Top positive review
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A Wonderful Film, but NOT THIS Version
on March 8, 2014
'Les Uns et les Autres' is possibly the most wonderful and deeply moving film I have ever seen. It is a film about humanity, about love, war, loss, and redemption. It spans the years from the mid 1930s to the 1980s, and follows four families , French, American, Russian, and German, and the threads of their lives finally come together at the end. It is beautiful and sad and contains some wonderful music. The acting throughout is superb.
The reason I have only given it four stars is because the sound is very uneven. You really do have to watch it with your thumb on the volume button, and I'm not exaggerating.
I bought this multi-region version because I live in the UK, and I also wanted English subtitles. It is a 2 disc version and it came new and sealed. The first disc played all right. The second disc played all right for about five minutes, after which it went horribly wrong. Both the sound and picture were continually jumping and sticking, and it was just unwatchable. Partway through there was about twenty minutes where it was all right, and the last half hour was another unwatchable mess. I returned this to Amazon and received a refund. I thought perhaps I had just been unlucky to get a dud dvd, so I bought it again on eBay, and once again the second disc was useless.
I have now bought it again from Amazon France. This is the original one disc dvd, and it is Region 2, with no subtitles. Thankfully it plays perfectly from beginning to end, apart from the volume problems I've already mentioned. There is not a great deal of actual dialogue in this film, and some of it is in English. As for the rest, I did manage to get the gist of it with my rusty school French. Some of the most moving and memorable scenes in the film did not have any words, and didn't need them.
When I was looking for this film initially, I think there was a Region 1 version which was also a one-disc version, and I'm guessing that that would play OK all the way through.
So, I cannot recommend this film enough, but be careful which version you buy, although obviously if it's faulty you will get your money back from Amazon.