Lady And The Duke

The Lady And The Duke

Director: Eric Rohmer

Cast: Eric Rohmer, Lucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Francois Marthouret

     
 

French director Eric Rohmer presents the period drama The Lady and the Duke. The film is presented in a very pleasing 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that sports sharp, detailed colors and solid black levels. Without the presence of grain, dirt of any other major imperfections marring the image, this transfer should please any fan of the film. The…  See more details below

Overview

French director Eric Rohmer presents the period drama The Lady and the Duke. The film is presented in a very pleasing 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that sports sharp, detailed colors and solid black levels. Without the presence of grain, dirt of any other major imperfections marring the image, this transfer should please any fan of the film. The soundtrack is presented in a decent Dolby Digital 5.0 French Surround soundtrack with a fairly enveloping sound stage. While the directional effects and surround sounds are used in only a few key scenes, overall the mix is free and clear of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English and Spanish subtitles. The extra features for The Lady and the Duke are floating at the bare minimum -- all that's been included on this disc is a theatrical trailer for the film, two bonus trailers for the films Happy Times and Sunshine State, and some cast and crew biographies.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The bloody French Revolution unfolds through the eyes of an elegant and beautiful aristocrat in The Lady and the Duke, an erudite exploration of politics and loyalty from legendary French New Waver Eric Rohmer. Adapted from The Journal of My Life During the French Revolution by Grace Elliot, The Lady and the Duke stars Lucy Russell as Elliot, an English-born aristocrat whose dangerous ride through the turbulent times of the early 1790s is delineated through her relationship with the powerful Duke of Orléans (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), a former lover and now a close friend, who has become a republican. Typical of Rohmer, the film eschews action in favor of dialogue -- beautifully written scenes of drawing-room conversation that reveal the power and limits of language while accentuating an eerie contrast between aristocratic manners and unchained aggression. But The Lady and the Duke is a virtually bloodless affair: The heads that roll do so off-screen. The violence is kept at a distance, filtered through discussion and argument between two friends. This intense subjectivity gives the film its unique power as a memoir rather than a historical spectacle. Adding to this perspective is a Paris created not with sets but with period-style painted backdrops that almost paradoxically lend both authenticity and theme-park fantasy to the events at hand. The result is a brilliant and original period drama that is as powerful and provocative as it is quietly restrained.
All Movie Guide
Light, rational talkfests may be his métier, but master filmmaker Eric Rohmer has occasionally stretched his legs to make more atypical productions: namely, period pieces like the location-shot The Marquise of O and the studio-bound Perceval le Gallois. The Lady and the Duke, Rohmer's rapturously received 2001 feature, follows in their footsteps. An engrossing historical yarn and an outright visual marvel, The Lady and the Duke was inspired by the memoirs of Grace Elliott, a Scottish aristocrat living in Paris during the French Revolution. Rohmer has acknowledged that the movie was an attempt at depicting historical Paris in a way that had never been done before. To accomplish the task, Rohmer used digital technology to insert his characters in painted scenic backdrops that were based on pictures and engravings from the period. The result is a wondrous optical illusion: the spectral exteriors seem like paintings come to life. The effect gives The Lady and the Duke an added subtext of testimony, as if history were being written before our eyes. Uncharacteristically suspenseful for a Rohmer work, the movie nonetheless has its hefty share of tête-à-têtes, mostly between the royalist Grace and the revolutionary Duke of Orleans. While their impassioned dialogues give the upheavals context, those without a working knowledge of the French Revolution might have trouble keeping up with its twists. No matter; Rohmer's mastery for conversation notwithstanding, it's the pictures, not the words, that elevate this film to near-greatness.
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum
The technique is impressive. But it would count for little if the human story -- of a magnetic, resourceful, and, in the way of all Rohmer heroines, articulate woman who was mistress to the Duke of Orleans -- weren't engrossing on its own dramatic terms.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
If you can forget the world-historic significance of the mass revolution that overthrew Europe's oldest absolute monarchy -- or rather, subsume it in the mysteries of personality -- The Lady and the Duke is the stuff of human interest.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
The director manages to evade both the stuffy antiquarianism and the pandering anachronism that subvert so many cinematic attempts at historical inquiry.
Chicago Reader - Jonathan Rosenbaum
This is absorbing throughout -- not just a history lesson but, as always with Rohmer, a story about individuals.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
Just as interesting, if not more so, is how Rohmer integrates his very contemporary concerns into a period drama, how he creates characters who manage to be true to our times as well as their own.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/01/2002
UPC:
0043396075979
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:09:00

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: French 5.0 Dolby Digital; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Theatrical trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:41]
2. Grace Elliott [1:17]
3. The Duke of Orleans [10:11]
4. August 10, 1792 [3:17]
5. Journey to Meudon [4:04]
6. Passport to Paris [4:07]
7. Princess De Lomballe [2:03]
8. Clarisse Meyler [4:10]
9. Marquis De Champcenetz [3:23]
10. The Allees Des Invalides [3:02]
11. Return to Monceau [4:50]
12. Between the Mattress [4:38]
13. The Patrol [8:03]
14. The Duke's Visit [1:22]
15. "I'm Hiding Someone" [6:43]
16. Duc De Biron [6:45]
17. Convention Plans [3:50]
18. The Duke's Vote [3:59]
19. The King's Death [6:37]
20. House Search [2:30]
21. Tea at Palais-Royal [5:04]
22. "I Love You" [6:13]
23. Mr. Fox's Letter [4:52]
24. Under Arrest [5:20]
25. The Conspiracy Hearing [5:51]
26. Citizen Robespierre [1:24]
27. "The Duke Was Arrested" [7:17]
28. Finis [1:14]

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