Casque D'or (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus gets technical with his review of a bad girl romance in France
Casque D'Or is a 1952 French film directed by Jacques Becker. Evoking the Belle Époque period perfectly, this story of an ill-fated love affair stars Simone Signoret as Marie and Serge Reggiani as Manda.
When gangster's moll Marie falls for reformed criminal Manda their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads to treachery and tragedy.
I’m really beginning to love old black and white films in HD, well at least when they've had some time spent on them for the HD clean up. Casque D'Or is obviously a film that’s been cared for over the years and beyond the slight flicker from time to time, the transfer here is nothing short of impressive. When you take into account the film's release in 1952 and the obvious limitation of making the image perfect (well perfect by today’s standards) it’s quite an achievement for an old film to look this good sixty years on.
Detail is consistently great, the image has a real depth to it and while there is a filmic grain, it's barely noticeable due the bright, well lit film that is captured really well in this presentation. This black and white image has a crisp feel to it with only rare moments of softness, there's no escaping the film's age of course but I can't imagine it's ever looked this good in its history. With HD presentations like this, for films this old, there’s really no excuse for some for the half assed HD releases we get from much newer films (well beyond restoration budgets of course).
Well this DTS-HD Mono track, while a little hollow, sounds noticeably stronger than you'd expect. The music in the film, sounds fantastic, with strong instruments and a real sense there are layers to the instruments playing, especially in the scenes with live music. Of course this is all confined to the centre speaker but it still manages to carry and feels a lot fuller than I expected it to.
Dialogue has a nice bit of boom to it, despite the mono presentation. Again, there’s a slight hollowness to the overall effect but men's voices are strong and come with a bit of depth and women manage the higher ranges with their higher pitches. Obviously mono tracks have their limitations but they are barely felt the deeper you get into Casque D'Or. It keeps its old film audio feel but it’s boosted just enough to feel like an modern improvement.
The documentary ‘At The Heart Of Emotions: The Legend of Golden Marie’ (32:20 HD) hasn’t got the longest of runtimes but it’s still ridiculously in depth as the film’s history is discussed from inception to release.
Casque D'Or is a fairly classic tale of a bad girl with heart getting involved in a doomed love affair and because of that it has lasted the test of time and changing styles in film. The HD presentation is great across the board and the single, fairly short documentary provides a great deal of information for those wanting to delve deeper.
* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
Release Date: 5th November 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: Mono DTS-HD Master Audio French, Mono DTS-HD Master Audio German
Subtitles: English, French, German
Extras: Making of
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jacques Becker
Cast: Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin
Genre: Drama and Romance
Length: 98 minutes
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