The Story of a Three-Day Pass

Overview

Melvin Van Peebles' first feature film has long deserved a release on DVD, and while this edition from Xenon Pictures is hardly perfect, it at least gives Story of a Three-Day Pass a much-needed digital upgrade. Story of a Three-Day Pass has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the source print shows some slight wear and speckling, but the image is clear and sharp, and the scale of grey tones is quite good. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, using the ...
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Harry Baird, Pierre Doris, Christian Marin, Nicole Berger, Karell Jonathan Beer 03/07/2006 DVD 2006 Run time: 87. *** Brand New-Sealed-Fast Shipping-Satisfaction Guaranteed ***

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Overview

Melvin Van Peebles' first feature film has long deserved a release on DVD, and while this edition from Xenon Pictures is hardly perfect, it at least gives Story of a Three-Day Pass a much-needed digital upgrade. Story of a Three-Day Pass has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the source print shows some slight wear and speckling, but the image is clear and sharp, and the scale of grey tones is quite good. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, using the film's original monophonic sound mix; the track sounds good enough, though not quite up to the quality of the images. The dialogue is primarily in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. The onscreen introduction Van Peebles shot for the film's previous VHS release on Xenon has been included, but it hasn't been given a separate chapter stop and can only be accessed by starting the film from the main menu. The only additional bonus material is a collection of trailers (including previews for four Melvin Van Peebles films, among them Three-Day Pass). While this isn't a major improvement over the film's release on tape in terms of extras, it looks and sounds noticeably better, and given the film's scarcity, this DVD edition is more than welcome.
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Special Features

Featuring a special introduction by the filmmaker: Melvin Van Peebles discusses the events that led him to France in the 1960s, and, ultimately, to write and direct this landmark interracial love story.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Melvin Van Peebles's first feature film -- shot on a shoestring budget during his self-imposed exile in France -- occasionally betrays itself as the work of a director still developing a firm command of his medium, but it's also visually compelling, ambitious, intelligent, and obviously the work of a man with a lot of ideas and the determination to get them on film. Concerning an African-American soldier stationed in Europe (played by Harry Baird, who does solid work, though his rhythm wavers a bit and his accent seems to shift here and there), who is at once subject to the prejudice and ignorance of American culture while sampling the contradictory freedoms and delusions of the French, The Story of a Three-Day Pass doubtless had no small personal significance for an American abroad such as Van Peebles, and while it wears its political and social agenda less dramatically than in Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and The Watermelon Man, the film never lets the audience forget that this is meant to be more than just love story (or even just a cross-racial love story). The Story of a Three-Day Pass is also shot full of humor -- often barbed and a bit acidic, but funny despite it all -- and the film's bold black-and-white images and inventive framings make it clear that Van Peebles had a firm command of the visual aspects of filmmaking right off the bat (not always the case for a novelist new to the medium). The Story of a Three-Day Pass often feels like a first film, but its a first film from a director who had a very clear idea of what he wanted to do in his new medium, and offers further evidence of the consistent quality of Van Peebles' unfortunately small body of work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2006
  • UPC: 000799106327
  • Original Release: 1968
  • Rating:

  • Source: Xenon
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pierre Doris Peasant
Christian Marin Hotelman
Nicole Berger Miriam
Harry Baird Turner
Technical Credits
Melvin Van Peebles Director, Score Composer, Screenwriter
Mickey Baker Score Composer
Guy Belfond Producer
Yves Decaux Set Decoration/Design
Michel Kelber Cinematographer
Liliane Korb Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Story of a 3-Day Pass
2. Main Titles [2:26]
3. Getting the Pass [5:51]
4. Paris [7:20]
5. French Girl [15:07]
6. Road Trip [7:36]
7. Hotel Room [13:31]
8. "I'm a Person" [7:01]
9. Beach Picnic [13:35]
10. The Final Night [4:47]
11. Back to the Base [9:08]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Story of a 3-Day Pass
   Play
   Chapter Selection
   Extras
      Films of Melvin Van Peebles
         Identity Crisis
         Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
         Don't Play Us Cheap
         Story of a 3-Day Pass-Trailer
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
      Also From Xenon
         Funny Valentine
         Vlad
         The Harder They Come
         The Hot Spot
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