Search - Edith Piaf - A Passionate Life on DVD

Edith Piaf - A Passionate Life
Edith Piaf - A Passionate Life
Actor: Edith Piaf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2004     0hr 50min

Edith Piaf was one of the most popular female singers of all time, with a unique voice and talent that conquered the hearts of admirers around the world. Her life story was truly remarkable: from her birth in 1915 on a pol...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Edith Piaf
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: International, Documentary
Studio: White Star
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/25/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Edith Piaf - A Passionate Life
Jean duBois | Boston, Mass. | 07/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I must agree with Mr. Mahan. Edith Piaf was born December, 1915
and passed away October 10, 1963. Mr. Cashen must read more of
her life, and he will discover this.

I liked this DVD. I have it in French on VHS, and, am bi-lingual
so I was able to understand it. On the DVD the voice-overs do
change some of the french: however, this is necessary. If the
DVD was translated exactly, it would not make any sense. The
maker of this film (Marcel Blistene) made it in 1967 from film
clips available, and also from direct interviews. He did a great
job. The film clips he used were from an era when high-tech. was
not available, therefore, there were bound to be some that were
not too clear. I have other VHS videos, all in French, as well
as numerous books (all in French). I was a member of "Les Amis
d'Edith Piaf" located in Paris.(Along with a small musuem). The
musuem is located in a small apartment of the secretary of the
association which has members in the thousands. It can be visited by appointment only. The curator/secretary speaks only
French. He knew Edith Piaf and almost all of the people in the
various videos. His knowledge of her life is vast, and he him-
self has written a book which came out around 1997 or so and is
extremely informative. Marcel Blistene was a French Jew who
wanted to make a tribute to Edith - as she had helped him tre-
mendously during WWII in as much as arranging for him to be
hidden, squirreled out of Paris, plus supplying tremendous
amounts of money to do so. She did the same for many others,
including Michel Emer, who was also a French Jew and wrote many
of her hit songs, the first being L'accordeoniste, which is
still popular today in France. (It first came out in 1939).
I strongly suggest that if anyone is interested in her life,
they read as much as is available, and if possible watch other
VHS and/or DVD's that may be available. The only book that is
not accurate, is the one written by Simone Bertault, who claimed-to be her half-sister - which was a wishful fabrication on her
part and it extremely scathing in many of the chapters, so much
so as to be very questionable as to the authenticity. Simone's
book has been challenged and debunked in numerous other books.

All in all, I say BRAVO to this DVD and Marcel Blistene, who is
now deceased."
For die-hard fans: motion seconded
Michael J. Cashen | Glen Burnie, MD USA | 09/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"For those of us in N. America who have to use "Zone 1" DVD's and long to see Edith Piaf singing, this single DVD is the slop available to us. Even the translation of the very poorly made French documentary is itself poor: the documentary's English over-dubbing begins by saying that the deceased Piaf was being remembered on Oct. 10 1963 - which is amazing since she didn't die until two months later! Most professional over-dubbing allows the listener to hear a few words spoken in the original language before the translation begins but not in this DVD: you'll have to listen closely to catch a few non-sung French words of Piaf.

What makes the DVD worth buying is the 5 extended clips where she sings all or most of a song - even though the video quality is very poor. The unique way she used her arms when singing - developed when she was a child street singer trying to hold her audiences' attentions - are shown well in "Milord" and "L'Accordioniste". Fortunately there is a clip of her singing "La Vie En Rose" (one verse) which includes some nice closeups, but "Mon Dieu" ("My God") shows only her hands held in prayer. Two other major songs: "L'Hymne A L'Amour" and "Padam...Padam..." are played while viewing things associated with Piaf's life.

Other ways to start with La Piaf...
BMOL | Rotterdam, Netherlands | 01/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I've bought this DVD in Brussels, Belgium in the european version, which is region2. There is no dubbing in it, so if you care for that and understand French, that's a possibility.
It's title in french is "UNE VIE DE PASSIONS"and even has an hour extra footage.There is NO english talking in it at all !
Also : nowadays it's not too strange to buy a dvd-player which is region FREE! If you have on , than buy a GRRREAT Piaf DVD , titled "L'HYMNE À LA MOME " on EMI:7243 599030-9(5) , which has
20 (!) songs by Piaf, from all parts of her career,including some very rare film clips in which she sings too. Even some of the clips are in color! Now THIS is worth buying for any fan, it's beautifully made and a real treasure.This DVD also has lots of extra's ,like over one hour private home movies and 10 minutes film-news clips. Hope to have been of any help for the fans here!"
Correction on Michael J. Cashen's review
M. Mahon | Los Angeles, CA | 03/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Just wanted to straighten out a couple things. Edith Piaf DID die on Oct. 10, 1963, not 2 months later as Michael J. Cashen claims so indignantly. I think he's thinking of her birth date which was in December.

I agree the quality of the footage was poor, but having seen just about every video available on Edith Piaf, there is nothing of better quality available - unfortunately. Being knowledgeable about her life, I found this film interesting because it contained footage I hadn't seen. And the footage I had seen in other films was in French, so it was actually very helpful to have the English voiceover, even if it may be distracting to some.

I have to agree that if you don't know anything about her life, you won't learn anything here. In the filmmakers' defense though, it's a French film and most French people know about her life. The footage of the boxer that they showed so much of was Marcel Cerdan who was the love of Edith's life. He died in a plane crash on his way to see her. She never really recovered from that tragedy. Unfortunately, the film didn't explain that for us Americans who don't know this. But to explain that in this film, which was made by the French, for a French audience, would have been redundant. They all know who Marcel Cerdan was and what he was to Edith. So, I guess this is really more of an homage than a documentary.

I'm not defending this fil, because it really isn't very informative, or even very good. I really just wanted to clear up a couple questions people had that I happened to know the answer to."