Search - Balzac: A Life of Passion on DVD

Balzac: A Life of Passion
Balzac A Life of Passion
Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Jeanne Moreau, Fanny Ardant, Virna Lisi, Katja Riemann
Director: Josée Dayan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
PG-13     2000     3hr 20min

Lovers of 19th-century French literature and contemporary French cinema will probably get the most out of this 210-minute march through the sensual life of Honoré de Balzac. Those not familiar with the work of this spectac...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Jeanne Moreau, Fanny Ardant, Virna Lisi, Katja Riemann
Director: Josée Dayan
Creators: Willy Stassen, Adeline Yoyotte, Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte, Doris Kirch, Edith Colnel, Jean-Pierre Guérin, Didier Decoin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Kids & Family, All Made-for-TV Movies
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/19/2000
Original Release Date: 10/23/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 10/23/2000
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 3hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: French, Spanish, English, Italian, French
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Why would you ever DUB OVER Gerard Depardieu???/This version
C. P. Wilson | Seattle, WA United States | 04/30/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"GREAT STORY/GREAT FILM/HORRIBLE edtion. GET THE PREVIOUS VERSION/THIS ONE HAS A REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD ENGLISH VOICE-OVER DUB...So bad it hurts!!! I rented this version of Balzac from the video store tonight originally thinking it was the only version. I, like the other reviewers here, was horrified to find Gerard Depardieu's voice being dubbed over by someone who sounded like "Daddy Seaver" on the horribly cheesy 80's sitcom Growing Pains. It had the same screachingly criminal effect as, say dubbing over Laurence Olivier in "Wuthering Heights" with the 'hey dude' voices/tones found in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. I immediately called the video store back to find out if there was another version of the same film (preferrably one IN FRENCH with English subtitles) WHICH THERE WAS. They exchanged it with no hassle. Now I can sit down and enjoy what looks to be a great film of one of the most exemplary literary figures in French history. Don't waste your time with this newly released in Lion's Gate 2006/2007 version. Get the older 1999/2000 Fox Lorber/Bravo version!"
What a load of horrible overdubbing.
R. Bourgeois | French La.. | 02/10/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"There is no French soundtrack on this DVD to go with the legendary French actors. There is just an English subtitle with HORRIBLE english overdubbing. The voices are woefully miscast, even worse if you are familiar with the famous French actors true voices. And the Foley work is just amateurish. It was a total distraction throughout the whole 3 hours. Absolutely a waste, with little entertainment value. Stay clear and try to find a version with original dialogue (and English subtitles if necessary)."
My dog could have dubbed this better.
Audio | Berkshires, MA | 05/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Amazon's product description reads: Language: English, French - which is false and misleading because there is no French to be found anywhere on this DVD.

Listening to the masterful delivery of Gerard Depardieu (one of the finest voices in in current cinema) being smothered by voiceovers less expert than a low budget kung-fu film was painful to experience. Amazon would be doing future misguided purchasers of this DVD a favor if they removed this dubbed version from the site.

However, if you're having trouble with the badly dubbed english your other option, the only one, is to enable the english subtitles and turn the sound off altogehter. What genius was up all night thinking of that one?

The distributors must have anticipated the limits of viewers' endurance but did not have the budget or energy left to give us the option of the original french audio version. Obviously it's stressful packaging foreign productions like this for american audiences and we trust the inclusion of subtitles didn't cause too much lack of sleep.

The main lesson learned is read reviews when purchasing foreign films. It is not beyond a distributors capacity to ruin fine productions such as this one.

If there must be dubbing for brilliant foreign actors I propose a new rule: only brilliant English actors can be used. I guarantee you Balzac did not sound like a bad actor flubbing a soap-opera audition."
One of the best French movies made
Willie Montgomery | Denmark,South Carolina | 05/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I first saw the movie I was hooked on the spot.The cast and the acting was good along with the sets and camerawork.Jeanne Moreau and Gerard Depardieu are a perfect match as mother and son in the film.But I wanted to see more of Jeanne Moreau in the film and want to see more highs and lows in the mother-son relationship.The scene which nearly made me cry was Moreau's character at the door asking for her son's forgiveness.Give Jeanne Moreau a good script and she will give you your money's work."