997 Cluny Brown

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Rupert Pupkin
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#26 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:09 pm

it "matches" with the TCM channel in HD (720) which was apparently from the same restoration than the excerpt which Criterion put on his web site. I found it very good, if not excellent... details, film-like "texture", etc... Thus, I'm sure a real 1080p24 will be better

nitin
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#27 Post by nitin » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:30 am

Looks like a typical recent B&W Fox restoration including the smooth and unnatural looking degraining they have been utilising.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#28 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:09 am


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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#29 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:13 am

3/5? That's it. Dr. Svet is cancelled.

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tenia
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#30 Post by tenia » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:32 pm

Many often says it's best to read Blu-ray.com only for the technical reviews but if even DNRed Fox jobs are getting a pass...

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#31 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:58 pm

Yeah, I was also thinking that 4.5 looks awful high for those screencaps . . .

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domino harvey
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#32 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:04 pm

HinkyDinkyTruesmith wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:13 am
3/5? That's it. Dr. Svet is cancelled.
Pro-B’s explanation for the grade helps
Jennifer Jones was in the kitchen: Pro
Jennifer Jones was not in the kitchen to cook for her husband: Con

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#33 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:01 pm

Naturally he also had something to say about Charles Boyer's political philosopher character:
One aspect of the film that is clearly problematic is its expectation and confidence that Boyer can consistently shine so bright that he can legitimize the straightforward political messaging that is channeled through it. Essentially, Boyer has to say and do a lot of things 'right' to look believable as a frustrated exile, patriot, and a hopeless romantic so that it appears that the messaging occurs naturally.

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Gregory
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#34 Post by Gregory » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:02 pm

Pro-B wrote:Cluny Brown is impossible to place amongst Lubitsch's best films. It has bits of the finesse and wit that defined the great director's work but here they function more like embellishments rather than key elements of the story. In fact, the story isn't particularly good either. It is essentially a collage of very straightforward jabs at the British upper class that rely on exaggerated contrasts to appear justified. Cluny and Belinski are strategically positioned as 'outsiders' and once they begin disrupting the order of the 'sane' side the values and beliefs of those that are part of it become big targets. Unfortunately, it is banal material, and it also looks ancient in a way that basically makes it awfully difficult for the already shaky satire to produce the type of laughs that are needed to make the film look attractive.
So to summarize, (a) the film's wit and finesse should have been key story elements (I have no idea what that means), (b) the jabs at the upper class were unjustified [-X, and (c) the film "looks ancient" in some way that keeps the laughs it delivers from making the film look attractive... or something. Oh well, u know how it go with ancient movies.

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#35 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:06 pm

It's funny, because Cluny Brown's depiction of generally nice but hopelessly classist and ineffectual "liberals" who prefer to appear polite while, for example, sending Cluny back to the servants' quarters is especially relevant today in our age of social media activism (not that all social media activism isn't effective; I'm thinking largely of people who will repost trendy pictures or graphs but have never set foot in a political march or whathaveyou.) That's not to mention the self-oppressive attitudes of the head butler and maid.

I'll go into this further in my write-up for the 40s list, but I also find its core theme of doing what makes you happy and finding your place in the world expressed in terms that remain especially poignant in our current age.

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schellenbergk
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#36 Post by schellenbergk » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:07 am

So... I was psyched to see this and popped it in last night. I liked it well enough, but I'm mildly disappointed. Not a great Lubitsch on a first view... I like about 10 of his films more than this - which I rank about the same as Bluebeard's Eighth Wife. Am I missing something?

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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#37 Post by Glowingwabbit » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:44 am

schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:07 am
So... I was psyched to see this and popped it in last night. I liked it well enough, but I'm mildly disappointed. Not a great Lubitsch on a first view... I like about 10 of his films more than this - which I rank about the same as Bluebeard's Eighth Wife. Am I missing something?
Lubitsch is one of my favorites so I'm planning on giving it another chance given the love it's gotten by forum members, but I've always considered it a mediocre Lubitsch film. Like you I'd place maybe a dozen films ahead of it in his filmography. I was quite surprised to see how much love it was getting on this forum when it was announced so I must be missing something too.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#38 Post by Rayon Vert » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:42 am

Not a really satisfying film for me either, suffering a bit perhaps from the very broad way Cluny Brown is sketched, who ends up something of a cartoon character. (In that way the Criterion cover is arguably just a little appropriate!) I didn't understand that they released this film before the still blu-less The Shop Around the Corner.

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senseabove
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#39 Post by senseabove » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:24 pm

Phew. I thought I was the crazy one. This got all kinds of very vocal love on the film Twitter circuit right before the Filmstruck shutdown—which I can't help imagine fast-tracked its disc release—and I thought it was pretty meh then. Saw it again recently in theaters with lowered expectations, and I liked it slightly more, but it's pretty low for me as far as Lubitsch goes...

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Matt
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#40 Post by Matt » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:28 pm

I think this is one of those films whose reputation has been burnished by being difficult to see for a very long time. I find the pacing really slack and the writing not very funny. Like many of the rest of you, it's not in my top ten Lubitsches, but still mostly a pleasurable watch.

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david hare
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#41 Post by david hare » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:11 pm

tenia wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:32 pm
Many often says it's best to read Blu-ray.com only for the technical reviews but if even DNRed Fox jobs are getting a pass...
Have you watched this yet Remy? It does not look in the slightest bit DNR-ed to me. The image is clearly replicating a fine grain, and the stock, lenses and lighting are so consistent, so is the image. I think it looks superb.

As for the movie I have never previously been a great fan, in part because I found the pairing of Boyer and Jones unexpected, to put it mildly. Watching it again in the last couple of days I like them both a great deal, and she is quite surprising as a comedienne. I suspect having a major actors' director like Lubitsch to take her in hand has given her something the crushing relationship with Selznick would never allow. (She is more atrocious than usual in the Powell Wild at Heart which must now go down as his worst movie.) I am liking it MUCH more than I used to.

As for Svet who gives a fuck about his political and social meanderings. On the technical quality of this I believe he's right on the money.

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tenia
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#42 Post by tenia » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:06 am

I havent watched it yet, only quickly skimmed through it. I understand your point but I still believe it has been "grain managed".

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Drucker
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#43 Post by Drucker » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:11 pm

Saw this one in theaters a few years ago while some Lubitsch was playing at Film Forum. The moment Cluny
SpoilerShow
freaks out in the kitchen, screams, and drops something
I found to be one of the best laugh out loud moments in a Lubitsch film, but the rest was just nice and fine, and certainly wouldn't rank in my top tier.

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HinkyDinkyTruesmith
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#44 Post by HinkyDinkyTruesmith » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:28 pm

Drucker wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:11 pm
Saw this one in theaters a few years ago while some Lubitsch was playing at Film Forum. The moment Cluny
SpoilerShow
freaks out in the kitchen, screams, and drops something
I found to be one of the best laugh out loud moments in a Lubitsch film, but the rest was just nice and fine, and certainly wouldn't rank in my top tier.
Are you referring to
SpoilerShow
when Cluny sees Belinski in the Carmel's home, shouts "Nuts to the squirrels!" and drops the platter?

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Drucker
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#45 Post by Drucker » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:07 pm

yes

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david hare
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#46 Post by david hare » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:54 pm

tenia wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:06 am
I havent watched it yet, only quickly skimmed through it. I understand your point but I still believe it has been "grain managed".
Well, yes but everything has grain “management”. Clearly there’s no O neg so grain is never apparent as really fine and there’s nothing much to “resolve” beyond dealing with what will always be a second gen element. In a few occasions the image dips to what The doctor refers to as “softness” and that’s a good enough description. This is taken from a “good” fine grain. Something like the wonderful Gaumont Sans Lendemain has been taken from a superb fine grain. And the difference is beautiful, visible grain which is extremely well resolved with 2k.

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tenia
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#47 Post by tenia » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:38 pm

That's something I thought after answering you, and it could be that the lack of the usually spiky-grain partly comes from the element used for the restoration. But partly only.

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dustybooks
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#48 Post by dustybooks » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:34 pm

I fully buy into the hype with this film -- I only just saw it last year and on this second viewing it still registers as delightful and warm and genuinely hilarious, though it surprised me on revisit how peripheral Cluny really is in the second half of the film, which I can't help seeing as a bit of a flaw. I also had misremembered the birthday party scene as absolutely hilarious when it fact it's quite heartbreaking. The business with Betty Cream and Andrew isn't funny enough to sustain as much screen time as it gets; they have funny moments but their courtship just doesn't connect like the rest of the story. On the other hand, I can't get enough of Sara Allgood and Ernest Cossart -- and some of the Ruggles of Red Gap-like class commentary that springs from their dialogue is quite sharp. The script in general feels very forward-looking and progressive; I'm not surprised it's finding a sizable audience now. I personally prefer it to several of Lubitsch's more famous films, frankly.

Jennifer Jones is terrific in this; did she have any other opportunities to exercise comic chops to this extent? I like her fine in Bernadette and Jennie but this was like a different performer, and I've seen almost none of the rest of her work.

The Criterion package isn't one of their better Hollywood releases, though I'm really just happy to have the once-elusive film on the shelf. I like the Haskell-Nehme conversation and the Kristin Thompson essay and agree broadly with their remarks about the film's proto-feminist subtext, but the short examination of Lubitsch's career felt a bit thin (I guess it's better explored elsewhere in the Collection anyway). It's good to see the film treated with reverence but I'm not likely to return to any of the extras, and the video presentation does have that Fox waxy artificiality going on. But yet again, this is a release I'm really glad for regardless.

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domino harvey
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#49 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:11 pm

dustybooks wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:34 pm

Jennifer Jones is terrific in this; did she have any other opportunities to exercise comic chops to this extent? I like her fine in Bernadette and Jennie but this was like a different performer, and I've seen almost none of the rest of her work.
No, Selznick's obsessive hold over her image and output was centered around her being ankled to prestige pictures so that she could get the fabled second Oscar she'd never snag. As has always been true for Oscars, comic perfs almost never win the main acting categories, so why bother? I imagine Lubtisch's involvement and well-earned rep was the only reason Selznick was okay with this

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Randall Maysin
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Re: 997 Cluny Brown

#50 Post by Randall Maysin » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:44 am

Yeah, but.....don't forget about her supporting performance in Beat the Devil! An otherwise awful film, but she actually has some pretty good lines, and I think she does some stuff in this that can more or less be put alongside her Cluny work. It's funny how so much of her very unique star quality and appeal (for me) is centered around her (seemingly apparent although maybe this isn't true, but I've heard, um, Orson Welles, and perhaps others, support this) mental health problems.

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