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Children of Paradise (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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The story is at once simple and extremely complex. A mime named Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) falls in love with a street woman known as Garance (Arletty)--and through a series of coincidences and his own love for her finds the inspiration to become one of the most beloved stage artists of his era. But when shyness causes him to avoid consumation of the romance, Baptiste loses Garance to her own circle of admirers--a circle that includes a vicious member of the Paris underworld (Marcel Herrand), rising young actor (Pierre Brasseur), and an egotistical and jealous aristocrat (Louis Salou.) With the passage of time, Garance recognizes that she loves Baptiste as deeply as he does her... but now they must choose between each other and the separate lives they have created for themselves.
While the film is sometimes described as dreamy in tone, it would be more appropriately described as dreamy in tone but extremely earthy in content.Read more ›
The actress who went by the single name Arletty was born Leoni Bathiat. On screen and off she was perceived as a free spirit who believed in "neither God nor the devil and still less in the men around her." Shortly after WWII she faced a prison sentence for having an affair with a Nazi officer. In "Children of Paradise" Arletty dominates the screen and is a palpable force of light and shadow that reverberates somewhere deep in the psyche.
A decade ago this world class film underwent a major restoration for the laser disc. For the DVD transfer, Criterion claims it digitally cleansed an additional 30,000 flaws and filtered minute snaps and pops on the sound track as well. It is unlikely that a finer print of this magnificent black and white film exists anywhere.
The film itself is divided between the two discs. Disc 1 "The Boulevard of Crime" features an insightful and clever introduction by Terry Gilliam who lauds the sheer theatricality of the enterprise as a perfect marriage of poetry and big budget filmmaking. An astute commentary is provided by film scholar Brian Stonehill.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So happy that amazon offers that wonderful french classic!! Thank you !!Published 7 days ago by WASCALLY WABBIT
Brilliant; truly a classic - and a few double-meanings and hidden cracks at the occupying Nazis add some additional interest. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ccs
It's an OK movie. It's a little hard to get too worked up about something in another language and that is so old. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Scott Hanel
One of the greatest movies every made -- if not THE greatest (also watch "Grand Illusion" -- if you haven't already)Published 3 months ago by DickB19
I can't believe how good this is!! I was expecting a great DVD of a movie I have long adored, but it has so many nice "extras" as well. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Tish
Great DVD s to own - Too slow an complicated for a teen audience.Published 6 months ago by Marylise Reilly
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