Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|La Violetera |
The Violet Seller
Actors: Sara Montiel, Raf Villone, Frank Villard and Tomas Blanco
Director: Luis Cesar Amadori
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Soledad es una humilde vendedora de violetas que un día conoce a Fernando, un joven noble y rico que pertenece a la alta sociedad de Madrid. Ambos se enamoran rápidamente, pero Fernando para evitar problemas por sus difere... more »
GREAT FILM TRAPPED IN POOR DVD !
Marcos | 04/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First I must mention what makes this DVD release so special: it has English subtitles! For the first time ever, English-speaking people are able to watch this classic film and understand the basics of the plot and even the meaning of the songs. However, it is tragic that the distributors DistriMax Inc. didn't make an effort to provide consumers with a digitally restored version of "La Violetera." Consequently the copy we are getting here lacks the neatness and richness of color of the original production and, to make matters worse, the sound is uneven with a weird background noise popping up here and there. Maybe the ridiculous low price is intended to "make up" for the video and sound shortcomings. However it is time for video firms to realize that consumers would rather pay a little more and get quality specially in films like "La Violetera" a family classic for over 50 years. Could we conceive at this point cheap lack luster DVD releases of films like "The Wizard of Oz" or "Gone With The Wind"? Of course not! It would be disrespectful to both the film creators and to the consumers. Well, the same good judgment should be applied to foreign classics.
Now that I've tackled the good, the bad and the ugly of this DVD I should mention something about the film itself, specially for those who have never seen it. "La Violetera" is a 1958 Spanish-Italian co-production designed to showcase the beauty and talents of its star Sarita Montiel. The previous year, Miss Montiel had surprised audiences in most of the civilized world with her performance in "El Ultimo Cuple," a low budget musical drama which became the biggest box office success in the history of Spanish cinema. After years of achieving lukewarm success as a leading lady of films made in Spain, Mexico and even Hollywood , Miss Montiel had finally hit the big time and proved that she could compete with the established female superstars of the day Liz, Ava, Sophia, Gina and Brigitte. It was not only her remarkable good looks but rather the way she projected an ingenuity, a vulnerability laced with down to earth sexiness which connected with both male and female audiences in a magical mysterious way. On top of all those attributes, Sarita could sing and could move people with her unique style in every song she sang no matter if a happy or sad tune. Communication is too pale of a term to describe Sarita's effect on listeners. She did not have a powerful voice like a Judy Garland but reminds more of a Billie Holiday a small sound with lots of feeling.
With "El Ultimo Cuple" she had proven her worth both as an actor and singer. Still some critics thought that it had all been a fluke and that Miss Montiel was just a temporary sensation that would eventually fade away, sort of a "one hit wonder." Sarita had the last laugh when "La Violetera" came out and revalidated her appeal among the masses. It was an instant classic that on its first run became a certified blockbuster playing for over a year in Europe and Latin America.
The plot of "La Violetera" is a simple love story which was probably done before and has come back under many different guises in other films proving that ill-fated love affairs are always a crowd pleaser...
I wouldn't be surprised if director James Cameron saw "La Violetera" at some point in his life and was inspired to write the screenplay for "Titanic". As we all know James Carmeron's "Titanic" (1997) ended up winning 11 Oscars and setting a new box office record during its run. "La Violetera" also broke box office records when first released but there are other similarities.
In "La Violetera" a poor flower girl falls in love with a rich aristocrat who is already committed to marrying a duchess. In "Titanic" is a poor boy who falls for a rich heiress who has a rich fiance. See the similarity? In both films the love affair between poor and rich is not accepted by family and society in general. Both films take place when "la belle epoque" was in full swing (early 20th century) and in both films the Titanic is important to the story. Of course, in "Titanic" the sinking is the climax (and reason) of the film while in "La Violetera" it is used somewhat differently. There are no spectacular sinking scenes and the heroine is not traveling with her lover but with the man who turned her from humble violet peddler to international singing star. However, the way the camera establishes that the singer is aboard the Titanic in a five-second shot is quite chilling and effective. I do not want to spoil your enjoyment of the film but the ending in "La Violetera" is as bitter-sweet as the ending in "Titanic" except that the lovers are finally reunited in dry land and given a second chance.
I hope this inadequate DVD of "La Violetera" is commercially successful enough to spark interest from serious home video companies and move them to come up with a restored version state-of-the art version in the future. Maybe it would also motivate them to release more Sara Montiel classics for which there has always been a demand in our country as witnessed by the many bootlegs that are presently available on Hispanic video stores and on the Internet. And yes! The English subtitles do help!
Luis Fauaz Simon | 02/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Una película, una canción y una mujer inolvidables. Tal vez su mejor cinta,al menos la preferida de la artista. La Sara Montiel mítica:inmensamente bella y prueba fehaciente de sus dotes de actriz.
Una excelente oportunidad para disfrutar de nuevo de una película que marcó una época."
SARITA AT HER BEST
Francisco Repetto Torres | 02/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SARITA EN SU MEJOR MOMENTO TANTO EN BELLEZA COMO EN ACTUACION, BIEN VALE
LA PENA VOLVER A VER ESTA PELICULA QUE FUE DE LAS MAS TAQUILLERAS EN 1958"