one could argue the film could have been trimmed a few minutes with all of its whodunit fake-outs, but the film works so well regardless that it matters little.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How do the films look? Despite appearing fuzzy at times, ‘Scandal’ has certainly been cleaned up. “Lured” looks even better.

Audio Track: Mono. How do the films sound? Unfortunately, ‘Scandal’ sounds a bit rough. The dialogue sounds scratchy and faint at times. Thankfully, “Lured” boasts a much better track with crisp sounding audio.

Extras:
* A booklet featuring credits and photos.
* Cohen Film trailers and “A Scandal In Paris” and “Lured” re-release trailers.
* A worthwhile commentary on “A Scandal In Paris” by film critic Wade Major. Expect loads of information.
* A stiff scripted commentary on “Lured” by author and film historian Jeremy Arnold.

Overall Thoughts: If you love Douglas Sirk or are looking for some classic films to watch, seek out this 2 film set.

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September 18, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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