Tuesday, February 15, 2011

La Piscine - Edition Prestige (1969)

I bought Alain Delon 5-Film Collection back in 2008. This DVD box-set from Lionsgate, released on March 25, contains 'La piscine' by Jacques Deray. One day later, the Edition Prestige was out in France. I enjoyed this box-set from Lionsgate, although in La piscine, the restoration work is not perfect; which unfortunately very clear in one of my favourite scenes: when Jean-Paul, Marianne, and Pen waiting for Harry. Jean-Paul and Marianne looks so much in love with another that Pen asks "How long you two have been together?" I heard people talking about how good chemistry between 2 actors on screen, but none would be better than Alain Delon and Romy Schneider in La piscine.

I post here 2 sample screencaps of the defect. See the black line from bottom to right in pic#1 and the smear on pic#2. Also in this scene there are lots of black and white dots. I assume that this not happens only in my copy.

Later La piscine was broadcasted on TV5 and the quality was breathtaking. The colour of the skin was so right. I thought that perhaps it was from the new French DVD (or Blu-ray).

Time passed by and now I have a copy of the Edition Prestige. [It took me a while. It took a fortune.] What I wanted to see so much was actually the alternative ending - and after watching it I was a bit disappointed because it only lasted a few seconds, showing Inspector Leveque and several police officers come to the villa, perhaps to arrest Jean-Paul.

The quality of the DVD from SNC is excellent. The picture is very clear and brighter than the US DVD. Here is a screencap:

The set also contains the English version of the movie. Apparently, having done a scene in French, the cast did it again in English. Of course there are slight differences since the movie each is built from different takes. [In the English version, Jean-Paul doesn't eat melon in the dinner scene.] However, the scene where Harry goes into Marianne's bedroom to wake her up with breakfast is gone from the English version. The English version has the alternative ending, though.

Another interesting thing is in the scene of the party with Harry's friends. Pen leaves the party to run after Jean-Paul to the swimming pool area. They both listen to 2 guitar players and Pen kisses Jean-Paul's cheek. The French version ends here, the next frame shows Marianne watching them. However, the English version continues with Jean-Paul kisses her back in the ear. This is something as I always wonder how far these 2 would go.

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